Apex Legends Could Come Back To Mobile If It's Unified With Main Game, EA CEO Suggests
The EA boss also explained the reasoning behind Battlefield Mobile's cancellation.
After the announcement that Apex Legends Mobile will be taken offline in 90 days, fans are clamoring for answers. Respawn tweeted the brief announcement yesterday afternoon, accompanied by a link to a Q&A page on EA's website. But fans are still looking for answers. Thankfully, the entirety of EA's Q3 earnings call was transcribed by The Motley Fool, and provides a bit more insight into the fate of Apex Legends Mobile--including a suggestion that this may not be the last players see of the Apex Legends franchise in the mobile gaming sphere.
On the call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson gave investors three reasons why the publisher decided to shut Apex Mobile down. Wilson stated that Apex Legends Mobile "was a really good game built by really good teams" and acknowledged that "it won Game of the Year on both Apple and Android devices, which is an extraordinary achievement given the amount of games that are made."
But Wilson then went on to list three reasons behind Apex Mobile's impending shutdown. The first reason was the mobile game's apparent failure to create an environment that encouraged cooperation among squad members.
"There is a level of immersion and complexity to Apex gameplay in particular, which is very much about what Apex is about, verticality of gameplay and team-based play, that didn't translate quite as well to mobile devices as we had hoped," Wilson explained.
The second reason given for the mobile game's demise appeared to be issues with player retention.
"The game wallet really engaged the core deeply, and it actually attracted a lot of new users, which we think speaks volumes for the future success potential of the franchise," said Wilson. "It didn't retain the more casual user at the rate that we needed it to. And in a game that relies a lot on team play and competitive play, liquidity of the overall player base is really, really important."
According to Wilson, a "challenging" mobile market was the final nail in the deathbox for Apex Legends Mobile.
"...as we look at the mobile market, the biggest new launches that are seeing the most success are the ones that are deeply connected to the broader franchise where there's not always cross-play, but there's certainly cross-progression and a feeling that they're part of a single unified community and a single unified game experience," Wilson said.
This could be a reference to the game's mobile-exclusive legends like Fade and Rhapsody. Respawn previously declared that Apex Legends Mobile lore is canon, so Fade and Rhapsody's absence from the console and PC version of the game left some players scratching their heads, wondering how mobile characters could share the same dropship as the PC and console characters, without the mobile-exclusive legends ever being mentioned outside the mobile game.
But the last part of Wilson's statement regarding a "single unified game experience" seemed to suggest that although Apex Legends Mobile is gone for good, this may not be the last players see Apex in the mobile gaming realm.
"And so, as we think about that [unified game experience] for the future, that will be very, very important as we reimagine Apex Mobile," Wilson concluded.
While discussing what a reimagined Apex Mobile might look like, Wilson referenced Battlefield Mobile, which was also canceled yesterday, months before it was scheduled to officially launch in all regions.
"We've learned a great deal and have plans to reimagine a connected Apex Mobile experience in the future," Wilson told investors. "It is through these learnings, combined with a clear franchise strategy, that we've also made the decision to stop the development of the current Battlefield mobile title. We know our community values a deeply connected ecosystem, and our team is focused on delivering the best unified cross-platform experience for our players. Everything we do is designed to inspire the world to play."
Wilson stated that Battlefield Mobile was also likely to "run into some of the same challenges [as Apex Legends Mobile]."
It's not entirely clear what Wilson means regarding cross-progression and cross-platform experiences, but it could be a good sign for players who prefer the console and PC Version of Apex, where a lack of cross-platform progression has been a major complaint from players for years. As for a "reimagined" version of Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile, only time will tell what EA has in store.