Some investors are wondering whether Apex Legends's surprise launch might cannibalize Battlefield 5's upcoming battle royale mode, Firestorm. But EA's CEO Andrew Wilson doesn't seem too concerned with releasing two battle royale games so close to one another.
"We think that [Apex Legends and Firestorm], while they sit inside the battle royale kind of genre, are two very different types of experiences," Wilson said to investors during a recent financial briefing. "What we have seen is the community who want to play these types of games, it's hundreds of millions of people strong."
Apex Legends was surprise released earlier this week (though leaks snuck out the weekend before). Despite not having any proper press buildup or early announcement, Apex Legends managed to hit 10 million players in just 72 hours, and 1 million concurrent players. It took Fortnite and PUBG weeks before hitting those numbers.
Given Apex Legends' success it's not unreasonable to believe Battlefield 5's battle royale–which is coming soon in March—might have had its thunder stolen. Especially since EA admitted Battlefield 5's sales were below expectations. But Wilson says Firestorm offers a different style of play than Apex Legends and could attract its own community of players.
Wilson says compared to Apex Legends' fast play, Firestorm is more strategic and includes vehicles. "[At] some level, there may also be some crossover," admits Wilson. "But given the size of the community, given the very different types of game play even inside the battle royale genre, we believe those two modes can fit very well together in the community."
EA stock rebounded on the success of Apex Legends. Respawn is also working on a Star Wars title called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as another Titanfall project (that's not Titanfall 3). Check out our Apex Legends FAQ and Battlefield 5 guide for our full coverage, including everything we know about both battle royale games.