Respawn's latest Apex Legends update teases big changes and new content coming when the second season arrives, including a new weapon, a new character, and likely changes to the map.
"We’ve seen all the feedback on Season 1 and look forward to showing you the improvements we’re making," executive producer Dean McCoy wrote, alluding to complaints that the game's update schedule is too slow to keep players interested.
"For Season 2 you can expect a Battle Pass with more meaningful content, the introduction of a new Legend, the debut of a new weapon... and you didn’t expect Kings Canyon to stay the same forever, did you?"
More immediately, McCoy said Respawn is tackling bugs and stability issues, with a priority on addressing slow server performance at the start of a match, audio issues, and incorrect hit registration. Match-start server performance in particular is an "extremely high priority," but it's also one that's proving very difficult to track down.
"So far, we know that it affects some datacenters more than others, it happens on many different server configurations, and it doesn't seem to hit multiple server instances running on the same machine," McCoy wrote. "In other words, it's not that a machine is overloaded and everything on it is running too slow—it's that one instance on the same machine seems to be doing more work than the others, and we're trying to nail down what work it's doing and work backwards to understand the root cause."
The update also doubles down on Respawn CEO Vince Zampella's words at the recent GamesBeat Summit, where he said that the studio is sticking with a seasonal update schedule to avoid overworking the development team—a major issue in the games industry as a whole that has resulted in serious problems at other studios.
"We know that, in addition to addressing issues with the game, everyone is hungry for us to add new content. The studio culture that we’ve worked hard to cultivate, and the health of our team are very important. We take those things into account when we discuss our content roadmap, the production schedule, and the frequency in which we can update the game," McCoy said.
"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. 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."
A start date for Apex Legends season 2 wasn't given, but I'd expect it sometime in late June or early July, depending on how much of a break Respawn wants after the end of the first season, which we expect that will happen on or around June 17. The first details of the next season will be revealed in June at the EA Play event at E3.