Apex Legends Season 8 has now begun, introducing a new Legend, weapon, Gold-tier magazines, and a severe shake up of the King’s Canyon map. Other changes include a new Mayhem Battle Pass and a new Ranked Season, as well as general quality of life improvements. The game has done incredibly well for Respawn and EA, and the teams are planning to expand the franchise even more over the next year.

The new season introduces the game’s 16th Legend, Fuse. His interest in all things explosive gives him extra grenades that he can throw further and with more accuracy than other Legends. He has a Knuckle Cluster passive ability, a cluster bomb that throws out airburst explosives continuously. The Motherlode is his ultimate ability; he uses Wally to fire a bombardment that surrounds the target area in a wall of flames.

The update also adds the new 30-30 Repeater weapon. Players have to reload between shots, but this is offset by the chance to deal extra damage to targets with a built-in charge as long as players are prepared to build up their shot for a short period of time. Elsewhere, Gold-tier magazines can be added to Light, Heavy, Snipers, and Energy Weapons, automatically reloading stowed weapons after a short delay.

The season’s launch trailer showed how Fuse’s arrival would shake up the King’s Canyon map. The gunship crashing down has opened up new areas, including the ship itself. Players can get through Artillery into a new area to the north, as well as gaining access through a tunnel to the east. Flooding has destroyed Slum Lakes, while the ship’s fuel leak has caused several ECHO (Ecological Cleanup and Hazard Outreach) stations to pop up in the surrounding area, now known as Spotted Lakes. Other changes include the removal of Farm, uncovered Leviathan bones, observation towers, mobile armories, Explosive Holds, and new paths.

There’s no doubt the game has done incredibly well for developer Respawn and publisher EA, and the latter backed this up with their latest financial results. Over the past year, the game has seen a 30% increase in the number of new players and is expected to grow for a second year running. The team is looking to expand the franchise and aim for a new audience. They’ll do this first by releasing the game on Switch on March 9. This will specifically target the Japanese market, currently the game’s second largest market. The team will also soft launch Apex Legends Mobile in the next 3-4 months. Once the app is fully approved, it will be launched in China.

All of this will be part of the game’s ten-year plan. The battle royale formula has been very successful and the team shows no signs of expanding the game beyond this game type just yet, or developing a sequel to the game. Those wanting to just jump into Season 8 without worrying about the future can do so right now.

[Source: EA, EA conference call via @ZhugeEX on Twitter (1, 2)]