Apex Legends Mobile is shutting down on May 1, 2023

by Danny Craig  · 
Apex Legends Mobile is shutting down on May 1, 2023
Electronic Arts

Respawn has announced that the mobile version of its highly successful battle royale is officially shutting down just one year after launch.

The details:

  • Apex Mobile was released to the public in May 2022 to positive reviews from both fans and critics, with the game appearing to do a good job of translating the high-speed gameplay of its PC and console counterparts. Within two months of its release, the game had over 26 million downloads on Android and iOS, with in-app purchases bringing in more than $20 million for EA.
  • Respawn announced in a development update on January 31 that the services for Apex Legends Mobile would be shut down after the content pipeline had begun to "fall short" of the studio's bar for "quality, quantity, and cadence." It will begin a 90-day sunsetting period immediately, starting with the removal of the game from storefronts and the disabling of in-app purchases. Many people were surprised by the decision, which came shortly after the game received game of the year awards from Apple and Google's app stores earlier this month.
  • Respawn appears to have not ruled out a future return to mobile, stating, "Respawn and the Apex Legends team remain excited about mobile as a platform and look forward to new opportunities to serve players there in the future." It's unlikely that we'll see anything soon, given that a mobile version of its most successful property was shut down just a year after it debuted.
  • Those who purchased content will be able to use their existing cosmetics and in-game currency to purchase items within the 90-day window, though Respawn has explicitly stated in the blog post that EA will not provide refunds to players. However, Respawn directed players to App Store and Google Play support if they wished to try to get their money back.

Why did it fail?

  • Despite earning $20 million in its first two weeks, Apex Mobile only earned an estimated $40 million over the course of a year, while other notable mobile FPS titles such as Call of Duty Mobile earn upwards of $30 million per month.
  • The game also had a significant number of exploits and bugs that caused problems for a large number of players, with patches taking too long to release and some reintroducing previously fixed issues. This was worsened by a lack of communication between players and developers, with many fans taking to social media for prolonged periods of time to try to get a response from the team regarding bug fixes.
  • With disappointing numbers throughout its short life, the game would’ve likely suffered from further drops in player count and revenue with the upcoming release of battle royale rival Warzone Mobile. Looking at Reddit numbers alone, r/WarzoneMobile already has more members than the Apex Legends Mobile subreddit, and the game has yet to release.

Interested in working at Respawn? You can find all available listings at the studio here.

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