Photo by: HyperX
If one is to believe Michael “shroud” Grzesiek’s words, battle royale Apex Legends might soon lose its biggest, most popular streamer. Shroud, who’s been doing the heavy Twitch lifting for Respawn’s game, said during a recent stream that he’s got “about three games left before I quite this game [Apex] forever”. Should added that he’d rather be playing PUBG, a game he believes to be in a really good state at the moment.
Now, shroud’s negativity might be a result of momentary frustration, but one has to worry still about Apex’s popularity on Twitch if it loses its biggest promoter. Shroud has been single-handedly carrying Apex’s numbers on the No. 1 streaming platform and since the start of April, he’s regularly pulled more than 60% of the game’s total average viewership. And if Shroud used to focus almost exclusive on Apex in the game’s early days, his streaming attention recently has also gone to Rainbow Six: Siege, Battlefield V, and Escape From Tarkov.
But why would Shroud want to leave a game that’s already made him a lot of money, including the big check he received from Electronic Arts to promote Apex?
On one hand, Respawn have hardly added anything to the game besides the comestics with the Battle Pass and new legend Octane. Then, there’s his constant running into laggy, “slow motion” servers.
And finally, there’s of course Apex’s waning popularity on Twitch — and getting viewers is how Shroud makes his living.
Although still one of the bigger games on the platform, Apex has been a viewership freefall. Since it’s post-launch peak of 340,000 average players, achieved during the Twitch Rivals event, Apex has been constantly dropping. Between that peak on Feb. 12 and today, the game has lost 91% of its average viewers and 78% of the channels streaming it.
This is a stark contrast to where the game was just one month and some change ago, namely: the undisputed No. 1 on Twitch and making good argument for being Fortnite’s prime opponent for the battle royale market.
Nowadays, Fortnite is back on top, with its esports circuit now also in motion, while Apex Legends fears of losing its poster boy to the competition.
Yet despite all that, Apex Legends will always remain a gaming phenomenon and a proof of concept for a successful marketing campaign. The game shattered player count and revenue records, reaching 50M players in one month and made an approximate $92M in revenue during its launch month alone — more than any other free to play game in history.