Apex Legends: Respawn CEO Responds To Studio's "Freeloaders" Controversy
Zampella stands behind team, but says they shouldn't contribute to toxic culture.
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Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella has issued a statement apologizing for an incident in which members of the Apex Legends team were critical of the community. While he said he firmly stands behind the team when it comes to defending itself from "toxic and nasty comments"--which he noted include things like death threats or comments directed at developers' loved ones--he also said the team shouldn't add to the fray.
It started with another admission of guilt, when project lead Drew McCoy announced changes to the Iron Crown event. That ongoing event has unique cosmetics that could only be earned through randomized Apex Packs, driving the cost up to more than $150 for everything together. McCoy said that making skins so expensive broke the studio's promise to make its monetization fair, so the shop began selling the cosmetics individually.
A thread on the Apex Legends subreddit had developers engaging with the community and offering their thoughts. But things took a turn for the worse when developers criticized the community with insulting language and saying most players are "freeloaders." After hours of tensions, Zampella issued a statement on Twitter.
"Some of our folks crossed a line with their comments, and that's not how we want Respawn to be represented," he said. "I apologize to any of our fans that were offended. I will always stand behind the team here at Respawn and support them on speaking out against some of the toxic and nasty comments being directed at them, including everything from death threats to comments aimed at their family and loved ones. But we shouldn't contribute to it when we do comment, and add to the very thing we want to prevent. We need to lead by example."
Zampella's statement was also posted on the subreddit itself, where the top-upvoted comments seem fairly receptive to it. Some are faulting both the devs and community for being overly hostile, while others are trying to turn attention back towards more constructive criticism.
The Iron Crown event is centered around a new limited-time Solos mode, which is structured like the regular battle royale but (as you might expect) you're going it alone.
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