Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends was only popular because Electronic Arts paid streamers like Ninja $1 million to stream the game to his 12 million followers on Twitch, while other popular streamers like Shroud, who has almost 6 million Twitch followers, was also paid an undisclosed amount to promote the game on launch day.
The figures come courtesy of Reuters, who broke the story on March 13th, 2019.
Kevin Knocke, a vice president at esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal, told Reuters…
“They did a fairly comprehensive job at pulling together all of the relevant game influencers in this genre. This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports,”
Basically, it was the money that EA paid out of pocket to promote the free-to-play Battle Royale game, Apex Legends, that allowed it to become so big so quickly.
There was nothing organic or original about the game since the characters aren’t cool (and were only later defined by their LGBTQ status that no normal gamer cared about), the graphics aren’t original, and the design is basically a hero shooter propped on to top of a Battle Royale gimmick.
But given that EA was paying the top gaming influencers to play the game, it forced the game to trend, and allowed them to rack up 10 million registered users on the first day of the game going live.
However that was all part of EA’s plan.
Respawn Entertainment executive producer, Drew McCoy, explained that the goal was to create a marketing bubble that no one could escape from, so that for the entire day gamers would be inundated with some form of Apex Legends, whether it was trending on Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, saying…
“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex if you cared about games and we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day. We had streamers from all over Europe, LatAm, North America, Korea, Japan so that we could get our message out there and people would see the game,”
Simply put, Electronic Arts socially engineered a marketing campaign within the gaming community itself to ensure that everyone knew and was talking about Apex Legends.
This is precisely why I don’t play agitprop trash like that.
Anyway, Apex Legends has gone on to garner 50 million registered users. However, as pointed out by Forbes, it isn’t really killing Fortnite the way some journalists have been claiming.
While EA may have paid to put the very woke Apex Legends in the laps of gamers’ consciousness, it actually requires more than social engineering machinations to keep people playing, and unless they offer more than just a “diverse” cast of characters that only appeal to blue checkmarks on Twitter, they’ll have another dead game on their hands that was little more than a flash in the pan.
(Thanks for the news tip Brian Lichner)