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Respawn's free-to-play Apex Legends gets off to a healthy start

Given how many big multiplayer games seem to trip over their own shoelaces and tumble over the nearest banister on release day these days (heyyyyy Anthem demo), fair play to Respawn for announcing, releasing and yet not making a muddy pig’s’ ear of Apex Legends all on the same day.

The free-to-play battle royale set in the Titanfall universe – which everyone on the internet has unanimously agreed to henceforth call Tit Royale* – did not shatter into a billion glitchy pieces despite almost instantly becoming the most-watched game on Twitch and racking up a million unique players within eight hours.

In terms of hitting #1 on Twitch last night – with peak viewers of almost half a million at one point – there were some big names involved, mostly notably Shroud and Dr.Disrespect, which meant a guaranteed audience. So it’s too soon to say how big the appetite for another Plunk’n’Fort rival really is just yet.

But Respawn co-boss Vince Zampella was crowing that Tit Royale reached 1 million unique players in less than half a day, which suggests the risky gamble of simultaneous announce and release has at least partially paid off. And hey, maybe even proved that there’s plenty of Titanfall love, despite all the hand-wringing about how the lovely Titanfall 2 wasn’t a smash hit.

Helps that it’s free to download and play, of course – there’s all sorts of loot boxing and microtranscating in there, but a boatload of stuff, including most of the initial heroes, is there from the get-go.

As noted on by Respawn on Reddit, there were a few hiccups on launch night, mostly notably with matchmaking and server-side stability, but we can expect patch notes for the first update at some point today. An infinite loading screen issue has already been fixed.

We’ll be bothering you with some team thoughts on Tit Royale in due course, but in the meantime here’s Nic Reuben with more details on what it is, how it works and how it feels.

I’ve played just a couple of a rounds so far, and knee-jerk reaction is that, despite borrowing pretty much every trope in tropetown from other royale mainstays, it does feel like its own animal. It may not have wallrunning or mechs, but there’s a definitely some Titanfall muscle in there, and not just Titanfall skin.

* This is an Alice O’Connor original, lest you hadn’t guessed

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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