Apex Legends is an excellent battle royale, but one thing it doesn't offer (that some of its competitors do) is live events that actually change the course of the game. When Fortnite's Marvel themed season 4 came to a Galactus-fueled finish, for instance, the whole thing wrapped up in a big-ass in-game event; by comparison, the arrival of Fuse in Apex Legends and all the changes it wrought unfolded entirely through cinematic trailers like the one up above.
Respawn could bring that sort of live game-changer to Apex Legends in the future, design director Jason McCord told Rock, Paper, Shotgun in a recent interview, but if it happens—and it sounds like a pretty big if—it won't be anytime soon.
"We have talked about things like that, a lot, I think that there is... I'll keep it nice and clean, I think there's a possibility that you could see it someday," McCord said. "It's an exciting opportunity to do something like that in-game. But it's a ton of effort for one moment, and that's sort of the thing we've gotta get just right. We've gotta make sure that if we do something like that it's really coming in at the right time."
That could be seen as a fit with Respawn's overall approach to the development of Apex Legends. While Epic Games has previously faced accusations of "brutal crunch" for employees working on Fortnite, which maintains a relatively high-speed rate of updates and major live events, Apex moves at a slower pace. Respawn CEO Vince Zampella said in 2019 that the studio was sticking with a schedule of seasonal updates in order to avoid overworking the team, and game director Chad Grenier shared a similar sentiment just a few months ago, saying in November 2020 that "we also refuse to crunch the team, so we'll probably be slower at making content than if we worked 15 hour days."
"That's just not something we're willing to do," Grenier said at the time. "We have nearly doubled our team size since launch to accommodate the content demands, so we're really trying to bring you quality content at a healthy pace."
Along similar lines, world director Eduardo Agostini told RPS that it's likely players will see more changes to the game's existing maps before another new one rolls around: "To put out a brand new map takes a lot of effort, so in the meantime we have the luxury of revisiting our existing maps and doing smaller, more meaningful changes to them that can still give everyone a fresh experience," he said.
That holds true for potential new vehicles as well. Apex Legends' first, the Trident hovercars, were added in season 7 along with the new Olympus map, and while McCord allowed that others could follow, "it'd be way in the future."
Apex Legends season 8 begins tomorrow, February 2.