FORTNITE RI­VAL HAS 10M GAMERS IN 3 DAYS

The Asian Age - - Technomics -

Bengaluru, Feb. 10: A game de­vel­oped by Elec­tron­ics Arts Inc as a com­peti­tor to the wildly pop­u­lar “Fortnite” has signed up 10 mil­lion play­ers within three days of its launch, the videogame maker said, driv­ing its shares up 16 per­cent on Fri­day.

With “Apex Leg­ends,” EA is hop­ing to re­pro­duce the suc­cess of “Fortnite,” a sort of hy­brid of “The Hunger Games” and “Minecraft” that drops 100 people onto an is­land to fight each other for sur­vival.

The num­ber of gamers play­ing “Apex Leg­ends” had crossed 10 mil­lion and there were about 1 mil­lion gamers logged on at the same time, EA said late on Thurs­day. As of Fri­day, the game was the most viewed on gam­ing livestream­ing net­work Twitch.

The fig­ures come just days af­ter EA low­ered its yearly rev­enue pro­jec­tions fol­low­ing weak sales of its “Bat­tle­field V” ti­tle, news that had sent its stock plung­ing 18 per­cent.

EA owns iconic gam­ing fran­chises such as “FIFA,” “Need for Speed” and “Bat­tle­field,” but the rapid rise last year of free- to- play on­line games like “Fortnite” and “PUBG” are forc­ing the com­pany and its in­dus­try peers Ac­tivi­sionBl­iz­zard and Take- Two to sit up and take no­tice.

“Fortnite” and “PUBG,” each backed by Chi­nese in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent, are cred­ited with help­ing take gam­ing to new au­di­ences and pop­u­lar­iz­ing the battle royale for­mat, where dozens of on­line play­ers battle each other to the death.

A said on Tues­day its de­ci­sion not to re­lease a battle royale ver­sion of “Bat­tle­field V” was one rea­son why it sold some one mil­lion fewer units than ex­pected in the fi­nal quar­ter of 2018.

Videogame re­view web­site Eurogamer said it had taken Fortnite about two weeks to hit the 10- mil­lion- player mark.

Wall Street an­a­lysts cov­er­ing EA were op­ti­mistic about “Apex Leg­ends” but said it was too early to tell if it could be­come the next “Fortnite.”

“It’s an im­pres­sive num­ber and a great start to a new cor­ner­stone prop­erty for EA — some­thing the com­pany needs fol­low­ing a string of mis­steps with its non- sports fran­chises,” said Op­pen­heimer & Co an­a­lyst An­drew Uerk­witz.

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