Update 2: Here's how to download Apex Legends on Xbox, PS4, and PC.
A free-to-play "Titanfall Hero Battle Royale" will be announced and released Monday according to multiple leaks and insider reports. A new Titanfall game, but not Titanfall 3, was in development as was revealed in December when we discovered developer Respawn Entertainment was hiring for such a game, and now we know what it is.
Titled Apex Legends, the new Titanfall game is a battle royale that will feature three-player squads but, weirdly, no actual Titans (the large, playable mechs the series takes its name from). Instead it seems EA is focusing on the high-speed, kinetic infantry gameplay of Titanfall which is inspired from the developer's roots in Call of Duty (they were initially formed from Infinity Ward devs).
The news first comes from YouTube channel TheQuartering and was quickly confirmed by reports from esports insider Rod Breslau and Kotaku's Jason Schreier. We had also heard from our owns sources about influencers (Shroud and Dr. Disrespect are named) playing a new shooter at EA recently but didn't have concrete info on the quick release date. This certainly explains why the pair was streaming Titanfall 2 recently...
Update: Electronic Arts has filed for a "Project Apex" trademark under "Computer game software; Video game software; Downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices."
Titanfall: Apex Legends Game Features and Player Counts
Here's what's know about Apex Legends so far:
- Platforms: PC, PS4, and Xbox One
- 60 players total
- 3-player squads
- No Titans
- In-game currency and real-money microtransactions for cosmetics
A new Titanfall game isn't at all surprising given that in 2018 Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed to sharedholders that Respawn, their latest developer acquisition, had two teams working on two different projects. One is this, Apex Legends, and the other is the mysterious Star Wars game Jedi Fallen Order which is slated for release later this year. What is surprising however, is the timing of Apex's release.
Is EA Cannibalizing Itself Again With The Titanfall Franchise?
EA doesn't have an answer yet to the runaway success of the battle royale genre, lead by PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. And their chief competition in Activision's Call of Duty franchise found success with Black Ops 4's Blackout battle royale mode after developer Treyarch scrapped the game's planned single-player story campaign for the battle royale mode late in development. It totally worked.
EA had Battlefield V releasing alongside Black Ops 4 but the publisher rushed developer DICE into releasing the game just two years after Battlefield 1, meaning it launched with much of its content missing, including the game's co-op mode and Firestorm battle royale mode. Worse yet, Firestorm will only support 64 players, quite a bit under the magic battle royale player count number of 100. As we know now, Apex Legends will support even less players.
By releasing Apex Legends on Monday, EA is risking this battle royale game cannibalizing the upcoming Firestorm mode for BFV which is slated for release this spring. Of course, these are two very different types of shooters, one set in the past, and one hyper-futuristic with verticality and wall-running in mind. The other interesting observation here is that EA's big bet and new IP, Anthem, releases in just two weeks. Anthem is a futuristic online-only game, so Apex Legends could bite into that as well.
This situation is very reminiscent of 2016 when EA awkwardly positioned Titanfall 2 to release beside Battlefield 1, just one week apart, preventing it from standing out. Its hype fizzled out almost immediately.
Will Apex Legends hurt Battlefield V or Anthem, and can EA support healthy communities for two entirely separate battle royales split across three platforms each?
Share your thoughts in the comments and stick around for more updates.
Apex Legends reportedly releases February 4, 2019 for free on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.