Respawn Doesn't Want To Make An Apex Legends 2--"That's Our Anti-Vision"
Respawn wants to be smart about how it expands Apex Legends, aiming for quality content over quantity.
Apex Legends is now over four years old and heading into Season 16, which is quite the feat given the live-service game bubble looks ready to burst. Going into Season 16, Respawn is shifting its priorities for the game in order to ensure the Apex Legends team isn't just adding new content for the sake of it. The team wants to avoid adding so much that they design the battle royale into an inescapable corner and their only choice is to sunset the game and then create Apex Legends 2.
"I think what's fundamental to the philosophy that [design director] Evan [Nikolich's] been talking about is that our goal is that we don't want to be just putting out content for the sake of putting out content," game director Steve Ferreira told GameSpot in an interview discussing the four-year history of Apex Legends.
"One, we want to have an impact on the game, but two, we want to make sure that we haven't forgotten the game holistically. [We don't want to] slowly put the game into a state where the only option for us to do the next thing we want to do is to refactor the whole thing and shut the live game down and then launch Apex Legends 2. That's our anti-vision."
Obviously, Apex Legends likely won't go on forever. At some point, the servers for the always-online multiplayer game could be shut down and at that point, the game won't be playable anymore. But the team is planning to have Apex Legends go on for as long as they can and avoid releasing a sequel live-service game in the same vein as Destiny 2 or Overwatch 2.
"While we don't have a date in mind--and, to your point, I don't think anything lives forever--in our minds, Apex is going to continue on for definitely as long as any of us are going to work on it, and then the next people, and next people," Ferreira said. "We think of it as a never-ending thing, but in order to get there, I think we do have to at least obviously believe in our approach, which is making sure that we are making the changes to the game when they're ready and when we need those things to land as opposed to just hitting a formula of content that players expect."
Nikolich points to Apex Legends' competitive core as a potential indicator of the game's longevity. "What sets Apex up for potential success forever at its core is the competitive nature of its gameplay," Nikolich told GameSpot. "It is a competition. And games that have stood the test of time--and I'm talking about all games--are competitive games. Chess is one of them, for example. Chess as a game is never going to go away. And so while we are far from being chess, as long as we do our best to keep tending to that [competitive side of players], focusing on the core of the game and building the systems around it to keep growing it and keep it engaging, Apex could last forever."
Apex Legends Season 16 is an ideal on-ramp for new players, kicking off February 14. The season is the first to not add a new playable character to Apex Legends and instead makes large changes to seven legends and reworks class perks.