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Analyst: ‘Apex Legends’ Declining Popularity Could Hurt EA Stock

By Variety

Electronic Arts’ battle royale title “Apex Legends” is not a serious contender for Epic Games’ blockbuster “Fortnite” and it’s worth far less than its implied stock value, according to financial weRead full story

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  • As an occasional, casual player of Apex, the problem it has is a lack of variety. The core gameplay is fun, fair, and polished, but with only one map (no matter how big, beautiful, and well-designed) and under a dozen characters (only a handful of whom are interesting on their own merit) there just isn’t enough stuff to do to warrant coming back to the game regularly.

    EA as a company is nightmarishly badly run, having repeatedly shot themselves in the foot on what should have been surefire blockbuster

    As an occasional, casual player of Apex, the problem it has is a lack of variety. The core gameplay is fun, fair, and polished, but with only one map (no matter how big, beautiful, and well-designed) and under a dozen characters (only a handful of whom are interesting on their own merit) there just isn’t enough stuff to do to warrant coming back to the game regularly.

    EA as a company is nightmarishly badly run, having repeatedly shot themselves in the foot on what should have been surefire blockbuster hits (Star Wars Battlefront II, Battlefield V, and Mass Effect: Andromeda are the most glaring recent examples) over and over again for a decade-plus. They’ve shown a pattern of acquiring talented developers and valuable IPs, then burning them out in a matter of years from sheer mismanagement. Google “EA graveyard” and you’ll see a list of dozens and dozens of respected and successful developers dating back to the early ‘90s who were purchased by EA, then closed their doors a few years later.

    Sometimes the problem is an unrealistically aggressive deadline (remember the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle of 2012?) Sometimes it’s cynical nickel-and-dining of customers. Sometimes it’s trying foolishly to reach a “broader audience” (a phrase recognized by gamers as the antithesis of a quality product) by diluting what makes a game unique and compelling. Nearly all of their games reek of focus groups and design-by-committee. Their reputation with customers is horrible—we’re talking about a company that has repeatedly beaten telecoms and insurance firms for the title of “most hated company in America.” Their leadership is both deeply ignorant about their industry— I’d wager that it’s entirely businessmen with no experience in game development— and chronically unable to learn from their mistakes.

    Apex can (and honestly, should) be a successful mid-popularity game, competing with but not displacing Fortnite. However, I have next to no faith that EA will allow it to reach its potential.

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