Apex Legends quickly broke into the industry and for several weeks kept the leadership in the genre of battle royales. Now the game is gradually losing its audience — developers do not have time to fulfill the wishes of users, who find more and more reasons to return to Fortnite or PUBG.
When Apex Legends first came out two months ago we called it “possibly the best battle royale game around.” And we stand by that today — it’s polished, nicely optimized and simply well done. It fixed many of the problems that other battle royale games faced for years.
But it took less than a month for the bubble to burst and once the hype died down, the game’s faults became clear as day. It became yet another, highly repetitive game, with a painfully toxic community, constant server lag and occasional crashes. Not to mention its almost predatory monetization model.
The viewership on Twitch collapsed, the player base shrank. But unlike many will claim, the game isn’t “dead”, it’s not even “dying”. It is, however, in trouble. In trouble of becoming irrelevant.
And so we take a look at what Respawn Entertainment should do, to prevent Apex Legends from getting lost in the backyard of Twitch.
Rating system and statistics
The current system of progress in Apex Legends is tied only to the profile level, which does not give any information about the player’s skills — here the number of matches is higher than the results. Moreover, this approach is absolutely doesn’t motivate to return to the battlefield. The situation was slightly corrected with a battle pass, but there are many questions to it.
Apex Legends strongly lacks a rating system or at least full-fledged success statistics. Users want to see at what level they play and how the hours spent in battle turn into high ranks. It is especially pleasant to reach new heights if they are given cosmetic bonuses for them at least once a year, and maybe even invitations to tournaments.
The problem is that creating an adequate rating system in the genre is not an easy task. If players do not lose ranks, then this will not be much better than what already exists in Apex Legends. At the same time, it will be difficult to apply the ELO or MMR system here, thus many questions arise. Should I award points only to the winner or the top 30? Top 10? How should the number of kills affect the rating? How many points will lose the one who died first?
Respawn Entertainment has already made a battle pass as a place holder, just another line for players to look at until they get to the next rank. PUBG is still being scolded for its rating system, while Fortnite, whose developers have not thought about such things, is doing great. Now Apex Legends need any innovations, whether it’s ranks, events or modes.
Interest in Apex Legends went into decline because gamers and streamers tried everything they could in the game. Two months after the release of the game, it did not get any new modes — there is only a squad game. Users need to be allowed to compete at least alone or in pairs, and not simply because Apex Legends has the most toxic community in all battle royale games.
In the thematic branch of reddit, complaints constantly appear on players who leave the match as soon as they are knocked out — they do not want to wait for teammates and continue the fight. Or they leave if they couldn’t get their favorite legend. Or they didn’t like the drop.
On the other hand, there are those who are desperately trying to lead the team to victory, but stumble upon the total unwillingness of their allies to work together. Situations like these, make players yearn for a solo mode.
Of course, most of this will not be enough, so Respawn Entertainment will have to do as much work as Epic Games did, if they want to catch up. In Fortnite, new modes and different events are common, but each of them turns into a real celebration for fans. Of course, one cannot expect a parade of events two months after the release, but a couple of interesting formats or at least PvE tests would have already refreshed Apex Legends. In the meantime, it’s hard not to agree with DrDisRespect, who already admitted being bored with the game.
Respawn Entertainment has not yet announced anything concrete, but data miners have already unearthed a few lines about new formats in the game’s code. For example, they found the mention of Survival Games, which can be either a PvE test or a variation of a single mode. The network also had rumors about the night version of the map and the “happy hours” with a higher drop of containers — the main thing is that all this should not be removed from the game, as it happened with information about single and double formats.
New maps, heroes and weapons
Players always ask for more content: in the genre, this primarily comes down to new maps, weapons, and in the case of Apex Legends — also heroes. As the experience of PUBG has shown, such innovations themselves might have little effect on the player base size in the long run, but without them, stagnation will begin.
In this regard, Respawn Entertainment is moving in the right direction. Two months after the release, the new hero Octane and the Havoc rifle have already appeared in the game. Havoc, for instance, while a step in the right direction came off underwhelming and it quickly was forgotten by many. The gun, after all, felt like another variation of its sister gun Devotion.
Another problem is that adding content should be accompanied by larger events, and so far nothing has been heard about that. Both new hero and a battle pass just sort of “appeared” in a new patch and unless you were following the upcoming updates on social media or reddit, you may as well have missed it altogether.
The first battle pass in Apex Legends definitely failed: the studio was unable to motivate the audience to pay and play for the sake of a set of dubious awards. It’s good that Respawn quickly realized their mistake and promised to add more interesting innovations next time. It is quite possible that with the next combat pass, not only one character will appear in Apex Legends, but also a new map or even a mode. But you have to wait until mid-June — an eternity in a fast moving world of (battle royale) games.
One can only hope that most of the rumors will be true and the developers will begin to fill the game with content in the near future. There are already hints in the Apex Legends files for the map selection function, the mention of transport and a lot of information about the characters. All this is necessary for players right now.
From the release itself, the main problem of Apex Legends was crashes, which even the developers could not explain. Apparently, it is precisely because of this that the studio did not allow itself to concentrate on the content — what’s the point of introducing more modes if no one can play them normally? For the same reason, problems with connection stability, the function of reconnection and viewing matches of friends have faded into the background. And they need no less than the new modes.
Only on March 28, Respawn reported that it was 90% better, which can already be considered a victory, given the scale of the problem. Stabilization of gameplay is now on the agenda: working with hitboxes, servers and fighting cheaters. On this front, everything is not so good.
Respawn definitely does not close its eyes on dishonest players, but in the free Apex Legends it’s not so easy to fight them. By March 21, the studio has blocked more than 500 thousand cheaters, which is not so much compared to the number of registered players, which exceeds 50 million — the creators of prohibited programs still earn good money. It is good that the developers at least decided to block not only accounts but also hardware.
Will Apex Legends fade off?
Despite all the problems and unrealized opportunities in Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment should be given its due: the developers didn’t relax after the extremely successful release and started talking to game fans and fixing critical bugs. In just two months, the studio almost completely figured out the crashes, released a new hero and some kind of battle pass.
Now that the main problems have been left behind, Respawn will surely take care of the content that Apex Legends is so lacking. The game still has chances to win over or at least battle Fortnite in the war for the audience. And the game may have lost its audience on Twitch, but whether it will keep the trust of its players we will see in the next six months.
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