Apex Legends writer explains why they can’t use fan-made concepts

Andy Williams

One of the writers behind Apex Legends has delved into why they can’t take inspiration from fan-made concepts, with the top and tail of it all coming down to plagiarism.

There’s an abundance of fan-made fiction and/or concepts about the Apex Legends universe. Right across Twitter, YouTube and Reddit there’s always a constant stream of ideas from passionate minds, eager to have their input flaunted in-game.

Who better to understand what the game needs, than the very people who play it day-in, day-out? Given just how responsive Respawn can be on forums, surely they’ll take inspiration from some of these ideas at some point?

Well, it turns out that is most definitely not the case, as writers aren’t just tasked with creating compelling storylines for players, but must do so while avoiding any potential claims of plagiarism.

Loba in Apex Legends.
Loba’s storyline was introduced as part of Revenant’s cinematic reveal trailer.

Tom Casiello, one of the minds behind the gripping narrative in Apex Legends, explained exactly why he cannot afford to even look into the labyrinth of fan fiction that has been put out there.

“It’s all about the worst-case scenario. But it’s a worst-case scenario that can end your career: the plagiarism accusation,” Casiello began.

“There are only so many ideas, and if I accidentally stumble into a character someone else thinks they created and I stole from them, then they can sue me.”

Casiello then went on to explain how he cannot afford to even look at the multitude of concepts that are sent his way, referring to an instance that cropped up during a previous line of work.

“I wrote a joke into an episode of a TV show that I swear I thought of myself. Two months later, I caught it on an episode of The Simpsons from 1996. That line was somewhere in my subconscious and I had no idea it was from another show.”

Essentially, the Respawn team have to limit themselves to their thoughts and ideas, to ensure nothing comes back to haunt them later down the line. But those well-thought-out concepts won’t go to waste completely, as Casiello vowed to read them once his work on Apex Legends has come to an end.

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