Apex Legends dev criticizes toxic players “insulting” Respawn developers

Horizon next to Apex Legends logoRespawn Entertainment

An Apex Legends developer has highlighted ‘insulting treatment’ of the game’s developers from some in the player base, explaining that it forces some devs to avoid direct communication with the community. 

The relationship between Apex Legends players and the developers has been strained at times, especially around monetization issues, and a developer has opened up to give their side of the conversation.

Some of the development team at Respawn now apparently avoid direct interaction with players based on the “treatment” they receive.

Daniel Klein, a Senior Game Designer at Respawn, who focuses primarily on Legend balance can be found regularly interacting with Apex players on social media. However, on December 4, he criticized a small portion of the community who insult and personally criticize the devs behind Apex Legends.

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Apex Legends characters on the Winter Express trainRespawn/EA
Apex Legends players have been criticized for ‘insulting’ Respawn devs.

Klein was originally responding to a question from a player, asking if Respawn could “bring along someone who can speak to the pricing model, bundle trend, and generally horrible store?”

“Negativity” from Apex Legends players

The Respawn dev weighed in, responding: “No offense, but many of the people who make those decisions just don’t want to come to Reddit for how they’re treated here. It should be clear that it’s not in my job description to be here either: I do it because I want to, but I want to be very careful not to make it into an expectation for other devs.”

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While Klein made clear that he cannot speak for other devs, it is understandable that toxicity from even a minority of players could be very off-putting. Player feedback is an important part of any gaming community, but abusing or insulting devs is never acceptable.

“Even if it’s not as bad as the stuff I quoted, the constant barrage of negativity and people telling you you suck at your job, asking for you to be fired, calling you names, etc,” he continued, “it will wear you down and people sometimes have serious psychological trauma when they feel pressured to expose themselves to this negativity even when they don’t feel up to it.”

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Responses to Klein’s comment were mixed. One Redditor argued that: “You’re basically saying, “some people at Respawn have thin skin and would rather avoid player feedback entirely than attempt to be accountable”. That’s pretty disheartening to read.”

Klein, though, stuck by his comments, finishing: “I’m saying people aren’t getting paid to have insults yelled at them and I’m here as an extracurricular. No one owes you their time.”

Daniel Klein's comments on Reddit over Respawn abuseReddit
Klein’s final response.

Healthy communication between devs and players is crucial to the success of any major game, but many players can often cross the line and discourage devs from responding publicly.

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The issues recently have stemmed from the arrangement of bundles in the Holo-Day Bash event. The bundles appear to deliberately put matching skins in different bundles, meaning players have to buy more than one bundle to acquire matching cosmetics.

This follows an earlier controversy in Season 7 over changes to the battle pass system. Although changes have now been made, the pass initially took a lot longer to level up, which players thought was a deliberate ploy to encourage the purchase of levels with real money.