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.
With that many players desperate to play the hottest new game on the planet, how did Respawn and Multiplay ensure there were enough servers to meet demand?
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 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.
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.
How fast are we talking?
One million players in less than eight hours.
10 million players in three days.
50 million players in 24 days.
A peak of well over 2 million concurrent players.
“It’s safe to say that Apex Legends would not have launched as smoothly as it did, if we hadn’t partnered with Multiplay as closely as we did. We anticipated a million players in the first week or two – we got 20 million. You can’t do that without a platform that scales as gracefully as Multiplay does, and so I credit a huge amount of our early success to the partnership with Multiplay for sure.”
Drew McCoy, Executive producer, Respawn Entertainment
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.
With Hybrid Cloud and the Multiplay team, Respawn’s team can focus less on tech and more on the next season of Apex Legends.
Utilizes bare metal and cloud, for a cost optimal solution
Multi-cloud ensures no downtime and complete global coverage
Zero-downtime patching means minimal player disruption
24/7/365 follow-the-sun support
Technical Account Manager on site for launch and on-going support
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.
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.
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