Apex Legends, the latest multiplayer shooter from EA and Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment, had a surprise release earlier this week and became an immediate success. It’s been reported as having a player count of over 10 million, with a concurrent player count of over 1 million, which is crazy for a game that came out of nowhere like it did. It’s enough to make other battle royale games nervous, but the twist is that EA has another similar game out soon: Firestorm, the battle royale experience for Battlefield 5. Isn’t EA worried about Apex Legends Battlefield 5 competition?
Battlefield 5‘s battle royale expansion Firestorm did not launch with the game itself, and in fact it’s not due until next month. Considering the poor sales of the game and the phenomenal success of EA’s new battle royale-exclusive title Apex Legends, it’s reasonable to wonder if Respawn’s new game will eat into the interest of Firestorm. EA doesn’t think so, however.
In the company’s recent earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson addressed these concerns, saying that while both are battle royale games, they are “two very different types of experiences.” Apex Legends offers more “fast-paced play,” whereas Battlefield 5: Firestorm will appeal to players interested in the “strategic play, the vehicle play, the things are unique to a Battlefield [game].” He suggests that the audience for battle royale experiences is “hundreds of millions of people strong,” so there’s room for both types of game, but admits that “at some level there may also be some cross over.” Wilson finishes by saying, “given the very different types of gameplay even inside the battle royale genre, we believe those two modes can fit very well together in the community.”
However, regarding Battlefield 5‘s poor sales to date, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen admitted that “prioritizing the single-player campaign over battle royale hurt sales.” Even Battlefield developer DICE’s previous game Star Wars Battlefront 2 seems to be more popular than Battlefield 5 at the moment, so it’s not hard to imagine that Firestorm might not be the savior of Battlefield 5 that EA hopes it will be. The popularity of Apex Legends can’t help matters either.