Remember when Apex Legends launched? It sort of came out of nowhere on February 4th of 2019, and quickly became a major hit for Respawn Entertainment. What was so curious about the launch were two things that many fans questioned, why it came out of nowhere, and why was it launched at an oddball time of 12 PST (3 EST, and midnight in Europe)?
Well, out of nowhere, we got a definitive answer to the latter question, thanks in part to one of the key developers of Apex Legends, John Shirling, revealing the reason. It turns out, it was due to Shirling's court date to formally adopt his daughter.
Yep, both Respawn and EA agreed to delay the games launch by a few hours, in what is a gesture of great kindness and consideration.
"We had planned it for that morning, and then my court appointment to finalize my adoption came through - the court had picked February 4th at 10am - the same time as the Apex launch." said Shirling in a series of tweets. "I panicked. Since I ran the ops and online services team for the game, this was bad."
These tweets were spurred by Shirling finalizing the adoption papers for his daughter on October 8th, 2020, over a year after filing for them on February 14th.
Luckily for Shirling, Drew McCoy and other members of Respawn, were able to secure the movement of the games launch to cater to Shirlings time schedule. As Shirling puts it, he was able to deal with the court hearings, come back to work, and celebrate the launch of the game live, in what is no doubt one of the most memorable days in his life.
"And that’s why Apex launched at a strange time, around lunch on February 4, 2019. Because Respawn prioritized my family first." stated Shirling.
It is always good to see developers prioritizing their employees more than unmovable launch dates and times, and hopefully more companies take a page out of Shirlings story for other life events.