Electronic Arts-owned game studio Respawn Entertainment announced Wednesday that it has decided to shut down the operation and service of Apex Legends Mobile at 4 p.m. PDT on May 1. In its announcement, Respawn claimed that Apex Legends Mobile failed in “quality, quantity, and cadence.”
“Following a strong start, the content pipeline for Apex Legends Mobile has begun to fall short of that bar for quality, quantity, and cadence,” Respawn wrote in an official statement. “…We have made the mutual decision to sunset our mobile game.”
Apex Legends Mobile is the mobile version of EA’s free-to-play battle royale game for PC. The game was published one year ago on May 17, 2022, and was co-developed by Respawn and Tencent’s Lightspeed Studios, which also developed PUBG Mobile in the West and Peacekeeper Elite in China.
Though Apex Legends Mobile was co-developed and backed by China’s biggest game publisher Tencent, the game did not receive game approval from China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA). Losing China, one of the biggest mobile gaming markets in the world, might be one of the reasons that Respawn made the decision to sunset the game. In addition, The PC version of Apex Legends also has not received game approval in China.
It’s not clear how the shutdown will affect the Apex Legends Mobile esports scene. While, esports organizations such as TSM did sign players for the game last year, EA did not put large investments in the Apex Legends Mobile ecosystem; there were only a few thousands of dollars in prize money competitions allocated to the scene last year. The Apex Legends Global Series, on the other hand, had a $2M USD prize pool and took place at a live, in-person event at the PNC Arena, in Raleigh last year. EA also announced its Apex Legends Global Series 2023 esports plan (ALGS Year 3) with Pro League and Challenger Circuit competition, three in-person events, and a $5M overall prize pool.