Apex Legends could be moving to Steam as soon as this season after more than a year of the battle royale being exclusive to Origin’s game launcher, according to an event-specific charm uncovered by dataminers in Season 5.
EA stopped selling newly-released titles on Steam several years ago, instead choosing to run games through their Origin game launcher. Respawn’s battle royale was no different, and has been exclusive on EA’s client since February 2019.
Late last year, however, EA senior vice president of player networks Mike Blank teased that some of the publisher’s titles would be moving to Steam sometime in 2020. The big switch-up was planned for spring, he said at the time.
Portal 2 charm points to Apex Legends Steam release
New leaks uncovered by popular dataminers Shrugtal and Biast12 seem to confirm EA is still on schedule for that target window. In fact, Respawn could already be getting ready for a big in-game event to celebrate the client shift.
The Apex Legends leakers revealed what they had found on May 14: an unreleased charm, titled “v_charm_valve_potato”. The ornament seems to reference Valve franchise Portal, and more specifically the game’s AI villain GLaDOs.
So this got added in the files, name: "v_charm_valve_potato"
this could hint to something with valve or maybe steam pic.twitter.com/zuGnMZ5nmd
— Biast12 (Tobias) (@Biast12) May 14, 2020
There's also this Portal potato charm. pic.twitter.com/46fcZHFKyR
— Shrugtal (@shrugtal) May 14, 2020
When will Apex Legends make its Steam debut?
The spud in question certainly does seem to be pointing to Portal. For those that have never played Valve’s puzzle-breaking, gravity-defying franchise, GLaDOs is turned into a potato battery mid-way through the series sequel.
The timing also fits perfectly with Blank’s spring tease. Season 5 is expected to run from its launch last week on May 12, through the next three months. Considering world events, it would make sense if the move had been delayed slightly.
That behind-the-scenes shift would set Apex’s big Steam arrival smack bang in the middle of Summer. This fits Season 5’s run time to near perfection too, considering the battle royale’s seasons last around four months at a time.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any confirmation — leaked or official — in terms of when the swap over will begin. For now, until Respawn, EA, or Valve comment directly, PC players will just have to sit tight and keep using Origin.
The major Steam shift isn’t the only thing expected to arrive in Season 5 either: Mirage has been tipped as the next Legend to get a rare Heirloom release, and new debutant Loba will be getting a Twitch skin this month too.