Saying that Fortnite took the gaming industry by storm in 2018 is an understatement. That’s like saying that Fyre Festival was a minor inconvenience for festivalgoers or that Bitcoin was just ‘aight’ in 2017. The reality is that Fortnite not only obliterated expectations; it obliterated the competition and what passes for quality multiplayer battle royale games now and in the future. Then, just as Fortnite had spent nearly a year riding high on a cloud of teenage angst and massive profits, their EDM background music seemed to slow down once Apex Legends took the industry by storm. Let’s explore how much of a dent Apex Legends has had on Fortnite’s profits (if at all), if it has the potential to sustainably stand a chance against Fortnite, and its effect on the porn industry.
Has Apex Legends Put A Dent in Fortnite’s Profits?
If you’re going to match up Respawn’s Apex Legends with Epic Games’ Fortnite just on numbers alone, you’re probably going to get a headache (unless you’re one of those people who actually enjoys a good math equation…gross). Apex Legends got 50 million players to join the game in its first month, helping it have a huge impact on the battle royale scene. Even though a ton of people have checked it out, Fortnite has still managed to post record player numbers.
Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney told GamesBeat shortly after its launch that Apex Legends hasn’t really made a dent at all in their growth projections:
“We’re very close to hitting 250 million Fortnite players,” said Sweeney. “Since Apex Legends came out, we’ve gained an Apex Legends worth of Fortnite players, which is amazing.”
Ouch. Then again, it only took seven days for Apex to hit 25 million users (it took Fortnite 41 days), and one month to hit 50 million users (it took Fortnite more than four months). So, yea.
The Verdict: Apex Legends or Fortnite
Apex Legends and Fortnite are both serve very different audiences. Whether Epic Games wants to admit it or not, their marketing is geared towards teenagers and young adults. This is apparent based on the characters that perform dances taken from artists that their young audience frequently references. What gamers might not know is that, although the character dances add to the entertainment value of the game, they’re not what you would call ‘legal.’ Case in point, Backpack Kid is suing Epic for stealing his Flossin’ Dance and using it in Fortnite without his permission. Backpack Kid (who’s real name is Russell Horning) joins actor Alfonso Ribeiro and rapper 2 Milly in suing the developer for the same infractions.
If you can look past this type of unethicality and purely focus on the entertainment value of the game, Fortnite has definitely been in a class of its own. Now that Apex Legends has entered the arena, it has been able to level the playing field for gamers. If you put both games side by side, they’re basically identical in their foundational user interface (UI). It’s the slight tweaks in their gameplay features that allow each game to differentiate itself from the other. For instance, both games are free and use a battle royale formula where players compete against a ton of competitors to win the match. The differences lie in the gamer perspective (Fortnite is played in first-person while Fortnite is played in third-person) and the size of your squad (you can go it alone or squad up in Fortnite, but must be a part of a team of three in Apex Legends). Both have loot crates and both have shrinking safe zones that dwindle as the match winds down.
Hot for Apex Legends
What it comes down to for gamers is the appeal of the stylistic details and nuances of the gameplay and if porn traffic is any determination of what gamers are interested in, it’s easy to draw the parallel that they’re horny for more Apex Legends. Even though Pornhub revealed in their 2018 Year in Review report that Fortnite averaged roughly 151,000 search queries per day for Fortnite-related porn for the entire year. By comparison, Apex Legends is averaging around 100,000 searches per day on Pornhub. Not too shabby for a platform that receives upwards of 100 million visitors a day. But just because Apex Legends has been averaging less searches than Fortnite averaged last year doesn’t mean that it’s second rate. Pornhub even found that roughly two weeks following the game’s launch, Apex Legends surpassed Fortnite, peaking at 357,701 searches on February 18. EA’s statisticians even recorded a total of 2.27 million searches for EA’s game in the 22 days since it first launched.
Overall, there’s really no litmus test for gauging public opinion on these two games, but if you look at the latest Google Interest Trends for both search terms, you’ll find that Fortnite is still flossin’ like a MOFO compared to Apex Legends. But Apex Legends is still young and has time to grow in whatever direction they want. What will set them apart from Fortnite is how they can take gamer feedback and spit out new seasons that are packed with new and interesting features. Respawn already copied the success of Fortnite’s battle royale for Apex Legends — now they have to choose whether they’ll continue to listen to their community like Epic Games is known for excelling at or shift gears into neutral and become another version of The Culling 2. Only time will tell if Respawn and EA can build something as sticky as Fortnite, but no matter what happens, the clear winner in this epic competition will definitely be the gamer.