Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends: How Multiplay scaled the fastest-growing game of all time

Respawn Entertainment: Multiplay Case Study

As one of the most exciting and successful studios to emerge in the gaming landscape over the last decade, Respawn gets a lot right. So we were honored when they chose to partner with Multiplay for Titanfall 2 – and then again on their smash-hit battle royale, Apex Legends.

  • Established

    2010

  • Known for

    Apex Legends, Titanfall, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order

  • # of employees

    315

  • Multiplay services

    Hybrid Cloud, support, consulting

Managing the unknowns of launching a free-to-play title

We traveled to LA to talk with the key folks behind the launch and management of Apex Legends. Powered by Multiplay’s Hybrid Cloud, the game was able to scale to 1 million players in under 24 hours, peaking at well over 2 million concurrent users, with no downtime.

Apex Legends Bangalore

From 0 to 50 million players in 24 days: How Multiplay scaled Apex Legends

What does scaling at speed look like? For Multiplay’s collaboration with Apex Legends, the numbers looked something like this: 

  • One million players in less than eight hours
  • 10 million players in three days 
  • 50 million players in 24 days 
  • A peak of over two million concurrent players

 

About Apex Legends

About Apex Legends

Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment and is set in the same sci-fi universe as the Titanfall franchise. In the game, three-person squads battle it out to be the final team alive, looting weapons and armor as the ring closes in. Since launching in February 2019, Apex Legends has launched several new playable characters, a new map, and ran a series of limited time events. This has enabled it to maintain its position as one of the most popular games of the year.

Apex Legends Capacitor

The Challenge of scaling at speed

Predicting the player count for a free-to-play title from a popular studio like Respawn is almost impossible. So how do you ensure you have enough servers, should the game do well? How do you avoid buying too many servers, which then sit idle for months, if your game isn’t as successful as you hoped?

Respawn forecasted around 200k on launch, but surpassed that within hours. Predicted player counts by region were off as the game quickly became popular worldwide, so they needed to scale up in new regions quickly. One new region wasn’t supported by a major cloud provider, so Respawn needed to use multiple clouds to ensure global coverage.

Apex Legends multiplayer

Hybrid Cloud - the solution to hosting at scale

When dealing with a high number of unknown variables, which is always the case with the release of a major title, you need flexibility. Thankfully, with Multiplay’s Hybrid Cloud, Apex Legends was able to scale from bare metal capacity to Google Cloud and AWS servers in seconds, not hours.

Importantly, players never even noticed. As the most resilient hosting solution around, Hybrid Cloud ensures players get a seamless experience, whether the Respawn team is rolling out a patch or Multiplay is transitioning players from bare metal to cloud.

Apex Legends scaling solutions

Got a question about scaling?

Contact our solutions engineering team today to discuss your next project, or the migration of an existing title. We’ll work with you to help deliver a proof of concept based on your game server binary and unique requirements. Whether your game is a AAA behemoth like Apex Legends or an up-and-coming indie, we’d love to help.

Jon Shiring, lead programmer, Respawn Entertainment

“I feel like I have this weird secret advantage that I keep trying to spoil the secret on by telling everyone else to come and work with Multiplay.”

Jon Shiring, lead programmer, Respawn Entertainment
Drew McCoy, executive producer, Respawn Entertainment

“Multiplay’s support has been phenomenal, both pre-launch and post-launch. They’ve been helpful in creating diagnostics, digging into issues with us, being responsive whenever we have issues – it’s been a great partnership.”

Drew McCoy, executive producer, Respawn Entertainment

Download the case study to learn more

For more insight on the planning, launch and management of Apex Legends, download the case study. 

This free PDF explores Respawn’s back-end infrastructure and how it integrates with Multiplay’s scaler to deliver servers at speed.

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