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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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

Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev reveals top 5 most played legends in Season 7

Published: 27/Nov/2020 10:08

by Connor Bennett

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Apex Legends developer Daniel Klein has revealed the five most popular legends from Season 7 – and it should come as no surprise that Horizon is right up there already.

As the Apex Legends seasons have unfolded, it’s been easy for players to chop and change the legends they use seeing as a new character is introduced which each major, season starting update. 

The new character always receives huge attention as players want to test out the new content, but sometimes, they don’t stick around and can immediately fall to the bottom of the pile once fans are seemingly bored with them. 

In the case of Horizon and Apex Legends Season 7, she has been able to stick around as one of the most played legends – even cementing her spot amongst some of the battle royale’s long-term favorites.

Wraith in World's Edge Apex Legends
Respawn/EA
Wraith still leads the way as Apex’s most-used legend.

Speaking on The Third Party: An Apex Legends podcast, Respawn Senior Game Designer Daniel Klein revealed how the list of most played legends in the new season had started to shape up.

“Wraith, Bloodhound, Horizon, Octane, and then Lifeline, that’s the pick order right now,” Klein told the podcast hosts in relation to the top five, noting that Horizon had started to settle in the top five after her initial explosion in use. 

Octane being so high might surprise a few players, and as Klein points out, he doesn’t “win a lot of games,” but he’s so fun to play because of his speedy abilities. Klein also noted that there is an “interesting situation” with Bloodhound because they have a high pick rate, but they don’t win a lot of games. 

Timestamp of 46:00

Additionally, the Apex developer revealed that Loba has also seen a rise in her trios win rate after her Ultimate received a bit of a shake up at the start of Season 7. Though, he didn’t note just how popular and used that she has become. 

As the season unfolds, some currently lesser-played legends might see a boost in usage after Respawn rolls out patches, so, we’ll have to wait and see as to whether or not the top five is shaken up or if it stays the same moving forward.