- EA subsidiary Respawn Entertainment recently announced and launched its free-to-play Battle Royale title Apex Legends on the same day.
- The title has been received very positively, with concurrent players reaching 1m and the total player base growing to 10m within 72 hours of the release.
- Apex Legends is EA’s response to the massively successful Battle Royale Fortnite, which currently has a 200m player strong user base.
- While it is still early days, the game has been well received by both players and popular video game influencers (ie Twitch streamers such as ‘Ninja’ and ‘Shroud’), which bodes well for the title.
- In my view, the game’s initial success is driven by 1) the decision to deviate from EA’s standard publishing procedure with a surprise launch that has resulted in a lot of excitement among the target demographic and 2) the free-to-play model of the game which lowers the barriers to entry particularly for the younger audiences and 3) the current popularity of the Battle Royale genre paired with the fact that this is a release from a major publisher.
- Regarding its impact on other shooters, specifically Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege, our analysis of Steam player counts over the weekend shows a “normal” level of usage of over the past 7 days (when compared to the previous 3 weeks), which should help to comfort investors. We will continue to monitor this statistic going forward.
- Fortnite is the industry leader with 80mn active users and $3bn+ in revs ! EA had”only” $4.2bn in revenues in 2018.
- Let’s imagine it only gets a 40% of what Fornite achieved: it is still a +35-40% growth in revenues not accounted by analysts in their models !
- The company without taking into account APEX Legends is valued at 22.3x P/E NTM and 5x Sales. It could rerate strongly and go back to its previous high at c.150$.