Photo by: DreamHack
There’s no denying Apex Legends has been a huge success for Respawn and EA. With its new takes on the battle royale genre, Apex Legends has soared to become a modern phenomenon and has been breaking records almost every week since it released.
Here’s a quick timeline of Apex’s booming success. The game launched to almost 1M peak viewers on Twitch and three days later, it had 10M players registered. One week after released, the number was up to 25M while it continued to be the most watched game on Twitch, breaking Fortnite’s hours-watched-in-a-day record: 8.28M hours during the Twitch Rivals tournament.
Exactly one month in, Apex Legends hit 50M players, breaking another one of Fortnite’s records. Yes, the cheater problem plagued it, but every game fortunate enough to boast such player base would suffer from it.
Twitch viewership decline
While Apex Legends grew players-wise, however, it started losing Twitch’s viewership interest. Earlier this month, Fortnite re-took the #1 position on the platform and is now gearing to enter World Cup season come April. Apex, meanwhile, continued to decline.
Since Feb. 12, Apex’s viewership peak, Respawn’s battle royale has lost more than 72% of its Twitch viewership. What’s more, fewer and fewer channels are streaming the game. On Mar. 1, around 6,400 channels were broadcasting Apex. A week later, the data shows approximately 5,500.
Carried by a few
Going deeper into these statistics shows that the majority of Apex Legends’ viewership is drawn by a handful of streamers. Michael “shroud” Grzesiek remains the single most popular streamer of the game and carries most of its weight to this day. In March, Shroud has been bringing anywhere between 30% and 58% of Apex Legends average viewership.
Herschel “DrDirespect” Beahm comes as not-so-close second but still pulling in massive numbers. When both streamers broadcast on the same day, they easily pull more than half of Apex’s average viewership. On Mar. 6 for example, the two had a combined average viewership of 75,165 — or 73.5% of average for the entire game on Twitch.
This leaves one major worry for Apex’s popularity on Twitch: what happens when the “whales” leave for another game. While Respawn’s product is not lacking active players to say the least, a strong Twitch viewership is only beneficial, especially in a crowded battle royale market.
Good things lie ahead
As it so often happens with statistics, the numbers come with asterisks. And one plausible explanation for the decline is the relative stagnation that Apex is experiencing. Which should only make Respawn feel good, because their major updates haven’t even dropped yet.
According to DailyEsports sources, the Apex Legends will get its first Battle Pass on Marc. 12, which is this Tuesday. The Pass is expected to bring a heap of new and cool cosmetics, which could lead to an increase in interest.
What’s more, leaks suggest that the game will get a night mode and something called “community happy hour”, on top of new weapons and vehicles. And then there are the new characters like Octane, expected to launch sometime during Season 2, around June.
In conclusion, while many are losing interest in watching Apex Legends broadcasts, the game is still going strong players-wise, which is what Respawn and EA should care most about at this point. When and if the developers also decide to dip their toe in the esports water, then the race between Apex and Fortnite will become really interesting.