It’s been quite a busy week for Apex Legends in terms of news, as not only did we get Season 8 yesterday, but EA also announced that the Nintendo Switch version will be out this March 9! If that wasn’t enough, EA touted how strong Apex Legends has been for the publisher, and how much it grew its playerbase.
During EA’s quarterly earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson announced that Apex Legends saw an impressive 30% growth in new players year-over-year.
We are at the two-year anniversary of the launch of Apex Legends. And with 30% growth in new players year-over-year, its success is accelerating. The unique seasons of live service content delivered by our talented Respawn team are expanding the Apex audience, bringing in more players with great storytelling and engaging in-game events. Competitive play in Apex Legends is also reaching and entertaining more viewers with recent events in November driving new viewership and watch time records. – Andrew Wilson, EA CEO
During the Q&A portion, EA CFO and COO Blake Jorgensen revealed that Apex Legends mobile will see its “soft” launch in about 3-4 months’ time, and confirmed that Japan is the game’s second biggest audience, which is why the publisher pushed for a Nintendo Switch version (since the console is very big in Japan).
Mario Lu (Barclays): Great. Thanks for taking the questions. I have one on Apex and one on FIFA Mobile. So the first one, Apex, very excited for the Nintendo Switch version coming out in March. So with close to 80 million Switches sold worldwide and the fact that Japan is the game’s No. 2 market, can you help us frame the Switch opportunity to the franchise reaching $1 billion in annual bookings versus growth coming from organic and mobile?
Blake Jorgensen (EA CFO):
o on Apex, clearly, as you said, Japan is the second-largest market for Apex, which is very exciting for us. And we know that it’s one of the largest markets for the Nintendo Switch.
And that’s the reason we decided to put it out on Nintendo Switch. But we also know that Nintendo Switch is a global business, not just a Japanese business. We think the combination of Nintendo Switch, Apex plus mobile Apex will be very powerful. We believe mobile Apex will be in soft launch sometime in the next three to four months and hopefully gets into the marketplace quickly.
Obviously, it will take longer to get into the market in China because of some of the regulatory issues. But in the rest of the world, we don’t see those issues happening. But we also want to make sure it is the exact product that we want. I think the team is very dedicated to making sure the product is the perfect product for a global market.
Given how big the Nintendo Switch in Japan (and in the entire world is), and the fact that Apex Legends is a free-to-play game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see if EA reports that the jump for Apex Legends’ playerbase is higher than 30% for the next year.