Apex Legends might not be the Fortnite killing game that some expected it to be when it recorded more than 30 million hours watched multiple weeks in a row following its release last February. But one year after launch, the game is showing that it’s capable of reeling in an audience on Twitch following the release of season four earlier this month.
EA has been known to stack the odds in its favor when new games or content release by buying advertisement (#ad) streams from content creators on Twitch and the company certainly did that with the launch of season four on Feb. 4.
On Feb. 4 and 5, there was a total of 46 Twitch channels that had #SponsoredByEA in their stream title and many of them were some of Twitch’s most high-profile influencers. Streamers like Dr Disrespect, Sodapoppin, Lirik, and Myth all played Apex and checked out its newest content.
Obviously, viewership for the game that day was significantly higher than it had been all year. Peaking at more than 275,000 concurrent viewers, the game was catapulted into the upper echelon of Twitch for the week in terms of hours watched.
But it’s not about the short-term surge for Apex. The game has had bursts of viewership like that in the past. During previous season releases, EA has sponsored streams for an eclectic collection of content creators who span numerous genres that aren’t even compatible with the battle royale, like Grand Theft Auto V roleplay.
For Apex, the key is to find a way to maintain a large enough fraction of that viewership by converting an influencer or two and getting more content creators to play the game more regularly.
This happened for Escape from Tarkov at the beginning of the year. When Battlestate teamed with Twitch for an in-game drop event, many popular content creators tried it out. Since then, the game has been one of the top influencer-driven forms of content on the platform.
While Apex isn’t nearly on the same level as EFT right now, it seems as though the new content in Apex, along with its sponsored streams, has helped to stimulate the game’s viewership on Twitch.
Prior to season four releasing, Apex had just under 13.5 million hours watched in January, according to Stream Hatchet. In the past two weeks since season four launched, the game has already eclipsed that total with 14.4 million hours watched.
Even if you discount the opening day of the season when many streamers were being paid to play the game, the title has 12.5 million hours watched in less than two weeks. It’s also maintained a spot as one of Twitch’s top 10 most-watched games each week this month.
The viewership might be a far cry from the original potential that many thought the game could have when it was hitting 30 million hours a week multiple times, something other games are lucky to do once a year if at all. But the fact that the game has shown resilience in its first year and can still muster an audience for new content releases speaks volumes.
Regardless of Apex’s content, the resources that EA has poured into the game through marketing on Twitch alone reflect a commitment to a game that might otherwise be a dud by now.