With Apex Legends somewhat stealth launch this morning, the timing of the Titanfall spin-off’s release isn’t going unnoticed by a few. Rumoured, teased and released in the days following Anthem’s public demo, Respawn Entertainment appears to be more than happy to go head-to-head with EA’s other, and far more publicised, release in February.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Mackey McCandlish, design director at Respawn, where he explained their stance on the release timing.
RESPAWN ON THEIR THOUGHTS OF APEX LEGENDS AND ANTHEM RELEASING CLOSE TOGETHER
“You know I think that games compete with all forms of entertainment, be it another battle royale, Netflix, tennis, or watching football or even going to hang out with your family – as entertaining as that can be, anyway,” said McCandlish.
“We had some interesting options in developing our first ‘game as service, free-to-play’ game, we weren’t tied to a specific “you deliver a box at this time” and that gave us some tactical wiggle room to try and discover what’s the right number of characters to launch with, what’s the right amount, should cosmetics be there for launch and what’s the right window relative to other big releases.”
“I would say we chose a time that shows this game the best, that gave it the right amount of time to cook and that meets the appetite for battle royale at this time, more so than does it compete directly with this other big game that’s coming out,” concluded McCandlish.
We also spoke to the team about how they planned to stand out from other titles that were dominated Twitch at the moment.
“The consumer will tell you if it’s working or not,” said McCandlish. “For us, it’s a squad-focused, character-based battle royale. The competition has a more diffuse, do-everything in every game approach to battle royale. Ours is more intimate arenas, synergistic character abilities and thinking as a squad.”
“Playing free-for-all basketball is a very different game to three-on-three or five-on-five, so we’re going for a very specific game you can learn and master that has its own depth curve rather than an ‘anybody can do anything’ type of game that battle royale has come from because it’s still finding itself,” said McCandlish.
THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE FLEW TO LOS ANGELES AS A GUEST OF EA FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS EVENT.