Apex Legends hits 50 million players, shattering Fortnite’s growth pace

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Apex Legends has hit a new player count milestone and is growing at a pace faster than the most popular game in the battle royale genre, Fortnite.

Apex Legends continues to reach new milestones at a record pace. The free-to-play battle royale game from Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment has already hit 50 million players.

The feat was announced by Respawn themselves alongside an accompanying highlight video, showcasing some of the action-packed moments players have created thus far.

What makes this feat more impressive is just how quickly Apex Legends was able to hit the 50 million player mark. Apex Legends has been on a torrid pace since its surprise launch last month.

The game hit 2.5 million players in its first 24 hours before reaching 10 million in three days. By the one week mark, 25 million people had played the game.

As Roundhill Investments points out in the graph below, Apex Legends is growing at a faster rate than that of Fortnite Battle Royale.

It took Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale four weeks to reach 20 million players and four months to hit 45 million, according to Niko Partners analyst Daniel AhmadFortnite Battle Royale, of course, has the added advantage of being available on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

As Ahmad points out, Fortnite Battle Royale launched on mobile around the time the game had hit 50 million players across PC and console. Its arrival on iOS and Android helped balloon the overall number of players to over 200 million – a milestone it’ll be hard for Apex Legends to ever achieve on just consoles (Xbox One/PS4) and PC.

That said, it’s also not completely fair to directly compare the rate of growth for each of these games as Apex Legends had the luxury of launching with the battle royale genre dominating all aspects of the gaming industry.

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Fortnite Battle Royale is undoubtedly the reason the battle royale genre has blossomed into what it is today, although one could argue even Fortnite wouldn’t be where it is without PUBG Corp.’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which kickstarted the entire genre to begin with.

Fortnite may have jump-started a genre that PUBG paved the way for, but Apex Legends is refining it in ways that even has Epic Games rethinking its own game’s mechanics. Just last week, Epic Games added a ping system into Fortnite that was clearly inspired by the one in Apex Legends. Additionally, recently discovered game files suggest that a respawn system, similar to the one in Apex Legends, is also coming to Fortnite Battle Royale.

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Apex Legends may be growing at a faster rate than Fortnite, but the really important takeaway here is that the battle royale genre isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And the genre will be better for it. Competition breeds creativity and the winner in all of this are fans of battle royale.