Respawn Entertainment developers are at an impasse with their Apex Legends community, and are planning on ways to “break the stalemate” with some of the more toxic people in their fanbase.
It’s tough to be a developer nowadays. Since Apex launched, Respawn has been constantly under fire for the state of their game, the monetization practices within it, and off-hand comments that then get picked up by reactionary sentiments from social media.
Negativity has reached a point to where Senior Game Designer Daniel Z. Klein has hit back against “the constant barrage of negativity and people telling you you suck at your job, asking for you to be fired, calling you names, etc.” by a portion of the Apex community.
To be clear, the Apex Legends community is filled with people who are respectful, patient, and generally a positive force for everyone else. But to take meaningful steps in preventing toxic back-and-forths from some Apex Legends players to devs in the future, Director of Communications Ryan Rigney wants to try out new things – some of which are already underway.
Rigney is going to open the pipeline of direct communication between the developers and Apex players even more. With everything from Ask Me Anything (AMA) forums to produced content in Respawn’s official channels, people can expect more pointed messages from the studio.
“We’re hoping to help break the stalemate with things like seasonal AMAs, more regular messaging on our owned channels (like new content types on Respawn.com), and with more direct support for brave soldiers like Daniel Z. Klein who likes to wade out amongst the people. That stuff matters, and it’ll be worth doing,” Rigney said.
The comms director recognizes how some topics, like monetization, need their own space to be talked about in Respawn’s more official channels. But it sounds like the exec is planning to tackle these issues head-on to mitigate player-speculation that can later escalate to hate and vitriol.
“It feels like there’s a stalemate between devs and the people that play their games,” he said. “I don’t just mean here (on Reddit), but everywhere. The same patterns play out in cycles, and it has all become very predictable… But man. I sure wish the overall relationship between devs and players online felt different.”
At the start of Season 7, Rigney, Klein, and nine other high ranking developers held an AMA to talk about all the changes in the game as well as the ever-controversial Battle Pass.
In that thread, Respawn directly responded with over 50 comments directly addressing concerns, questions, and speculation of all things Apex Legends.
According to Rigney, we can expect a lot more of these interactions and more content on their official YouTuber and Twitter accounts to satisfy players.
The studio is making this adaptation in hopes to smooth over relations with their Apex Legends community, and hopefully quell the more volatile members online.