EA's 'Apex Legends' tops 'Fortnite' record with 25 million signups

 reuters.com  2/12/2019 1:57:00 PM 

(Reuters) - Shares of Electronic Arts Inc jumped 8 percent on Tuesday after the videogame maker said 25 million players signed up for its new battle royal game “Apex Legends”.

An undated screengrab from the EA game "Apex Legends". REUTERS/EA/Handout

EA is hoping to reproduce the success of Epic Games’ “Fortnite”, whose blending of “The Hunger Games” and “Minecraft” has been a global hit with teenagers and older gamers over the past two years.

EA disclosed the new number on Monday on Twitter bit.ly/2I3HaHw. "Apex Legends" signed up 10 million players within three days of its launch, EA said last week, a milestone that Fortnite had taken two weeks to reach.

As of Friday, the game was the most viewed on gaming live-streaming network Twitch.

“(Electronic Arts’) topsy-turvey CY19 took a decidedly positive turn last Friday when they announced “Apex Legends”,” Bernstein analyst Matt Romariz said, raising his price target on the stock by $29 to $120 - well above the median Wall Street target of $95.

“Apex Legends’ stunning success should also greatly reduce the frustration with management sometimes expressed by investors. Apex Legends demonstrates a brave innovation,” Romariz said, adding that “Fortnite” took three months to reach 30 million users.

The news comes almost a week after the company lowered its yearly revenue projections following weak sales of its “Battlefield V” title, that had sent its stock plunging 18 percent.

After a 9.6 percent surge on intraday on Monday, the stock ended slightly lower at $97.24.

Rival Activision Blizzard Inc was up nearly 1 percent ahead of its quarterly results, which are due after the bell.

(This story was refiled to correct to Apex Legends from Apex Legend in the analyst quote in paragraph 6)

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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