There’s a curious aura surrounding Apex Legends these days. The peppy little usurper to Fortnite’s battle royale crown, Apex Legends launched to a wave of goodwill and hype. However, a slower update schedule compared to Fortnite has seen Apex Legends fade from grace somewhat.
On that front, Respawn said during an update for fans that little is going to change. A slow content rollout is part of Respawn’s plans for Apex, avoiding the wholesale changes and crushing developer crunch seen on games like Fortnite.
“Rapid growth is a wonderful thing to achieve, and we’re thrilled with the response we’ve received since launch,” wrote executive producer Drew McCoy in a candid statement. “However, that growth comes with some clear challenges, and we’ve hit a few bumps along the way, including missteps with our updates, not giving players enough visibility into future content, and not properly setting expectations on how we plan to support Apex Legends.”
The primary focus since Apex’s February launch has been getting the game healthier in terms of performance, bugs, cheaters, and server performance. New content has been slow to arrive though, with a single new Legend and a woefully underused weapon since launch. “Our long-term goal is to ensure Apex Legends always feels alive and thriving, with a focus on quality of content over novelty or speed of release,” explains McCoy. “At the same time, we want to maintain our culture as a development team and avoid crunch that can quickly lead to burnout or worse.”
It’s a noble enough aim, particularly with reports of the Fortnite development team working 100-hour weeks as they desperately try to scramble out new content each and every week. It helps keep Fortnite fresh, but at what cost?
McCoy also detailed some of the plans for Apex Legends moving forward. New seasons will always start with a new Battle Pass and one new Legend, as well as some significant changes to the meta-play. We can expect the first Season 2 details at E3, including a new weapon and some potential changes to the single Kings Canyon map that’s currently available.
Server improvements, cheating, and hit registration are still high on the agenda for Respawn too, and we should hear more on these issues in the coming weeks.
One final disappointing note on the Titanfall franchise, though - Respawn has two teams; one working on Apex, the other on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. As a result of Apex Legends’ success, and plans for future Titanfall games have been pushed back indefinitely.