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Apex Legends Players Are Threatening To Walk Away Good

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Yesterday, Apex Legends announced the free-to-play battle royale would be embracing shrinkflation, splitting seasonal battle passes in half while still charging players roughly the same amount for them. Today, some long-time fans are calling it the last straw after months of other issues, and threatening to never come back

“We’ve seen the numbers, and things need to be more approachable and realistic for our global player community,” reads an Electronic Arts blog post explaining the changes. Instead of one 100-rank battle pass every three months for $10 of in-game currency, there would be two 60-rank ones every six weeks, with no option to buy them using in-game currency. “Each of these updated aspects allows us to make the Battle Pass more attainable and valuable for your time and money.”

But that’s not how players are seeing it. Instead, the move is being interpreted as a greedy rug pull that pushes players to grind even more each season, while charging them the price of multiple new games a year if they want to maximize the rewards earned for doing so. A tweet announcing the new plan has since been ratioed with over 5,000 responses that range from players calling the changes “awful” to threatening to quit the game entirely.

The meltdown is ongoing on the Apex Legends subreddit as well. “The BP changes finally did it. I uninstalled!” reads one of the currently most upvoted threads. “Now that the bp is gonna cost real money the game is officially dead to me,” reads another. “Alright guys I’m out,” reads a third. “Thanks to all the strangers that I have played the game with,” the person wrote. “The game also introduced me to some cool people who are now my IRL mates. Lots of memories have been made. This game was my drug during the Pandemic.”

Some players are asking each other to take a break and stop spending money on the game. Others are asking if Apex Legends is dying as they lament server crashes, post-update bugs, stagnate matchmaking, and cheating due to Chronus Zen peripherals and other controller adapters. They feel like the damage has been done even if there’s an eventual backpedal on the new battle pass system and pricing. The negative reviews have begun piling up on Steam as well, with over 1,000 posted on July 9 alone as Apex Legends gets pushed into a “mixed” rating on Valve’s storefront.

Online players are always upset about something. And it’s often hard to differentiate between the loudest voices dominating a conversation only a few fans are having and a genuine inflection point for a live service game’s community. But it’s clear there’s been brewing frustration in the Apex Legends community for months now. If anything, the battle pass controversy may have only helped crystalize a growing malaise that already existed among players.

Steam concurrent numbers—by no means a perfect picture of an online multiplayer game’s health—have been dropping off for a while now. Though Apex Legends is still one of the most played games on PC, it’s nowhere near its over 600,000 player concurrent peak from January 2023, and hasn’t been as low as the current 260,000 number since December 2021. The game was also regularly in the monthly top-10 most-played lists for Steam and console furnished by research firm Circana, but has dropped off since November of last year. In June it was only the 16th most played game on both PlayStation and Xbox, according to Circana.

Nothing sums up the current sense Apex Legends may be adrift better than its March esports fiasco, when someone managed to hack into an official tournament and completely derail it. The event was postponed “due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised,” with the person responsible claiming they did it just for fun. The Apex Legends team worked to rapidly deploy fixes, but the example is emblematic of a feeling some players have that the game needs a bigger reset.

“We’re 5 years in and I’m still getting kicked out of matches from servers going wrong,” one fan recently wrote on the subreddit in response to a viral thread about what needed to happen to bring lapsed players back. “My friends and I keep trying to queue up together but keep getting errors.The gameplay is phenomenal but everything else feels like it’s barely holding together. The prices apex charges for cosmetics indicates it’s a luxury but it can’t even get the basic stuff like squading up with friends and detecting cheaters right.”

       





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