It seems like every battle royale wants to run on mobile these days. Fortnite has been on mobile for a really long time, as has PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The battle royale genre's fast-paced gameplay lends itself well to on-the-go gaming, so in the way, it's not too surprising that everyone wants to try to get to mobile. The natural progression, then, is that Apex Legends wants to join its competitors on mobile. If they can find fans eager to play on their phones, then it's only logical that Apex Legends can do the same. Respawn Entertainment's battle royale is going stronger than ever, still adding new events and characters that slowly expand the game.
However, not everyone is excited about the announcement that Apex Legends is coming to mobile. Admittedly, Apex Legends is a little different from some of its competitors. The sci-fi setting and hero-shooter twist that it adopts mean there's a whole lot more particle effects flying around and much more complicated, detail settings to render. Apex Legends fans are a little worried that the game won't run well on mobile, that they can't be blamed for that. The game has faced optimization issues on Switch before. How hard will it be to get a stripped-down version of it to run smoothly on mobile?
Most version of Apex Legends, from PC to console, have received warm reviews for innovations in multiplayer communication and a roster of characters diverse in both identity and functionality. Apex Legends on Switch faltered, unfortunately. It's no secret that the Nintendo Switch doesn't pack the same punch as the PS4 or the Xbox One. That's why so many graphically intense games are only on Nintendo's rival consoles. Apex Legends on Switch faltered in reviews, with both fans and critics citing poor graphics, framerate issues, and other aspects of insufficient optimization.
The Switch might not be the strongest console on the market, but it's certainly stronger than a smartphone. That's why it's so worrying that Respawn wants to put Apex Legends on Android and iOS. If the Switch couldn't handle Apex Legends, even after adjustments, can the game really succeed on mobile? Respawn assures fans that big changes will be made to the mobile version, but clearly big changes weren't enough for the Switch. Unless the next version of the game is really drastically different, it's a little hard to imagine how Apex Legends on mobile can be anything like the console and PC experience that Respawn originally set out to create.
Admittedly, there's a couple reasons that the mobile version is worth trying. For one thing, Apex Legends on Switch probably taught Respawn Entertainment a lot about how far it has to go to make Apex work on less powerful platforms. The blueprint for this new version probably already learned a lot from the Switch version. For another, there's a lot to be said for accessing the market available on mobile. Apex Legends will remain free to play on this new platform, and a AAA experience on mobile for free might attract a whole lot of players, standing out among a deep sea of mobile games that charge for access.
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