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Respawn co-founder and Apex director leaves, promises 'years worth of content in flight'

Apex Legends characters look out of a dropship's doors.
(Image credit: Respawn)
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Respawn co-founder and Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier has announced he is leaving the studio after eleven years. "After helping to co-found the studio, bring the Titanfall universe to life, and launch the incredible experiment that is Apex Legends—it’s been an unforgettable ride to say the least," writes Grenier. "But today, this crazy chapter comes to an end."

Grenier's list of game credits includes some of the most influential first-person shooters ever made, and goes all the way back to the original Call of Duty. He also played key roles on Modern Warfare and its first sequel, before Titanfall and Titanfall 2, before working as game director on Apex Legends.

"Apex Legends is in great hands and I feel like I can walk away knowing this game and community will continue to be taken care of," writes Grenier. "We’ve got years worth of content in flight, and I can’t think of anyone better than Steven Ferreira to take over as the game director and make sure it’s done right. Steven joined as a lead on the Apex Legends team shortly after launch in June 2019, where he’s been running half of the team and serving as my right hand for the other half."

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Grenier hasn't indicated what he's going to be up to next, though one imagines the first priority is several months off. "Even after all this time, I feel like a kid leaving the nest, and, as corny as it sounds, leaving a family behind. I’ll be bringing the experience and lessons learned from this incredible group to everything I do down the road. It will probably be tough to see the game continue to thrive and succeed in my absence, but that’s a good thing."

It's something of a time of renewal for Apex Legends, which remains in rude health (and, whisper it, arguably the best BR out there). Grenier's departure comes alongside the news that Jason McCord, design director of the game, is also leaving Respawn. He's "going to walk the Earth for a bit and recharge."

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The last thing Grenier did on social media before announcing his departure was to share Respawn's September tweet, sparked by reports that the Titanfall series was being mothballed. Well, in the case of the original Titanfall, that's arguably true. But in terms of the series' future, Respawn says merely: "Contrary to what some folks are reporting, Titanfall is the very core of our DNA. Who knows what the future holds..."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."