Picture this: you’ve been anticipating a game for months, and just a little after it finally gets released, you wake up to see that developers are shutting it down. That is what recently happened with the mobile version of Apex Legends, one of the biggest battle royale games out there.
On social media, Respawn Entertainment shared the sad news of shutting down—or, as they put it, “sunsetting” Apex Legends Mobile. This means that the game will no longer be playable on mobile devices from May 1, 2023. It was pulled from all available storefronts as soon as the announcement went live, and all in-app purchases were ceased as well.
The news came as a shock for a lot of players, especially those who regard Apex Legends as the best battle royale game on mobile. And while there are various reasons behind that decision, EA CEO Andrew Wilson shared some key factors during an earnings call, when discussing the company’s financials.
“There is a level of immersion and complexity to Apex gameplay in particular, which is very much what Apex is about—verticality of gameplay and team-based play—, that didn’t translate quite as well to mobile devices as we had hoped,” said Wilson.
“The game didn’t retain the more casual user at the rate that we needed it to, and in a game that relies a lot on team play and competitive play, liquidity of the overall player base is really, really important as you think about the future experience for players over time.”
He added that “the biggest new launches that are seeing the most success are the ones that are deeply connected to the broader franchise,” meaning those “where there’s not always crossplay, but certainly cross-progression and the feeling that they’re part of a single unified community and a single unified game experience.”
EA’s Battlefield Mobile is also not moving forward
It seems Apex Legends Mobile is not the only game that the company has shut down. EA has also discontinued work on its upcoming Battlefield Mobile game, which really isn’t a surprise, as the previous beta looked terrible and was nowhere ready to compete with the likes of Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG Mobile.
The company’s decision to axe two games on mobile for not being as successful as they hoped raises questions. Particularly, why a behemoth video game publisher like EA, with such popularity and resources, is unable to make some of its biggest and most successful IPs from consoles and PC repeat those feats on mobile as well.
Related | Top 10 console and PC games coming to mobile in 2023
Some players will also wonder why Apex Legends Mobile was released without cross-progression or crossplay, two critical features that have allowed games like Fortnite to become multi-platform hits. EA does not lack resources or even a blueprint, but the company seems to lack planning and understanding of the mobile ecosystem.
There’s surely going to be further analysis of why Apex Legends Mobile had to go down less than a year of its launch, because, despite all their reasons for shutting it down, the game was quite a hit on mobile. Some have also speculated that the decision might be an intent to break with Tencent-owned, PUBG developers Lightspeed and Quantum Studios, who helped developed Apex Legends Mobile. If that is the case, the game may return to mobile in the future with better integration to the PC and console version.
Ultimately, a lot of players will also agree that EA does not prioritize the mobile platform nearly enough. And despite FIFA 14 being one of the best (if not the best) mobile games to come from EA to date, this continued streak of flawed releases started as far back as FIFA 16 Mobile.
We are hiring game guide writers!
Touch, Tap, Play is looking for experienced writers to produce guides for popular mobile and Nintendo Switch titles. If mobile gaming is your passion and you want to get paid to create guides, you’re in the right place. Check out our job ad today!