- Respawn Entertainment/EA
- The biggest new game of 2019 is “Apex Legends,” a free-to-play battle-royal first-person shooter from EA’s Respawn Entertainment.
- “Apex Legends” recently added a new limited-time mode that fans criticized because of its expensive loot boxes and the way its microtransactions were structured.
- The team behind “Apex Legends,” Respawn Entertainment, altered the way those transactions worked.
- While responding to discussions about the situation on Reddit, the game’s project lead got involved in heated arguments with fans in which he called people names including “a–hats” and “freeloaders.”
- Respawn Entertainment studio head Vince Zampella issued a statement on Monday afternoon. “I apologize to any of our fans that were offended,” he said on Twitter.
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The folks behind the biggest new game of 2019, “Apex Legends,” are in hot water after getting into a heated argument with the game’s fans on Reddit.
“I’ve been in the industry long enough to remember when players weren’t complete a–hats to developers and it was pretty neat,” the Respawn Entertainment project lead Drew McCoy said in the game’s Reddit forum over the weekend.
It was the first of several statements that sparked a strong rebuke from the game’s Reddit community.
So, where did this all start?
- Respawn Entertainment/EA
The genesis of this controversy is with a new free mode being added to “Apex Legends.” The new Solos mode is part of a limited-time event, known as the “Iron Crown Collection Event.”
The idea is straightforward: From August 13 to 27, anyone playing “Apex Legends” gets access to a free temporary Solos mode. With that new mode came a smattering of new cosmetic items for the game – new outfits for the game’s characters and new “skins” for the game’s weapons.
But the way those new cosmetic items were monetized led to major criticisms from the game’s community, and the team at Respawn attempted to fix the situation. “We’ve heard you and have spent a lot of time this week discussing the feedback and how we structure events in the future, as well as changes that we will make to Iron Crown,” McCoy wrote in a letter posted to EA’s “Apex Legends” news page.
In short, the team at Respawn Entertainment made getting those items slightly easier: Players can buy a selection of the new items directly through the in-game store, where they cost $18 apiece.
That’s when things got much worse, as McCoy attempted to explain the game’s notoriously high-priced microtransactions. “The amount of people who spend is crazy low,” McCoy said on Reddit. “Most of y’all are freeloaders (and we love that!) and a change in price doesn’t move the needle.”
- EA/Respawn Entertainment
Members of the game’s Reddit forum latched on to two words in particular of McCoy’s: “a–hats” and “freeloaders.”
In one response, in a thread titled “PR team and devs, well done. You have alienated your playerbase,” one Redditor said: “You, as a team of professionals trying to make money, got personal. You got personal and decided to insult your playbase, calling us ‘a–hats’ and ‘freeloaders.’ Not a wise move. We won’t forget this.”
And then the memes began:
The situation was ongoing as of Monday morning.
By Monday afternoon, Respawn head Vince Zampella issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for the heated exchange. "I apologize to any of our fans that were offended," he said.
The full statement is embedded below:
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) August 19, 2019