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Respawn Entertainment Launches New Studio to Focus Entirely On Apex Legends

Respawn Entertainment celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in a big way, but unveiling that it had launched a second studio location that will be entirely dedicated to the further development of it’s mega-popular battle royale title ‘Apex Legends’, according to Game Industry Buzz’s Rebekah Valentine.

The new studio which is based in Vancouver, Canada, where EA already has established a base.

During the interview with the website, Respawn COO Dusty Welch says that the company was surprised just how popular the game is, and how fast it took off. Certainly the game has seen incredible traction and visibility on a number of the most popular Twitch channels, and a lot of the viewership generated has been so notable, it has made Twitch news headlines numerous times following it’s launch.

“When you look at Vancouver, it’s one of our [EA’s] biggest studio locations,” head of operations Henry Lee said. “And Vancouver is full of talented people in the games industry, so there was a natural fit with Steven coming on board with his core team and really establishing that foundation. Now we’re just adding the missing pieces to it.”

Lee, along with team director Chad Grenier, will help lead the new team in Vancouver.

“This is a great opportunity, not just for the Vancouver studio to bring some new creative challenges to people already there, but also to the local industry in terms of being part of the Apex Legends roadmap. So we’re very excited about bringing this to Vancouver and hopefully greater Canada as well, because we can tap into much more of a talent base broadly.”

“We approached [hiring] a little bit differently than we would normally,” Ferreira says. “Rather than list out the thing we want to get done and therefore what roles we need, we started off with: we know we want to build Apex, And Apex has a huge opportunity to evolve in the future, being a live service game. And so we started with who was passionate about making Apex, and we built a team around strong individuals as opposed to a project plan that you would conventionally start off a project around.”

Despite Respawn’s association with EA, EA has mostly been “hands off” with Apex Legends.

“I’ve never run a franchise before where there’s been so little or no pressure from the publisher or from corporate or my partner about the monetization or the revenue,” Welch said. “That is not how Respawn has been wired or built. I don’t think that EA is wired or built that way.

“There’s obviously a balance between monetization and doing things the right way and the health of the team. And I love that EA and their leadership team understand that balance and what’s important for Respawn. They allow us to make the decisions and the calls that are best for our company and our team, and also consideration for the IP and our player base. It’s an interesting matrix of things to try and manage.

“We have a long-term view for where we’d like to take the franchise, and EA supports that long-term view of building out the franchise. FIFA didn’t grow to be the juggernaut it is today in one night. Call of Duty — something near and dear to many of us on this call back in our Activision days — didn’t grow there in one night. It took time to get there, so we have that realistic long-term view, and I appreciate the support from EA and the lack of pressure.”

For those who may be expecting a Titanfall 3, it doesn’t sound like that will be happening anytime soon, according to IGN.


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