Apex Legends Season 7: A New Start?

Apex Legends picks up Steam in its newest season.

Respawn’s foray into the Battle Royale genre originally opened up to a massive player base of 50 million players. For context, these are numbers that took Fortnite months to build up to. But as time went on, based on the data available, Apex saw a steady decline in numbers while its Ubisoft-backed competitor saw a steady build in players.

Fast forward to Season 7 and Apex Legends has picked up a massive boom of players again – hitting a maximum of 117,320 concurrent players on Steam alone at the time of writing this. Compared to previous seasons, this is a wonderful uptick in both players and viewers. 

Could Season 7 be heralding a new trend for Apex?  

A New Hope For Apex

A new rise for Apex

EA tends to jealously guard their data from prying eyes (outside of a few tweets), but luckily Apex’s launch on Steam provides a fantastic peek behind the curtain. 

According to SteamDB, Season 7 was able to raise the average number of viewers for Apex on Twitch from 68,674.38 viewers to 95,574.61 viewers, a 39% or 26,900.23 increase in viewers. The player base also seems to be holding strong a month after release with an average of 105,781 concurrent players. Based on these numbers, there’s clearly been an influx of new viewers who are interested in Apex Legends, and it’s current players have a good chance of sticking around. These numbers also paint a hopeful picture when compared to the pre-season 7 viewership since Apex struggled to change their viewership at all in previous seasons. While this may not say anything about the player base before Steam, these statistics are a great way to measure general interest in Apex Legends. 

On top of all this, EA’s earnings reports confirm that Apex has been almost doubling its income every few months. According to Gamasutra’s report, at the end of this fiscal year (March 2021), Apex is projected to become a billion-dollar franchise

All of this data points to one conclusion – Season 7 has been drawing interest back into Apex Legends. So what has Season 7 done to warrant all of this new attention?

What’s Drawing Players Back?

Helping the player base grow

Apex has come a long way since season 1. In Season 7, besides the release of Apex Legends on Steam, Apex players were treated to a new legend, a new map with vehicles on it, and the return of a limited-time game mode. Each of these had a part to play in either attracting new-blood to the game or incentivizing old veterans to return. 

The new legend is Horizon, who’s an adorable Scottish astrophysicist that uses black holes and the powers of gravity to help her and her teammates get the edge in a fight. In-game, this translates to strong vertical movement abilities that reward creative gameplay and good aim from the player or their opponents. 

Along with Horizon came the new map, Olympus, which features massive towers, bottomless pits that create natural choke points, and Tridents – Apex’s take on vehicles. All of these new designs result in a map where players are thrown into the action extremely early and, if they aren’t near the action, it’s easy for players to blast themselves into a fight with the Trident. 

Finally, Apex is bringing back players through the return of the Holiday Express. This limited-time game mode has players breaking into 3 teams and fighting over a moving train that makes frequent pit stops. Each legend is also given a unique loadout so looting isn’t necessary. What’s great about this game mode is how the nonstop whirlwind of combat is the perfect place for players, new and old alike, to sharpen up their combat skills. Throw in some amazing unlocks for the holiday season, and it’s no wonder the Holiday Express would help attract players back to Apex. 

But, despite all of the good news, not everything is going perfect. 

Concerns for the Future

Who knows what’s going to be in the future, but I’m still hopeful.

There are still some worries on the horizon for Apex. Each increase in numbers can be explained by more mundane reasons than the optimistic idea that players are returning to Apex. After all, Apex has historically generated a large number of players and viewers whenever they released a Limited-Time Mode. But after the Limited-Time Mode leaves, players usually leave with it. Plus, the numbers can be explained away by the release on Steam, which leaves the question of how Respawn can get these numbers again in future releases. It’s not like they can re-release on Steam to get a large crowd again. 

Another concern is how many players are actually going to stick around after this season?

The current trends in data show that the player base is still dwindling as time goes on, which is normal for most games. What matters now is how Apex decides to follow up this bump in players and viewership. If they capitalize on it correctly, then Apex may find itself in a new surge of popularity. After this season’s split on December 15th, we’ll also see if players will stick around to continue playing or move on to another game.

In the least, Apex Legend’s seventh season has breathed new life into its player base and data analytics thanks to its release on Steam. Whether or not Respawn Entertainment can keep these players and continue their upward climb is now a question that looms over the future of this fast-paced Battle Royale. 

Update Jan. 2021

Apex Legends Fight Night event: Update time and patch notes - Dexerto
Fight Night with a splash of Noir!

Apex Legend’s new Fight Night launched on January 5th, and its helped pop numbers back up from an 80,000 – 90,000 player slump starting on December 9th. These last few days, Apex’s player numbers have been peaking over 100,000 players. Time will tell how long these numbers will stay, but if this follows the same pattern as Holoday, then these numbers will most likely stick around for about a week before steadily declining back to about 90,000 players.

So far though, it seems like these kinds of limited time events are proving to be a great way to keep Apex’s audience engaged and interested in the game. The beginning of Season 8 is going to show if Apex can continue growing its base or hit new highs in player counts.

Opinion: Why Play Video Games?

A few years ago, I went to my writing class with a piece I was pretty confident about. The story had solid characters, and the themes really came to life throughout the story. Once I got there, I volunteered to have it critiqued. 

From a third-person point of view, it was pretty tame: “Work on breathing more life and character into your characters” and “you didn’t establish how this character functions” were the most common criticisms. My reaction was a simple, “Oh, I didn’t see that. I’ll work on it.” While I didn’t show it, those criticisms put me in an existential crisis. Not because they were criticisms, I’m used to taking and improving from things like that, but because they were the most recent additions to a long line of doubts I’d been having about my life. What am I doing with it? Am I happy? While I didn’t show it, the criticisms made me take a step back and wonder whether I was actually a good writer. Should I even continue down this path?


That night, I drove back to my place and just laid in bed. I didn’t sleep. I just laid there, eyes boring a hole into my ceiling. What should I do with my life? I asked myself again. I could keep working on this story and perfect it. I could prove to myself and to everyone else that I’m not terrible at this. But why? Why do that when I could be doing something I enjoy more? I sat up for a second and asked myself, “what do I enjoy more than writing?” I turned my head to the bed stand. Luckily the answer was right next to me – It was my blue 3DS with Monster Hunter 4.

I sighed.

See, I’ve been having this problem with video games that goes hand-in-hand with my own crippling self-doubt about my writing. Whenever I play a game, all I can think about is that I should be writing. Every minute I spend wasting my time moving pixels around a tiny screen is a minute I could be writing something useful to someone.

Which brings me to this simple question: “Why play video games?”

What’s the point of it? Why bother spending hours of your day on something like this when you could be out doing something productive? After all, “normal” people spend hours of their day going to sports games, throwing cash at their car to improve it, or spending ludicrous amounts of money on drugs, sex, concerts, and impressing their preferred gender.

But what do games do? Are they a smarter way to spend your money? After all, some games encourage socializing with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. But, after enough time, they’ll cost as much money as an upgrade for a car with less utility. A console alone is worth practically several nights worth of partying, and they don’t usually impress your preferred gender very often. If anything, video games create this strange sense of unity with people who play it and alienation from people that just don’t understand it. Is that worth it?

My thoughts spiraled around these questions. While I was lost in thought, I decided to pick up my 3DS and open it up to Monster Hunter 4. It snapped on and showed me where I left off – I had just begun hunting a dragon called a Seregios. It looked like a chicken that had slipped into a pool filled with cutlery. The resulting nightmare was exactly what I had to hunt in order to continue with the game. I accepted the quest and surged forward with some sense of purpose. I may suck at writing, but I know I’m at least good at this.

Oh, how wrong I was. 

Shit. That stupid bird is hard.

I died time and time again. I’d get close to ending the damn thing, but then one small
misstep would send me tumbling backward, bleeding and beaten, back to base. During one of these attempts, I had to return to camp and have my character take a nap to recover some health. As he laid there, staring up at the ceiling and sleeping, I realized he was in the same position as me. He was stuck against a frustrating wall that seemed insurmountable, recovering from the bruises and beatings life had inflicted on him. The difference was that he shuffled out of his bed, wiped the drowsiness from his eyes, and rejoined the hunt. I on the other hand was still stuck in bed, wondering about my life within the next few years. I would eventually fail again against this stupid bladed chicken and, as frustration reared its ever-hated head, I noticed something else. Every time I tried, I was getting closer and closer to perfection. The only thing that mattered was that I kept trying. I was able to visually see myself learning and improving with every run, and every single time I tried, even if it would end disastrously within the first few seconds, I knew I was getting better.

Is the bird on the ground? Awesome, put in two slashes then dodge past its talon swipes and tail. I’ve died from this mistake at least 4 times. Shooting blades at me? Shields up, block and dodge. If I got hit, pick myself up and stop the bleeding. I’ve died from this 3 times. Flying forward for a double kick? Stay to the side. That lesson is supposed to be dragon hunting 101 – never face a dragon head-on unless you’re ready to take the hit. I’ve died from this 8 times.

The entire fight ceased to be a hopeless struggle and instead became an elaborate dance. Sometimes the dragon would give me a tell and I would just react – rolling out of the area it was striking at and replying with my own flurry of attacks without a thought. Other times, I would make a mistake, but recover faster than any of my previous attempts. This frantic waltz of blades wound to an end when my hated foe collapsed to the floor.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I’m done. I did it.

I’ve won.

In my euphoric celebrations, another realization dawned on me. I had just played through a parallel of my life. The psychological fears I was facing that scared me from improving my writing and my own journey about validating my self-worth through my strengths – it was just like this entire hunt. It didn’t matter how many times I would be beaten or how many times I was forced to face my own flaws or even how impossible the dragon looked. What mattered more was the number of times I picked myself up, learned from my mistakes, and accepted the challenge.

Much like the dragon I had just slain, the obstacles in my life were nothing more than stepping stones leading to a better me. In this same sense, carving up the damned thing and wearing it as armor served as a reminder that I had not only conquered these obstacles, but I had accepted them into my life, mastered them, and become stronger for my troubles. Video games in this sense are no longer just tools you can escape reality with, but metaphors for your life that you can interact with and truly feel. The final message will vary based on what game you’re playing, but that’s where the beauty of interacting with these fictional universes lie. Once the console is turned off, and the controller is no longer in your hands, that final message will always be something you’ll carry in your life. 

The late Terry Pratchett touched on this idea when he once said, “Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.”

Or, in the words of Neil Gaiman, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”  

Why Should I: Monster Hunter World

Welcome to the “Why Should I” article series where I talk about games you should be excited to play, or should be playing now. 

Today’s article is looking at Capcom’s genre-defining boss-slaying game: Monster Hunter World. 

If You’re New…

Monster Hunter World Iceborne Longsword and friends1

Monster Hunter is a series about murdering dragons and dinosaurs with oversized weapons so you can create extremely fashionable clothes to murder larger dragons and dinosaurs. 

Gameplay can be summed up as attacking the monster with your giant weapon through hack-n-slash controls. You have two buttons to attack and mixing these two together will yield different combos and different effects from your weapon. 

Each game begins with you taking a quest that will tell you what monster you need to slay. After that, you’ll be put into one of the game’s ecosystems where you have to track down the monster and then slay it. 

What Games Are Similar To This One?

Monster_Hunter_World_BowvsNerg

I know it’s a running joke at this point, but Monster Hunter plays similarly to the Soulsborne series as far as controls go. You’ll be very reliant on your dodge to prevent yourself from constantly eating monster attacks, and your attacks have a certain flow to their combos. On top of that, the boss fights can be extremely challenging, and attacks have a certain “weight” behind them that doesn’t exist in other hack-n-slash games like God of War. 

Also similar to the Souls series is the game’s extremely unforgiving learning curve. It’s not an uncommon sight to watch veteran hunters die to sloppy mistakes. Unlike the souls series, deaths won’t automatically restart you at the beginning. Each boss fight gives you 3 tries (usually) and if you burn up those 3 tries, then you get sent back to your home.   

The boss system, the crux of the game, is similar to Shadow of the Colossus; you’re spending a majority of your time fighting boss after boss. Each monster is a massive behemoth relative to you and has specific weak points on their body. 

What Makes This Better Than Other Games?

Monster_Hunter_World_GSDuel

Monster Hunter excels well past its competitors by introducing its audience to a world that leaps off the screen with a dazzle of wildlife and pulls players into a new frontier to explore. 

Each environment has been crafted to be as close to a living ecosystem as a game can allow. From the gentle sway of its leaves and trees, to the way animals react to one another, the makers of Monster Hunter went through great pains to make sure each environment you hunt in is a believable biome. Players that familiarize themselves with where the monster’s regular hunting grounds are and where to gather useful resources in a given biome will have a great advantage. 

For example, herbivores are found everywhere in each of the different biomes in Monster Hunter. The basic ones will begin to panic or start to act nervous if a large monster is in the area near it. When a monster appears, all of the herbivores will flee into another area. As a result, hunters can deduce where their target is based upon where herbivores are running or how they’re starting to react. 

Having such a large and immersive world like this also offers a plethora of options for players. If you aren’t in the mood to hunt, then you can walk around the biomes and just catch wildlife with your net or sit back and fish. Once you’ve caught some of the local wildlife, you can keep them in your house as pets.

This living breathing world even applies to the weapons players can use. Each weapon has a unique way of playing and a particular niche in a hunt where it shines. What makes them feel like they’re alive sometimes is how, as you get more skills through armor, you’ll find your playstyle changing as a result too. The Lance for example can be used as a guard heavy weapon (which is the most popular way to build the Lance), but you can also build it into a dodging machine. As a result, weapons feel smooth and fun to swing around. The sound effects and the physics allows each of your swings to feel as weighty or light as it should be.

Compared to other games, Monster Hunter has 14 unique weapons. No two weapons play the same. Some weapons may play similarly, like the lance and gunlance, but even those weapons will have unique ways of playing that no other weapon in the game can come close to. Something like the Charge Blade or Switch Axe are weapons that may be similar to ones found in Bloodborne, but because Monster Hunter must make everything larger than life, these weapons are given more personality and have far more noticeable effects on the battlefield, suitable to combat the monstrous creatures they were designed to slay.

While the gameplay will keep you playing this game, what will help keep you entertained is just the amount of creativity and imagination that goes into each world, monster, and armor. The biomes have borrowed a lot from the real world, but also have a healthy dose of surrealism to add a level of natural beauty you won’t find in the real world. 

Be Warned If This Is Your First MH Game

Everyone who has ever played this game will have fond memories of their first hunt. By that I mean, their first hunt was a miserable experience where the player was horribly outclassed by whatever they were fighting. 

For the majority of us, our first monster was this asshole:

The Yian Kut-Ku.

This pink bastard is affectionately nicknamed by Japanese players as Kut-ku Sensei, and is also one of the best entry points into the series. His moves are painfully simple, and he makes one of the most annoying clucking sounds mankind could ever experience while pecking away at your life.

But he teaches an important lesson: keep trying and be persistent.  

A lot of players starting this game will get frustrated, and you know what? That’s okay. The monsters are hard in the beginning, and the weapons feel a bit clunky at first. But once you understand what your weapon can do and what moves you’re up against, Monster Hunter’s world will begin to open up to you. You just have to be persistent and study what your prey is doing. 

Where to Start

If you’re antsy on where to start then just look through this playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7z-ZXbhfoKH0VlmoMX1Q5Wwk1cNRvrUV

Each video is a couple seconds long, and it shows what each weapon will look like when you use it. 

Choose which one looks the coolest or fits your taste best and then go from there. 

Thank you for reading!

 

Pardon our dust part 2

We’re still working on our website and designing our content, but one of our writers keeps on writing.

Here’s a list of the articles he’s written:

 

Renovations and Articles

Hello!

Thanks for stopping by Aerial Bread Gaming! We’re currently undergoing some renovations.

If you need any assistance, please contact the moderator.

In the meantime, here are some articles featured on GamersDecide that can help you become a better Magic Arena player.

Here’s a bonus article on Monster Hunter World:

MHW Tier List Iceborne (MHW Best Weapons)

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑