Apex Legends

What the new Respawn studio means for players and fans

Standby for Titanfall?

This month marked the 10th anniversary of Respawn, and it also announced a new studio opening up in Vancouver B.C., dedicated specifically to developing Apex Legends. Now that Apex  has its own studio, we can likely expect a lot of changes coming to the game. I should also mention the timing.

While it’s Respawn’s 10th birthday, it’s also the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s good to see them persevering regardless of circumstance. But what does this perseverance and the new studio mean for fans of their games?

Opportunities galore

Having a dedicated studio opens up the possibilities for more community input and more frequent changes to the game. The added resources a new studio provides gives the devs more chances for experimentation to see what works and what doesn’t for the game. Fortnite recently announced a whole new party royale mode, where the focus is fun instead of fighting. While that specific idea likely won’t make it to Apex, more experimental modes could eventually be developed.

Apex Legends Quest

In the past we’ve seen things like the Battle Armor event, and now the newer PvE quest missions. Apex‘s developers  working at the new studio have opportunities to create whole new game modes for players to try out. With a new team at the helm, we can definitely expect fresh ideas and the potential for more innovation.

Apex Legends mobile has already had something of a potential release date in the 2021 fiscal year – which starts as of October 2020. Of course, having Apex on mobile is a good idea, given the constant growth of the mobile gaming scene. Other popular battle royales have already made their mobile debut, so the entry to mobile may be a bit of a difficult one.

A possible story mode?

The quest system implemented in Season 5 could also be something to spin-off into new modes. With the added resources, it’s possible that Apex Legends may see it’s own story mode in the future. This could take the form of a whole new game à la Overwatch 2. Or it could come as a massive content drop for the already established game — which may be the more practical thing to do, albeit less fun. Either way, a story mode would be a good way to further flesh out the lore of the Titanfall universe, which Apex inhabits.

Since its launch, Respawn have been working consistently on Apex Legends. Balance changes, events, new seasons and all the new content we’ve come to expect from them all take time. This has undoubtedly kept them busy, and it makes sense to stay the course considering the runaway success of Apex.

A big thing for me are all the subtle –and sometimes not so subtle — details that help to establish this part of the universe where the Apex games take place. Even when it’s not in your face, the devs give you little insights into the world you’re playing around in. And every little interaction gives you a window into how the legends see each-other.

But where is this Titanfall you speak of?

C’mon Vince, it’s been a year. Give us something. Something concrete, that is. In a recent interview with IGN, Zampella actually said outright that no new Titanfall projects are in development, but that the studio would love to return to that universe. If that sounds disheartening, I will remind you that Respawn developed Apex Legends completely in secret, not revealing what they were doing until the very end. The rascals! If they were secretly working on two more Titanfall sequels and a spinoff franchise I would be mad, but not surprised.

Now with the new Vancouver studio, development of Apex Legends will continue in the same way. This will allow the main company to branch out more and explore new opportunities if they see fit. They have already proven their prowess in non-shooter titles with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Circling back to the topic of sequels: it’s possible that the added relief to Respawn’s home studio means more opportunity for expansion of the Titanfall universe. That, or uh… new IPs entirely, I guess. Many players really just want Titanfall 3.

During its time in the spotlight, theTitanfall series saw its fair share of ups, downs, and unfortunate release dates. Ironically, the series finally got the attention boost it deserved once Apex Legends launched. Now, it’s clear Respawn hadn’t given up on the Titanfall universe, with Apex carrying so much of its legacy forward. If Respawn wants to return to the series, it now has the time and opportunity to further flesh out the universe. Maybe we could see a possible sequel, or even a prequel? It could take the Apex route and create a spin-off game, which would explore another one of the factions, or a completely unheard-of concept.

Hear me out guys — WALL-E but with TITANS. Wait, why are you laughing?

In any case, whether the new Respawn studio serves just to alleviate pressure on the main studio, or to open it up to new possibilities with their existing franchises or brand new ones, it’ll be exciting to see what Respawn cooks up for us next.

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Kevin Dewan

SQUAD Editor in Chief. Runs after things a lot, won't BM you to your face, okay with losing as long as it's funny. Send questions/complaints/rants to kevin@northernarena.ca
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