Apex Legends Beats Fortnite PS Downloads in 2019

While we are well into the new year, it seems 2019 still had some revelations left. Only this week Sony announced that Apex Legends was the most downloaded free to play game throughout the whole of last year, even beating out Fortnite.

apex legends beats fortnite ps downloads in 2019

© Respawn

Apex legends beat out Fortnite in PS downloads for the entire year. This has left some fans a little puzzled, especially given the public perception of the two games over the last year. This news must sting a little bit extra since it has been timed with the criticism renewed of Epic’s slower approach to Fortnite after the holiday period.

Apex Legends launched with a lot of fanfare and fuss. However, that died down pretty quickly. For quite a while, it seemed like it had been a flash in the pan. Apex Legends suffered a fair few public embarrassments and failed to uphold its grip on Twitch and the public consciousness that it once had. Fortnite, on the other hand, hosted one of the biggest Esports events with their first World Cup, they then captured most of the world’s attention with their black hole event.

Fortnite came out on top of PS downloads back in 2018. However, the last year has definitely been one where we saw more challengers to Fortnite make an appearance. Yet, it also seemed to be Epic’s biggest year yet, so what went wrong?

What Did Apex Legends Do Better Than Fortnite?

Apex Legends’ popularity was definitely boosted in its initial launch. The game became the biggest thing in the world for about a month. This drop-off was steep. However, we can’t credit the entirety of Apex Legends beating Fortnite PS downloads to this initial period. Instead, it’s clear that Apex did a good enough job of keeping players interested, perhaps a much better job than many assumed.

While it didn’t quite make headline news like Fortnite’s new chapter, Apex Legends also received a brand new map in their latest season. After an embarrassing PR incident, they’ve even dropped some of the more exploitative aspects of their cosmetics. Their most recent event put in seven full game modes, running for a limited time. Alongside new heroes with brand new mechanics each, this is all pretty good for keeping players’ hype up. This stuff didn’t make the same big waves about Fortnite’s developments, but it clearly resulted in more downloads.

So, how does this compare to Fortnite’s PS downloads and performance over the year?

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Why Does Fortnite Have Less PS Downloads?

Fortnite’s year has been dominated by big events. The Fortnite World Cup pushed Esports into the eye of the wider public and their black hole made news in many countries. This was even actual headline news, not just a banner on IGN. So why didn’t this result in more downloads?

Part of the issue here might just be the install base. Few people are getting into Fortnite for the first time. A majority of players already have it downloaded on their devices. This is in comparison to Apex Legends, every player who touched that game had to download it in that year.

This aside though, its clear Epic’s big events aren’t quite translating to more new players. Chapter 2 was a big re-launch that was supposed to renew attention in the game. However, this has since dwindled into some discontent about the static content of the game. It is possible that Epic has overestimated the popularity of big events that make news compared to solid gameplay and regular fun additions.

Read also: Why Are So Many Fortnite Pros Switching to Controllers?