Respawn Entertainment's name alone is enough to start a hype train among first-person shooter fans, but when you add a Titanfall-inspired battle royale that is Apex Legends, you get one million players in the first eight hours after launch.
Depending on the time zone, you could have gone to your workplace just as the Apex Legends reveal stream was kicking off. By the time you got back from work, Apex Legends already managed to breach the milestone that is one million unique players.
Apex Legends launched at around 12:00 PST / 20:00 GMT and Vince Zampella announced that over one million unique players logged in the game at 19:54 PST / 03:54 GMT. That is six minutes short of eight hours, which explains some of the crashes players experienced early on. Still, Apex Legends proved to be stable for the most part, unlike BioWare's upcoming looter shooter Anthem with its demos.
Considering that the game essentially had no marketing campaign, with the only advertising being the supposed leak by influencers who started murmuring about it on Saturday, 02 February 2019. Zampella later announced the reveal stream for Monday, 04 February 2019 and that was almost it.
Twitch also served as an advertising platform as major streamers such as DrDisrespect, Shroud, LIRIK and others partnered up with EA and Respawn, which caused them to play Apex Legends at launch. Unsurprisingly, the game quickly overtook Twitch's most streamed games such as Fortnite and League of Legends.
Normally, a new free to play game sheds players and viewers alike at a blinding speed, but Apex Legends might just keep them as it grabbed the best elements of several major titles like Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch, resulting in a game that may just ruin player counts of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Battlefield V, Overwatch and PUBG.
Apex Legends is free to play, so there is no entry barrier which is also one of the main selling points for Fortnite, but it looks like no other battle royale picked up on the cue before.