Apex Legends is coming to Mobile: Here's what Respawn needs to do to succeed. (Opinion)
EA announces that they are officially working on getting Apex Legends to mobile. This is a pretty exciting idea as this is a full blown first person shooter. The irony is that not only is this a AAA hi-def game, but it is also being made by the same developers, Respawn, that laughed at the idea of putting Titanfall 2 on Switch. The reality is that mobile devices have been able to handle “real” console games for a while now, but developers have been slow to adapt to it. Even more than Fortnite or Pubg, Apex Legends on mobile would be a huge technological step forward for mobile gaming. EA was unclear how this would look or when this would be available. To be a true competitor to the current titan, Fortnite, EA is going to need to get their game on the go for it to be in as many gamers hands as possible.
Here’s a wishlist of things EA Respawn needs to do to have Apex Legends succeed at launch.
1. Day One Controller Support
I can’t imagine playing a fast paced tactical shooter like Apex with touch controls. It is hard enough to play Fortnite or PUBG with on screen touch controls, and those are slightly slower paced, but more importantly third person shooters. Apex is first person only, and the gameplay relies on fast paced sliding and movement. It took Epic Games over a year and a half to add controller support to Fortnite, and finally they did making it finally truly playable on the go. To get an edge on Fortnite and to appeal to hardcore gamers, it needs day one support of controllers.
2. EA Controller
I can’t express enough how important controller support is for Apex on mobile, so much that it gets a two part point. Not only does it need to support it day one, but EA needs to find a manufacturing partner or straight up develop a controller in house. They need to launch their own mobile controller that is bluetooth and supports the super important R3/L3 buttons. The fact that their still is not one in existence right now is amazing to me. There is only one R3/L3 mobile controller and it lacks bluetooth for some reason. Even if they build the game avoiding R3/L3, the current slab of controllers is pretty poor. EA should launch an Apex themed mobile controller and bundle it with some Apex coins.
3. Cross Play (Yes, including PS4)
This one may be obvious but thanks to Sony this still is not a mainstream feature. Sony gave into pressure from two long term devs pushing for cross play finally allowing it for Fortnite and Rocket league. However, giving in to two devs and calling it a “beta” and then never doing anything with it again is not really a true change of stance. Many developers have accused Sony of “playing favorites” and EA needs to leverage their size in the gaming industry to finally push Sony into the green on Cross Play. If they include controller support at launch, I want to be able to play with my friends on Xbox One and PS4. Not only is this important for gamers, but this is important because Apex's greatest competition, Fortnite, also supports cross play. Respawn needs everything on its side to take on the gaming titan.
4. Day One Cross Progression
Apex broke many launch records for a game, and even shot past Fortnite on the twitch charts during its launch. All this proves that many many people are playing the game. I have risen up the ranks, unlocked countless loot, skins, and Legends. If they want to launch this on mobile, they need to make Day One Cross Progression a huge priority. If all my progress from Xbox doesn’t transfer… than forget it. People invest time and money into this game, all that needs to cross over to mobile.
5. Support Stadia/Microsoft’s Project xCloud
Only recently modern mobile devices will be powerful enough to run Apex. Older smartphones/tablets might benefit from game streaming. This game is already a fast paced online game where a consistent internet connection is already super important. If I get even the slightest lag in my game it throws me off. Because internet is already so necessary to the game, add game streaming would not really increase its internet requirements, but offloading the performance might make it look better on older platforms with weaker processors and less storage.