Developer Respawn Entertainment said it’s “100% committed to the long-term growth” of its new battle royale game “Apex Legends” in an open letter to the community on Thursday, even as it admitted the title’s rapid growth left the team some clear challenges.
“To say that the launch of ‘Apex Legends’ exceeded our expectations would be an understatement,” said the game’s executive producer Drew McCoy. “50 million players in the first month (and more since) is staggering for any game, let alone a new IP from a relatively small team who were taking their first swing at a free-to-play game.”
While the team is thrilled by the game’s success, it said it also hit a few bumps along the way that it plans to address. One of the critical things it’s prioritizing is cheaters. Respawn has already banned over 355,000 players on PC via the Easy-Anti-Cheat service, and it said it will share more on the progress it’s made next week.
The developer is also working to fix slow server performance at the beginning of matches, audio issues, hit registration bugs, and more.
Additionally, Respawn took time to address the issue of post-launch content and the timeliness with which it’s delivered. “Our long-term goal is to ensure ‘Apex Legends’ always feels alive and thriving, with a focus on quality of content over novelty or speed of release,” it said. “At the same time, we want to maintain our culture as a development team and avoid crunch that can quickly lead to burnout or worse.”
With that in mind, Respawn said each season will start with a new Battle Pass, a new Legend, and more. “Apex Legends” will continue to get “thoughtful updates” throughout the season that address exploits, balance change, bug fixes, and smaller features.
Finally, the team said it wants to improve how it communicates with the fan base going forward. “We need to provide more visibility into the future, and what we’re working on,” McCoy said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to start telling folks everything they want to know when they want to know it, but you can expect more transparency on future updates and fewer surprise drops.”
While “Apex Legends” started strong, there are signs its popularity is waning as fans grow disillusioned with its issues (and Respawn’s lack of communication) and influential streamers go back to playing competitors like “Fortnite” and “PUBG.” Earlier this month, StreamElements said the number of hours people spent watching the game on sites like Twitch fell substantially.