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Apex Legends Director Teases New Legend, Confirms Season 10 Will Add Ranked Arenas

Game director Chad Grenier dishes on what's next for Apex Legends.


As part of the EA Play Live Spotlight Series showcase for FPS games today, Apex Legends developer Chad Grenier briefly discussed what's next for the battle royale game. This includes a new hero and ranked Arenas.

At EA Play Live on July 22, Respawn will formally announce the next Legend for Apex Legends. Grenier confirmed this hero is a male, and teased that he is interesting and unique in many ways. Leaks have suggested the character is named Seer, but nothing is confirmed yet.

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This new character will be Apex's 18th Legend and the first since Valkyrie was introduced in Season 9.

Also during the panel discussion, Grenier said Apex Legends will continue to expand beyond its battle royale mode. Battle royale will remain the focus, he said, but Respawn will look to other ways to grow the game, and this includes Arenas. This scaled-back battle royale mode was introduced in the Legacy update, and in Season 10, Respawn will add a Ranked option.

The fact that a Ranked option wasn't available at the launch of Arenas is representative of how Respawn is evolving as a developer. Grenier said one of the big takeaways from Apex Legends so far was that the team is being more intentional and disciplined about holding back releasing new content until it feels confident that it's ready for release.

Ranked Arenas were not quite ready for Season 9, so the developer took extra time. Overall, Grenier said Respawn is trying to be more flexible on dates for new features, with the overarching belief that the studio would rather wait until something is good and ready before releasing it instead of putting it out just to hit a date.

The conversation also touched on development timelines with the aim of helping fans understand that content can take a long time to create. Vince Zampella, the head of Respawn, said people generally don't understand how long new content takes to develop, pointing out that a new character for Apex Legends takes a year or longer to develop.

A single map can take about 1.5 years to develop, Grenier said, while updates to an existing map can be released faster, at about six months. Grenier said Respawn is currently a couple of seasons ahead in terms of its development pipeline for new content for Apex Legends.

Because Apex Legends was released as a surprise back in February 2020, Beyonce-style, the team wasn't sure it would be a success and wasn't totally prepared for it to be. Grenier said if he could go back in time, he'd do more to make sure the team had the necessary pipelines, tools, and team infrastructure to support what the studio wanted to achieve. The success of Apex Legends out of the gate surprised the team, and they struggled to meet demands, Grenier said. As a result, the game's early seasons struggled in some ways, and the teams had to work extra hard to deliver, Grenier said.

For his part, Zampella said a major area of focus these days is allowing Respawn's developers to have a better quality of life as it relates to working hours and conditions.

The EA Play Live Spotlight Series also included updates on Battlefield 2042 and a tease for the new mode that will be announced later this month.

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