Apex Legends FF7 event made EA “really happy”, gamers not so much

EA says Apex Legends “did not meet expectations” during the final months of 2023, but is full of praise for its divisive FF7 Rebirth crossover event.

Apex Legends FF7 event: Loba from Apex Legends holding a pistol in one hand and a staff with a wolf's head on the end in the other. Next to her is a black sword buried into the ground, and Xbox and PlayStation logos float next to her

Despite lots of backlash from PS5 and Xbox players, Apex Legends’ crossover event with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has made EA “really, really happy” and shows great promise for the future of the game, according to the company’s top dog.

Although the end of last year was tough for Apex (more on that later), it seems the crossover event with one of 2024’s top PS5 exclusives, FF7 Rebirth, has been a highlight for EA. Its chairman and CEO Andrew Wilson says in a recent call with investors that “at a macro level, we’re really, really happy with that event. It was very well received by the community and actually performed incredibly well.”

While there were certainly some that enjoyed the crossover, it’s safe to say that it left many in the community disappointed. From outrage around pricing of its cosmetic rewards, to how long its limited-time mode hung around in the game, it’s certainly had a bit of a bashing. However, Wilson believes it “shows tremendous promise for how the franchise continues into Season 20 and beyond”, and was “encouraged” by its reception and performance.

EA also confirms that two of its best days of the year for net bookings (which essentially means the amount of in-game products purchased) occurred during the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth event.

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It is worth noting, however, that EA will be keen to find some kind of high point in what has been a tough couple of months for one of the best battle royale games. Sure, there’s a lot of excitement around Apex Legends ahead of its fifth anniversary and Season 20 update, but EA says it “did not meet [revenue] expectations” during the tail-end of 2023 as it squared up against Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, a refreshed Warzone, a nostalgia-chasing Fortnite, and surprise hit The Finals.

Admittedly, EA doesn’t name those games specifically, but Wilson does mention that there were “a couple of competitive titles that actually did some really unique and interesting things” during that period.

There’s no escaping that Apex’s performance (when it comes to the financial side of things, at least) always takes a hit during this time of the year as it squares off with a brand new Call of Duty title and the related updates to Warzone. In last year’s financial report for the same quarter of the year, EA said “Apex Legends historically had a quieter Q3 as the live service model ebbs and flows against a seasonally crowded launch slate this time of year.”

So while a slump for Apex during this highly competitive time of year isn’t surprising, the positivity around its divisive Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth event is.

Elsewhere, EA was flaunting some impressive numbers for EA FC 24 (which Xbox fans can currently grab for 60% off). Oh, and one of those big Apex rivals, The Finals, just had a massive new update go live with free cosmetics and a brand new game mode.