Apex Legends wasn't just a big hit for EA, it was the biggest free-to-play game launch of all time, according to a new report by market research firm Superdata. The figure isn't official, but comes from Superdata's "proprietary data partnerships" and "point-of-sale and event data from publishers, developers, and payment service providers"—more on that here—through which it extrapolates the monthly spending habits of more than 160 million "unique, paying digital gamers worldwide." ...Magic, got it. (opens in new tab)
The company estimates that Apex Legends pulled in a whopping $92 million in February across all platforms, making it one of the top-ten grossing games for month. Most of the Apex money was made on consoles, not PC, but it wasn't quite enough to push it past Fortnite on either PC or console.
Interestingly, Apex was surpassed on consoles by Anthem, which Superdata thinks earned more than $100 million at launch, despite its many well-publicized problems. That was good enough for third place on the console ranking, but not quite enough to get it into the top ten on PC.
March's figures will probably look different. Anthem hit this figure as a more conventional premium game, and its in-game spending was a relatively paltry $3.5 million across both platforms. Apex is free-to-play, meaning that all its revenues were earned via in-game transactions, and the release of its first Battle Pass this month, underwhelming as it was, will likely push that figure much higher.
The news is less happy for Hearthstone: Superdata said it suffered its biggest year-over-year revenue decline ever in February, falling 52 percent across PC and mobile, because of increased competition and "likely franchise fatigue."