You can never quite tell what media property will end up with a fandom. You need to hit that popularity sweet spot: likeable characters, but not so much detail that it would be pointless to write fic. Apex Legends has just the right amount of space to fill in its lore, and fans are flocking to Tumblr to express their enthusiasm.
Apex’s characters have enough relatable traits for players and fans to pick favourites and extrapolate how they act with each other, just like Overwatch before it. There are character blogs, which are Tumblrs dedicated to reblogging fanart or memes about a specific character.
There’s also ships, and a few breakout characters. Mirage seems to be the most popular so far, though if there’s another character that could outpace him, it would be Bloodhound. In fact, some people ship Mirage and Bloodhound (some people like me). There’s only just over a hundred fics on fanfiction site Archive Of Our Own, and Mirage/Bloodhound fics account for about half of them.
This makes perfect sense to me. Mirage is a wiseass loud mouth. Every time I see him I think about an article my boyfriend sent me called “Where Are The Male Weed Thots Of Instagram.”
Like Prompto, Guzma, and many a real-life man I have loved in the past, there’s something about an incorrigible dumbarse that is my ultimate weakness. Mirage looks like he spends a minimum of a half hour on his hair and I think that’s beautiful.
I also really get why people love Bloodhound. They’re mysterious, covered up from head to toe, and Allegra Clark does some lovely voicework that imbues them with an intriguing personality. Unlike Mirage, who has the barest bones of a personality, Bloodhound is a blank canvas for players to project their desires on. Some people are already trying to imagine what their face looks like, and a common shared interpretation of the text in fandom, or head canon, is that Bloodhound is blind.
I really like that head canon, but the popularity it’s gaining makes me wary about the future. When fans start to collectively agree on head canons, it’s because they’re aren’t getting enough fiction from the author – in this case, Respawn.
When a fandom decides on a character’s traits independent of official game lore, any new material from a developer changes the fandom’s collectively accepted parameters for that character. As a result, new lore can feel tacked on or nonsensical, especially if developers don’t follow through to flesh it out.
I’ve played a tiny bit of Titanfall 2, so I know that Respawn is capable of creating interesting political dilemmas and strong character relationships. I also know that battle royale games aren’t the best-suited for disseminating lore. You do get great storytelling in the game, but it’s through individual gunfights, not an ongoing storyline.
I just hope that as Respawn expands the game’s world, they’re able to keep that balance so that the fandom has plenty to work with.