It seems battle royale mega-hit Apex Legends will be coming to mobile platforms. The game is following in the footsteps of PUBG and Fortnite, diving into the hugely profitable mobile gaming market while also making its debut in China.
The news was broken by EA CFO Blake Jorgensen during EA’s 2019 quarterly earning’s call. During the call, he referred to Apex as “easily the fastest-growing franchise [EA has] ever had.” In discussing the company’s plans for the game’s continual growth and future, Jorgensen said that EA is in “advanced negotiations to bring Apex Legends to China and to mobile.” He also promised updates to come.
While discussing the financial forecasts for the game, Jorgensen said they assume “no contributions this year from any future mobile version, or a game in the Chinese market.” It’s not clear whether this means that Apex won’t make it to China and mobile in 2019, or that it’s too soon to talk numbers.
How would it work?
Poorly, I imagine. Apex Legends uses a number of mechanics that PUBG and other battle royales on mobile don’t, like the ping system. Movement in Apex is also a lot more involved and dynamic than those other games’ movement. These elements are baked into its design and cannot be scaled back for mobile. They would have to be fully adapted to maintain Apex‘s signature gameplay. This could prove challenging.
Naturally, players could choose to use a controller, essentially playing regular Apex Legends on a smaller screen. That still leaves the question of how some of the game’s current issues would translate to mobile. After all, cheating is present on mobile platforms too.
Either way, the accessibility of mobile devices alone is enough of a selling point to make the game a success in that market. Many players will be willing to contend with reduced playability and performance to be able to game on the go.
Ironically, despite the technical requirements of the game, they might not be the bigger hurdle. An expansion into the Chinese market could prove more difficult than porting the game to mobile. Notably, PUBG was never able to find footing in the country through conventional means. The same censorship restrictions that stopped it could get in the way of Apex.
It’s too soon to speculate, but news is definitely on the horizon. Apex Legends will be a huge part of EA Play 2019, which takes place between June 7 and 9. Respawn is set to unveil details about the game’s Season 2 and new Battle Pass at the event. Until then, stay tuned to Daily Esports for more news from the world of Apex Legends and competitive gaming!