Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment announced the game’s mobile version will shut down in all regions on May 1st, just a few weeks shy of its one-year anniversary. As if that wasn’t enough bad news for players, it also said that once the game is gone, so are any items or extras they purchased in Apex Legends Mobile. EA shared the news about the change as part of its Q3 FY203 earnings results.
A news post from the company described the shutdown as a “mutual decision” reached with its “development partner”; Apex Legends Mobile was developed by Respawn and Tencent’s Lightspeed & Quantum Studios, which also handles the mobile port of PUBG. Respawn’s post reiterates that note but starts by claiming, “Following a strong start, the content pipeline for Apex Legends Mobile has begun to fall short of that bar for quality, quantity, and cadence.”
Since it launched, Apex Legends Mobile has had a reputation for adding tweaks players would’ve liked to see in the full game, with extra abilities for existing legends, new game modes, and a pair of mobile-exclusive legends, Fade and Rhapsody.
As of 4PM ET Tuesday, you can no longer buy things with real money in the game, and the game will also be pulled from app stores. It will officially shut down at 7PM ET on May 1st.
However, EA isn’t providing any refunds for real money purchases, “per the terms of the EA User Agreement,” the company wrote in an FAQ. That might feel like a slap in the face to people who had invested their cash into the game, and it looks especially tight-fisted from EA when developer Iron Galaxy and publisher Epic Games are offering to refund players for their purchases in Rumbleverse ahead of the just-announced shutdown of that game.
However, it seems there could be some form of Apex on mobile in the future. In EA’s earnings call, CEO Andrew Wilson said that EA and the development partner chose to sunset this “version” of the game and that the company has “plans to reimagine a connected Apex mobile experience in the future.” Later in the call, Wilson added that mobile will be “a growth vector in the future” for the Apex franchise.
EA is also halting development on its planned Battlefield mobile game, which it announced in April 2021. “As the industry has evolved and our strategy to create a deeply connected Battlefield ecosystem has taken shape, we decided to pivot from the current direction to best deliver on our vision for the franchise and to meet the expectations of our players,” EA wrote in a news post on its website.
The company has made a number of changes to the Battlefield franchise following the poor debut of Battlefield 2042, including putting Respawn head Vince Zampella in charge of the franchise and announcing a new narrative campaign in the works from a new studio, Ridgeline Games. “We’re hard at work at evolving Battlefield 2042, and are in pre-production on our future Battlefield experiences at our studios across the globe,” EA said in its post.
I’d also like to call your attention back to the “deeply connected Battlefield ecosystem” language from EA’s post. Based on the company’s earnings call, it seems as if EA’s mobile strategy for Battlefield and Apex will be to tie them to other games in those franchises down the line.
“As we look at the mobile market, the biggest new launches that are seeing the most success are the ones that are deeply connected to [a] broader franchise,” Wilson said. “There’s not always crossplay, but certainly cross-progression and a feeling that they’re part of a single unified community and a single unified game experience.”
And specific to Battlefield, Wilson said that the company halted work on the game to let the company “really think about the broader franchise strategy and allow the leadership to build a true cross-platform, immersive game experience around a reimagined Battlefield in the future.”
On Tuesday, the company also announced that it’s delaying Star Wars Jedi: Survivor from March to April. And on the earnings call, COO Laura Miele said that The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, EA’s upcoming mobile game set in the LOTR universe, would be launching this year.
Update January 31st, 11:31PM ET: Added that Epic Games is the publisher of Rumbleverse.