Apex Legends developers respond to claims of burnout at Respawn - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends developers respond to claims of burnout at Respawn

Published: 25/Jul/2020 13:42 Updated: 25/Jul/2020 13:44

by Joe Craven

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Chad Grenier, Apex Legends game director, and other devs at Respawn, have defended working conditions at the studio, after a negative review of the EA-owned company garnered a lot of attention. 

The ongoing global health crisis has caused unprecedented issues in a host of occupations, including video game design. A host of companies have delayed content releases and made adjustments to their game’s scheduling in order to cope.

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One Respawn employee, however, has hit out at their employers in an overwhelmingly negative review on Glassdoor. The employee’s review is from April 2020, and criticizes Respawn for a number of things. While positive comments center on office improvements and knowing how to make an engaging game, there are far more negative observations.

The post details “burnout, stress and heavy anxiety” experienced at Respawn, while working on Apex Legends. The employee states that they are working 12 or 13 hours a day, and do not feel deadlines have been flexible enough to accommodate the difficult working conditions. It also states that there has been “no attention” paid to employee health.

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Respawn Entertainment Review on Glassdoor
Glassdoor
The negative review.

The review was posted to the Apex Legends subreddit, where it quickly garnered attention.

A number of Respawn devs on Reddit joined the conversation, with many defending the company. Chad Grenier, game director at Respawn Entertainment, was one of these who spoke out.

In a lengthy response, he stated: “I truly believe Respawn has it’s employee’s best interest and health in mind, and always has… As the Apex team leader I was vocal every day telling people to only work as much as they can. This was reiterated by Studio leadership, and EA leadership as well.”

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Wattson, Bangalore and Octane from Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
The studio behind Apex Legends is Respawn Entertainment.

“Regarding deadlines and delays, I was very vocal to the team about their deadlines,” Grenier continued. “Like a broken record I continuously asked that people speak up to their managers or producers if they will not be able to get their work done on time without crunching. Delays would be ok, we just need to know one is needed.”

On the topic of the anonymous staff member behind the review, Grenier clarified that he does not believe them to be “wrong”, but that many of their staff do not want to let each other, or the game’s fan base down.

He summarised: “Are we perfect? No, of course not. Does Respawn and EA 100% care more about the health of the team than the game and its profits? Absolutely, even in non-pandemic times. As one of the original Respawners I can honestly tell you that Respawn (and EA) has been a great place to be over the past 10 years and is a place that puts the people first.”

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Other developers at the studio also commented. “I can honestly say that I personally feel very supported by my teammates and my leaders,” said Moy Parra, an animator on Apex Legends. “Respawn is not a perfect place but damn do they put the well-being of their developers as a really high priority.”

It’s fair to assume that the ongoing world health situation has created more issues for video game developers than it initially seemed, which may go some way to explain the difficult conditions some staff are experiencing.

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Respawn and EA are yet to make an official statement as a company.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends update 1.48 fixes broken Pathfinder: Patch Notes

Published: 12/Oct/2020 22:22

by Alan Bernal

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The Apex Legends 1.48 hotfix update has dropped and will hopefully address the troublesome Pathfinder bug that some people have encountered, while cleaning up a few more issues that Respawn noticed.

As the next phase of the battle royale takes shape in Season 6, there’s been a fair few changes to Legends across the board. However, even when the meta is going smoothly, problematic glitches tend to appear at the worst times.

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Respawn dropped three bug fixes in the 1.48 patch, containing solutions for recurring issues dealing with Crypto’s EMP ultimate ability, Pathy’s Grapple, as well as the HUD elements that can sometimes get in the way of each other.

These have all been widely reported by the Apex community, who now hope it’ll be the last time they’ll have to put up with it in their matches.

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Artur13fps via Twitter
The Pathfinder shoulder bug blocked a portion of the screen after using the grapple.

Pathfinder’s shoulder bug

Apex players should be able to use Pathfinder’s Grapple Hook without hesitating, now that Respawn have launched a fix to the shoulder bug that would cover the screen.

His animation for the Tactical Ability can sometimes cause the screen to get clogged up by his shoulder. This would leave players frustrated seeing as they couldn’t relieve the situation by any means.

But the devs think they resolved the issue on their end, though players were already saying the update didn’t really fix the problem.

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Crypto EMP weapon bug

While the Pathfinder bug interrupted people’s line of sight, Crypto’s EMP bug indirectly disabled the Surveillance Expert’s ability to use a gun.

Respawn said they’ve fixed an issue where “Crypto was unable to use weapons when triggering EMP while not in drone mode.”

This would obvious create a ton of problems for people trying to create a play with the EMP, making it a high-priority target for the devs to resolve.

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Finally, the studio changed up the HUD elements a bit, since they saw that the ‘Performance Display’ would sometimes overlap with the Kill/Assists on the screen.

The hotfix patch will hopefully give players an easier time navigating in the Arena. While it’s a relatively small patch, check out the notes below, courtesy of Respawn.

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Apex Legends 1.48 patch notes

  • Pathfinder’s shoulder staying in view after using grapple
  • Crypto unable to use weapons when triggering EMP while not in drone mode
  • Moved Performance Display so it doesn’t overlap with Kill/Assists HUD element in Ranked