There’s no shortage of good games to play in 2019. If you’re into character actions games, Devil May Cry 5 or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice might strike your fancy. Feeling more cooperative? There’s Anthem and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Want to be scared? How about the Resident Evil 2 remake?
So, why do you just keep playing Apex Legends?
OK, so the answer to that might be clear. Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter from Respawn Entertainment, the minds behind the Titanfall franchise and the talent behind the revolutionary Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2.
If the clout and genre (thanks, Fortnite) don’t hook you on their own, there’s the fact that the game released in a completed state. There’s no early access asterisks or anything here. Apex Legends learned from the success of Fortnite, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and even a bit of Overwatch, while learning from the failure of games like The Culling and Radical Heights.
In a lot of ways, it’s a companion game to what’s come before it, adding a dash of cutting edge game design and a layer of polished gunplay, movement and progression.
Its success continues to stun. The game broke records in the weeks following its release. A month under its belt, Apex Legends topped 50 million players across PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Put simply, Apex Legends is simple. Not in a meta sense, because the game’s many legend characters take skill and training to master, but in a barrier to entry sense.
Because it’s free, it’s not asking a lot of its players. A $60 AAA game like The Division 2 or Anthem demands players' time and money on a regular basis. Tap out for a few weeks? You miss out on public events or limited items, and you feel pressured because of that initial buy-in.
Even single-player-focused games like Devil May Cry 5 or Resident Evil 2 ask their players to get immersed in their worlds, and they’re fantastic in their own right, but when you have to manage a playerbase including everyone from a working class parent to a teenager who just wants to play with their friends, Apex Legends is an easier choice and an easier sell.