Apex Legends needs to rethink lackluster events

Alex Garton
Apex Legends lackluster events
Respawn Entertainment

A worrying trend has begun to develop in the last few Apex Legends events as the content for the battle royale side of the game seems to be taking more and more of a backseat.

On January 6, Respawn revealed that Dark Depths will be the latest event coming to Apex Legends and will last all the way to early February, the expected release window of Season 12.

Unfortunately, the under-water inspired event appears to be rather shallow when it comes to content, only adding a range of new cosmetics and the Habitat Arenas map.

On it’s own, this wouldn’t be a problem, but this update continues a trend of lackluster events, missing the point of why many of Apex love the game, and what they need to stay engaged. Ultimately, a focus on Arenas could start to come at the expense of the battle royale.

A split focus between Arenas and Battle Royale

Apex Legends Arenas event Dark Depths
Respawn Entertainment
The Dark Depths event kicks off on January 11.

The release of Arenas back in Season 9 was a landmark addition for Apex Legends as the 3v3 mode gave the community a brand new way to battle in the Outlands. However, since its arrival, Respawn seem to have shifted a lot of events between seasons into Arenas content updates, adding multiple new maps and even a mini takeover with Rampart in Evolution.

Although there’s no denying Arenas is fun, it’s not why the bulk of the playerbase jumps onto Apex Legends every day. As a result, Thrillseekers, Monsters Within, and now Dark Depths have all felt like a disappointment to players who primarily play the battle royale.

A bulk of the criticism towards Dark Depths at the moment directly accuses Respawn of putting in no effort with the upcoming update. This is clearly not the case, as Habitat looks to be one of the most complex and well-designed Arenas maps yet.

However, by not adding any fresh content to their main mode or creating a new LTM, Respawn has failed to please the majority of their community. In fact, there has not been a new LTM since April 2021 – nine months with no new modes is certainly alarming in a live service game.

While Arenas definitely deserves attention from the devs, the battle royale space will always be Apex’s bread and butter, and Respawn can’t lose sight of that.

Cosmetics are not content

Horizon Dark Depths skin
Respawn Entertainment
Dark Depths includes 40 new collectibles.

“Cosmetics are not content” is a common mantra from Apex players now. When new content for the primary mode continues to be lackluster, but skins and cosmetics are always at the forefront of every event trailer, it’s easy to understand why the community is growing more and more frustrated.

This issue was encapsulated perfectly in the recent Raiders event, which only introduced custom reticles and the annual Winter Express mode, with little changes to its previous versions. Besides that, the Collection Event completely revolved around Wattson’s Heirloom and the new cosmetics.

Now, with Dark Depths, again the update brings no new BR content, only fresh cosmetics, and another Arenas map, that won’t excite all the players who spend no time in Arenas at all.

If every update delivers a fresh set of Shiny skins but nothing new to play, it’s no surprise that the microtransactions will receive extra backlash. It’s essential that as a live service game, Apex strikes balance between content and cosmetics, and at the moment, that balance is off.

Growing frustration from the community

Dark Depths skins Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Dark Depths has received a lot of backlash from the Apex community.

While no event is going to please everyone, the reveal of Dark Depths on January 6 may have been the breaking point for some. Some labeled the reveal “embarrassing”, as a lot of the community believe the event should have been marketed as a sale, not an update.

“Seriously, skins, that’s all you can offer? Call it a flash sale, not a limited-time event… actual question: when was the last new LTM (limited-time mode)? It was so long ago that I can’t even remember which one it was, or in which season.”

Overall, it’s obvious a lot of the community has lost faith in Respawn over the past six months especially when it comes to delivering new content. Not only that, misleading discounts on the storefront and serious exploits in-game have only caused resentment to build up further.

Ultimately, there’s only one way to fix this growing frustration and that’s through communication. Understanding exactly what the playerbase wants to see in future events will help the devs re-align themselves with the community, and build up a stronger relationship.

Thankfully, the developers have acknowledged the need for LTMs, but it doesn’t look like that will be coming until Season 12 at the earliest.