Apex Legends players were surprised with an unannounced 'leaving penalty' going live on April 3, and Respawn Entertainment have now addressed the situation.
A leaving penalty is exactly what it names suggests - a penalty handed to players who leave matches prematurely.
The premature aspect of leaving is determined by the respective game that the penalty exists in, meaning some games might have a stricter stance against leaving than others.
Usually, these penalties come in the form of a certain amount time that players are not allowing to load back into a match after the penalty has been assigned.
On April 3, for a brief amount of time, the leaving penalty was enabled in-game, despite the fact that there had been no formal announcement from Respawn Entertainment.
In that time, players learned that for every three matches they left prematurely, they were handed a five minute penalty during which they could not queue up for another match.
In the case of Apex Legends, it turned out that "leaving matches early" referred to leaving when teammates could still respawn you. This meant that anyone who left after being fully eliminated but before their Banner card expired were subject to getting penalized.
Shortly after the leaving penalty was disabled in-game, Respawn posted a message on Reddit clarifying the situation and settling down the confusion that had been swirling around the community.
As most had suspected by that point, Respawn admitted that the leaving penalty was enabled accidentally, as it had not been their "intention or plan to have it go live with the update that went out today," referring to the v1.1 patch that went live earlier on April 3.
They also revealed that the leaving penalty is still in its testing phase and that there is no ETA for when it will go live in-game, as there is the chance that it may not even be added.
Obviously this unexpected development was a major surprise on a day that had already been a very busy one for the developers at Respawn entertainment.
It will definitely be worth keeping an eye on this leaving penalty, since its addition would drastically change how the game is played.