Apex Legends is one of a few popular battle royales in the competitive gaming scene, but it’s common to see gamers debating if it really deserves a spot with other similar games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. While some people question the success of Apex Legends, the player count doesn’t lie.
Apex Legends is relatively new to the scene. It was suddenly launched in 2019 and immediately skyrocketed up to 50 million players. Since then, player growth has continued upward. So how many people are playing Apex Legends in 2021?
In April 2021, Respawn Entertainment announced a major milestone for their battle royale. There were 100 million active players still dropping into Olympus and World’s Edge. That number has most likely gone up since Season 9 was just dropped, introducing a new legend and a permanent game mode called Arenas.
100 million strong, and we’re just getting started. Thank you, Legends! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FlINru0lx5
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) April 14, 2021
Unlike other free-to-play battle royales, Apex Legends doesn’t seem to have a major issue with cheaters and hackers. While they are still present, developers have done a relatively good job keeping on top of the problem. These anti-cheat efforts have paid off, making it more fun for casual players and providing more competitive integrity to more serious gamers playing ranked. Developers recently announced that their anti-cheat would be further improved in the near future.
Fortnite currently has about 350 million active players. Call of Duty: Warzone has around 100 million active players. While Apex Legends isn’t the most popular battle royale, it’s clearly climbing up the ranks and keeping up with the big-name games in the genre.
While the popularity of a game is often determined by player count alone, that’s not the case these days. Now, games can also be considered successful based on the amount of attention they get on Twitch.
Apex Legends is currently in the top 10 of Twitch categories, most likely thanks to Season 9’s new content. In May 2021, Apex Legends had about 160,000 viewers on the streaming platform. That’s way higher than Call of Duty: Warzone (150,000), Fortnite (121,000), and PUBG (21,000). The viewership might decline once the freshness of Valkyrie and Arenas wears off, but there’s no denying that Apex Legends is a popular game to watch streamers play on Twitch.
When Apex Legends first dropped it had a record high amount of viewership. This is common for games when they make a big splashy debut. While this number decreased in late 2019 and throughout 2020, the battle royale has started to climb in popularity in 2021.
Fortnite, PUBG, and Call of Duty: Warzone have a pretty big following and organized esports scene. But esports fans don’t often hear about Apex Legends tournaments or Apex Legends pros.
Respawn Entertainment announced the Apex Legends Global Series in 2020 in an attempt to create an official esports scene for the battle royale. It featured 12 live events held throughout the world with a prize pool of $3 million. Despite Respawn’s efforts, the game’s esports scene never really took off in the way that some other battle royales have. Many Apex Legends pro players and teams are still relatively unknown.
There are competitive events taking place in 2021. Check out the full Apex Legends Global Series 2021 schedule here.