Respawn CEO addresses Apex Legends “ass-hat” debacle amid monetizing backlash


Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella gave a statement regarding the backlash regarding Apex Legends‘ Iron Crown event and a developer calling players “freeloaders” among other things.

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The Apex Legends subreddit is in a bad spot following the August 16 update that saw the developers apologizing for the way microtransactions were implemented for the event.

One developer in particular, Drew McCoy, engaged in a back and forth between several Reddit users and at one point called players “freeloaders” and “ass-hats” which has not sat well with the community at all.

Respawn EntertainmentThe Iron Crown event has caused a lot of problems with the Apex community.
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Zampella released a statement on August 19 condemning the actions of the developers and their words, while giving an apology to the fans.

“On Friday, we gave Apex fans an update on how we were changing the Iron Crown event,” he wrote. “Some of the team then joined a discussion with our community on Reddit, and things got to a pretty bad place. Some of our folks crossed a line with their comments, and that’s not how we want Respawn to be represented. I apologize to any of our fans that were offended.”

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With that said, Zampella does stand behind his team, even if he doesn’t agree with everything they said.

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“I will always stand behind the team here at Respawn and support them on speaking out against some of the toxic and nasty comments aimed at their families and loved ones,” he said in the statement. “But we shouldn’t contribute to it when we do comment, and add to the very thing we want to prevent. Last week we didn’t do that, going forward we will be better. Having an open, healthy relationship with our community is incredibly important to all of us at Respawn.”

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The subreddit has banded together and turned the “freeloaders” comment into a rallying cry showing just how fresh the wound still is.

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This statement from Zampella is the first step in the long road to winning back the trust and respect from the playerbase.