After Respawn launched Apex Legends earlier this year, we've only seen a few updates for the battle royale. Aside from the Season 1 updates, the Havoc, and some balance tweaks, the developers maintained a pretty hands-off approach. Respawn's strategy coincides with CEO Vince Zampella's philosophy toward Apex Legends.
From the beginning, Zampella and the development team planned on keeping Apex Legends content updates seasonal. This means that new content, such as Legends or weapons, would launch with each season. Compare that to Fortnite, which gets new content on a weekly basis. Of course, this comes at a cost for Epic Games, which has cultivated a stressful environment full of crunch for its employees.
The reasoning behind Respawn's philosophy comes down to the developers' quality of life. Producing new content week after week sounds like a tall order, so the team decided to go with the seasonal approach.
“Our intention was to always be seasonal, so we’re kind of staying with that,” Zampella said at the GamesBeat Summit this week. “The thought was, ‘Hey we kind of have something that’s blowing up here, do we want to start trying to drop more content?’ But I think you look at quality of life for the team. We don’t want to overwork the team, and drop the quality of the assets we’re putting out. We want to try and raise that.”
Their commitment to seasonal updates for new content doesn't mean that the team isn't working heavily on Apex Legends. In a blog post on the game's site, Executive Producer Drew McCoy further detailed Respawn's commitment to the battle royale moving forward. Aside from frequent back-end updates to the server and client, the team constantly tackles any cheaters they find. They're also looking into addressing audio and hit registration issues that the community have brought up.
At the GamesBeat Summit, Zampella admitted that a lot of how they manage Apex Legends will be trial by fire. The length of a season was determined by pure chance, and content pacing is still up in the air. To reaffirm this, McCoy mentioned that the team has bigger plans for Season 2 based on player feedback from Season 1. He even teased that Kings Canyon could change in the upcoming season. We'll find out more at EA Play in June.
This seasonal approach to content has the community split. For instance, pro Fortnite player Myth tweeted out his conflicting thoughts on the matter. Ultimately, he worries for the Apex Legends community.
Can burn bridges VERY fast with your community. I think Apex doesn't need to do HUGE content updates like they might think they do, but even just a few small things once every 3-4 weeks to keep players engaged wouldn't hurt. Content doesn't need to be a new item or hero.— Myth (@Myth_) April 24, 2019
Respawn certainly has its hands full this year. Outside of Apex Legends, the studio recently announced that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order would launch Nov. 15. Furthermore, a "premium" Titanfall game is due by the end of the year, according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson. However, a statement in McCoy's blog post throws the release window of that game into question.
"It is important to understand that there are entirely separate development teams working on Apex Legends and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Additionally, in order to fully support Apex Legends, we are pushing out plans for future Titanfall games," McCoy wrote.
How do you feel about Respawn's seasonal approach to new content in Apex Legends? Let us know in the comments below.