Apex Legends Lead Balance Dev Fired For Past Racist And Sexist Remarks

Daniel Klein, lead balance designer on Apex Legends, has been fired over offensive blog posts and remarks that have surfaced from his past

Published: August 11, 2021 9:14 AM /


Valkyrie in Apex Legends

Apex Legends lead designer Daniel "Zenon" Klein has been fired over racist and sexist remarks that have emerged in his past. These include blog posts in which Klein rails against women, as well as a conversation with a friend in which he makes racist remarks against "Africans".

Why has Daniel Klein been fired from Apex Legends?

Klein confirmed his termination via Twitter yesterday. He says he's "heartbroken and depressed" about his dismissal, and that he's "poured so much energy into becoming a better person" since the remarks were made in 2007. Klein says he disagrees with Respawn's decision to terminate his employment, but that they are "within their rights" to do so. He worked for a total of a year and eight months at Respawn, joining in January 2020 as a senior designer, then being promoted in November last year to lead balance designer on Apex Legends.

Mirage in the cowboy skin in Apex Legends
Apex Legends designer Daniel Klein has been fired from Respawn after a year and eight months as the game's lead balance designer.

If you want to see the comments Klein made that led to his dismissal, you can do so here (thanks, MP1st, and thanks Thordan Smash for creating the original video). The screengrabs of Klein's blog and the conversation with his friend are pretty low-res and they don't make for pleasant reading, so it's safe to skip them if you don't want to read; you can probably guess at the content anyway.

Daniel Klein has proven controversial with fan communities

Back in 2018, Daniel Klein was fired from League of Legends developer Riot Games over comments he made concerning sexism at the company. His dismissal was greeted with cheers and relief from the League community due to a perceived patronising attitude on Klein's part. A similar reaction is going on right now over at the Apex Legends subreddit, with many commenters suggesting Klein has a history of antagonizing player bases and replying to queries with dismissive, sarcastic comments.

Lucian, a champion Daniel Klein worked on for League of Legends
Daniel Klein previously worked at Riot Games, where he contributed to the design of League of Legends champion Lucian, as well as others.

Do you think Daniel Klein's dismissal was fair? Have you engaged with him as part of the League of Legends or Apex Legends communities? Let us know in the comments below!

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

Joe Allen's profile picture
| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph

More Info About This Game
Learn more about Apex Legends
Game Page Apex Legends
Electronic Arts
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date
February 4, 2019 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)