Why Apex Legends wasn’t the “Fortnite killer” after all

Bill Cooney

When Apex Legends launched in February 2019, a lot of people thought it was the beginning of the end for Epic Games and Fortnite, but new data shows Respawn’s battle royale wasn’t able to keep its early momentum on Twitch.

A few days after release Apex Legends already had more than 2.5 million players, and by the beginning of March that number ballooned to more than 50 million users.

Apex was also dominating Fortnite in viewer numbers on Twitch until the middle of March – since then Fortnite has regained the top spot.

ThinknumApex started out strong, but Fortnite was able to take back the top Twitch spot in the middle of March.

What do the numbers say?

When Apex came out in early February, it seemed like it could be the game to finally dethrone Fortnite from on top of the Twitch most-viewed.

New data from Thinknum shows that that the honeymoon period didn’t last long, however, and Fortnite went back on top on March 19, never to be overtaken by Apex again.

ThinknumWhen it came to concurrent views, Apex barely got ahead of Fortnite.

This drop off also coincides with the end of EA’s multi-million dollar campaign to pay top Twitch streamers to play the game, so when Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins stopped playing Apex, his viewers stopped watching as well.

Apex Legends definitely still has a strong following on Twitch, but it obviously hasn’t become the “Fortnite killer” many thought, or hoped, it would.

ThinknumApex Legends total viewership has seen a steady decline.
Fortnite’s viewers by the hour, on the other hand, have remained fairly consistent.

What’s Apex doing to keep players interested?

One of the biggest complains from Apex Legends players is the lack of content to work towards. In an effort to appease players, Respawn recently revealed details and new cosmetics coming with Apex’s second season.

Respawn also announced a new limited time event called The Legendary hunt, which brings even more new content to King’s Canyon, including the Apex Elite Queue, which allows top 5 players to queue up in a game with other top 5 finishers.

Apex Legends may not be king of Twitch anymore, but it seems like developers are finally listening to players and adding more new content, whether that will be enough though remains to be seen.