Why Apex Legends Mobile got shut down despite being EA's sixth highest-grossing mobile game in 2022

When announcing the shutdown of Apex Legends Mobile, Electronic Arts stated that it no longer lived up to the bar for quality. The reasons, however, must be more complex given that the game has been one of the highest performing titles in the company’s mobile portfolio.

Why Electronic Arts shut down Apex Legends Mobile — four possible reasons

Why did EA shut down Apex Legends Mobile?

Electronic Arts announced its decision to “sunset” Apex Legends Mobile on January 31. The company noted that the content pipeline for the game has started falling short of the “bar for quality, quantity, and cadence.”

In its latest newsletter, Deconstructor of Fun discussed why EA has ended up killing Apex Legends Mobile. Here are four possible reasons that were not mentioned in official statements:

  • Apex Legends Mobile is another game in the oversaturated battle royale genre. Even if players try something new (no matter how good it is), they always return to their favorite titles like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, Fortnite, and Free Fire;
  • Tencent and EA had unrealistic expectations. According to Deconstructor of Fun, Apex Legends Mobile was made by a team of 300-500 people, and given all the money spent on its development and further live ops, the two companies expected to return the investment and see the game become a CoD: Mobile rival in terms of revenue;
  • The difficult nature of the relationship between American and Chinese developers due to cultural differences, working methods, and other factors. While Western devs usually put core gameplay and UX at the forefront, Chinese studios focus on metagame and monetization;
  • Deconstructor of Fun also alleged that some dispute between company leaders could have taken place (remember the rupture between NetEase and Blizzard?). “Something must have led to Tencent seizing to work on the game” other than the game’s performance. In its statement on the Apex Legends Mobile shutdown, Respawn also cited “factors beyond our control” that prevented the studio from maintaining high-quality content support.

Apex Legends Mobile revenue and other metrics

  • Developed by Respawn Entertainment in partnership with Tencent’s subsidiary Lightspeed & Quantum (the studio behind PUBG Mobile), Apex Legends Mobile reached over 7.5 million pre-registrations on Android in March 2022.
  • The game showed a good start, surpassing $13 million in revenue and generating 22 million downloads in the first month since its launch on May 17. It was also named the best mobile game of 2022 by both Google and Apple.
  • According to AppMagic, Apex Legends Mobile has reached $40 million in lifetime revenue. Japan accounts for 43% of the total figure, followed by the US (32%), Thailand (3%), Malaysia (2%), and Mexico (around 2%).
  • The game has generated 34.4 million downloads on both iOS and Android. 24% of total installs came from the US, followed by India (8%), Brazil (around 8%), Japan (7%), and Thailand (around 7%).
  • Taking this data into account, Apex Legends Mobile has a RpD (revenue per download) of $1.16. Japan has the highest RpD of $7.29, followed by the US ($1.53) and Singapore ($1.31).

Apex Legends lifetime revenue, according to AppMagic

  • According to data.ai information obtained by Deconstructor of Fun, it took Apex Legend only seven months to become the sixth highest-grossing mobile game in EA’s portfolio by the end of the year.
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes took the top spot, followed by Golf Clash and FIFA Soccer. The latter was also the only title in the top 10 to show year-over-year growth, while other projects saw double-digit declines in revenue.
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