Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends had its official reveal and release recently, providing Titanfall fans with a free to play battle royale offshoot. However, Respawn is owned by Electronic Arts, who acquired the developer in November 2017. With the genre still being popular and games-as-a-service proving lucrative, how much of a hand did EA have in pushing for Apex Legends’ development?
As it turns out, none at all. Game Informer spoke to executive producer Drew McCoy at a reveal event for the title. When asked if the studio’s acquisition by EA affected development, McCoy stated, “Not to be throwing EA under the bus, but this wasn’t the game they were expecting. I had to go to executives and show it to them and explain it and…not convince but more ‘Hey, trust us! This is the thing you want out of us.’
“As a corporation, they can only quantify based on past data and they’ve never done anything like this before. There’s a giant rainbow question mark over revenue projections for this game. They’re like ‘We don’t know! We can’t predict.’ This is a game we had to say ‘This is what we want to do. Help us get there.’ They had no hand in development or anything about this game.”
In terms of response, Apex Legends is already doing pretty well on Twitch. It has been the top-viewed game, with a peak of 495,000 viewers at one point. While this doesn’t determine how well the game’s revenue performance will be, Respawn is committed to supporting it. Apex Legends will have seasonal content, each season lasting three months, with an accompanying Battle Pass. The first Battle Pass arrives in March, and will have 100 rewards to unlock (though there will be free items to earn as well).
Apex Legends is currently available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.