It would be fair to say that the battle royale market is a little overcrowded right now. The success enjoyed by the likes of Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode is well known to everyone, which has resulted in a slew of other games that are either putting their own unique spins on the concept, or chasing the trend. There’s no shortage of battle royale games, is what I’m saying.
Recently, Respawn Entertainment and EA revealed and released Apex Legends out of nowhere, a game that surprisingly enough manages to do something different in the battle royale market. That, as well as the fact that it is free to play, means that it has already enjoyed a great deal of success, and with EA vowing to continue supporting the game for some time to come, that success should only continue to grow. EA, however, has another horse in the battle royale race- Battlefield 5’s Firestorm mode is due out soon, which is also a squad-based battle royale experience.
So is the publisher worried about Apex Legends and Battlefield 5 competing against each other? Their answer- no. Speaking in the company’s recent earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that both games offer different experiences in spite of being in the same genre, and that, in addition to just how much demand there is for battle royale titles in general, should mean that both games can co-exist and thrive alongside one another.
“We think that these, while they sit inside the Battle Royale kind of genre, are 2 very different types of experiences,” said Wilson. “What we have seen is the community who want to play these types of games, it’s hundreds of millions of people strong. We think there is an opportunity to deliver the fast-paced play that is Apex Legends and where that game goes to a big part of the community. And that also, the strategic play, the vehicle play, the things that are unique to a Battlefield Battle Royale mode will offer a differentiation of play for a different part of that community. And at some level, there may also be some crossover. But given the size of the community, given the very different types of game play even inside the Battle Royale genre, we believe those 2 modes can fit very well together in the community.”
While there is truth in Wilson’s statement – the moment-to-moment gameplay of Battlefield is wildly different from Apex Legends, and other additional wrinkles and mechanics should make for an even more different experience – the current situation does look a tad worrisome for Battlefield 5. Going up against Black Ops 4 and PlayerUnknown’s Batlegrounds in the paid batle royale experiences area would have been challenging as it is (especially the former), but now, in Fortnite and Apex Legends, it has two established and accomplished free to play battle royale experiences to go up against as well. It’s also worth noting that one of the core hooks of Firestorm is supposed to be its squad-based approach, but that is something that Apex Legends is doing as well (and doing pretty well, at that)- so it should be interesting to see how it fares against some very tough competition.
In related Battlefield 5 news, EA also revealed in their quarterly earnings report that though Battlefield 5 managed to sell 7.3 million units from its launch up until the end of December, it still fell short of the expectations they had set for the game in terms of sales. Read more about that through here.