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Apex Legends hits player count peak with deathmatch mode

Apex Legends' new season is bringing all the players to the arena.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Season art for Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends.

Apex Legends' newest season has resulted in a new peak high for its Steam player count. According SteamDB, the battle royale shooter recently hit over 610,000 players after the release of season 16, "Revelry." 

"Revelry" is the first Apex season that hasn't had a new playable Legend attached to it. But it does have new modes the player base have been asking for, and its new team deathmatch mode has caught players' attention. 

The new player count eclipses the 510,000 player high that Apex Legends previously hit in August 2022. When season 15 launched in November that year, it had nearly 413,000 Steam players before falling to around 350,000 the following month.

Prior to the launch of the "Revelry" season, Respawn's game mode designer Marty Wong told Kotaku that team deathmatch (or TDM) was intended to serve as a better onboard for new players compared to the now axed Arenas mode. 

"We’ve been hearing the community ask for this one for a while," said Wong. "We’re hoping that TDM comes in and provides a place for players to die fast and feel comfortable making mistakes, hoping that gives Apex a lot more accessibility for new players.”

What's in the future for Apex Legends?

Since it first launched in 2019, it seemed that Apex Legends was basically untouchable, but the last several weeks have since called that belief into question. 

At the start of February, EA announced the cancellation of Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile. EA claimed that the award-winning mobile version of Respawn's shooter wasn't engaging users in the long-term, though it acknowledged that the game "speaks volumes for the future potential of the franchise." 

Along with the mobile game, EA also canceled a single-player spinoff that went under codename Titanfall Legends. The game was intended to serve as a narrative bridge between Apex and its mothership series Titanfall (they're set in the same universe), and had 50 staffers working on it before its cancellation. 

Though there's surely more Apex seasons waiting in the wings, the cancellation of its mobile game and a single player title raises questions about just how much EA is willing to let whatever future potential Apex has as a franchise grow beyond battle royale. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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