The Story of Apex Legends

The Story of Apex Legends

For decades, the process of releasing triple A video games has followed a predictable path, but what if there was a developer confident enough to buck that trend.

No media previews.

No gigantic marketing campaigns.

And absolutely no warning.

This is The Story of Apex Legends

Written by: Devin Jones(@milkshks)
Edited by: Matt Massey
Voiced by: Colin McNeil (@McNeilColin)
Animations by Christian Pearson (@Chr_Pearson)

Video Courtesies:

Music used under license from Associated Production Music LLC (”APM”).

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The Story of Apex Legends

for decades the process of releasing Triple A video games has followed a predictable path next generation engine we're introducing a new era of battlefield this has been honored to be working together with Infinity Ward to create modern warfare 3 but what if there was a developer competent enough to buck that trend no media previews one minute and 53 seconds to the entire world no gigantic marketing campaigns and absolutely no warning there's our countdown guys the sit here ready let's see what this game is all about baby 19 18 17 so we're gonna we're gonna experience it together I'm ready to oh all these people are about to play this game and they're bout this up 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 it's a broad day baby what's up night oh my god oh my god dude oh my god I got all through peach take eat that bitch let's go apex legends origins date back to 2010 when Vince Zampella and Jason West founded Respawn Entertainment after a messy breakup with Activision forced them out of the studio they co-founded and a multi-billion dollar franchise they helped create Call of Duty is like my baby you know I helped create it I don't want to see it die right you know I want to make something different I want to make something you know new and bring a new game to people so we opened up the company we had it was just Jason and I we started the company we didn't know what the reaction would be you know some of its based on probably how well Activision was treating the people and what they were doing to try to lock them down and you know you never know what's gonna happen and for us to get that much interest was yeah it floored me after four years of quiet development respawned came out swinging at e3 eager to announce what they've been working on hello everyone it feels really great to be back on this stage and finally sharing with you titanfall the team at respawn has been hard at work pushing the boundaries of multiplayer gaming partnered with Microsoft has given us an amazing opportunity to define what this generation of gaming has to offer beyond just Hardware titanfall launched on March 11th 2014 as a multiplayer only microsoft exclusive published by EA a decision that we made to try to take that the story elements and put them in kind of weave them in descent into multiplayer because it was something new you know it was it was that desire to really just express ourselves in a different way buttery smooth gunplay helped anchor it's wild and kinetic movement while giant mechs served as inspiring ultimate abilities respond presented the world with a brand new IP wrapped up in all the pomp and circumstance its lineage is known for fight all of our sacrifice is bought us is one day but despite strong sales and generally favorable reviews there was an alien quality to titanfall that extended beyond the space opera themes audiences didn't quite know how to respond to a game with no traditional single-player campaign and a lack of core content I think if we had tried to do a single-player campaign back then we wouldn't have done it as well because we didn't understand or we didn't have a good understanding of how to mold those mechanics into a single-player game that we got post you know talking photo unlocking so all this coupled with shoddy matchmaking inconsistent performance on console and a lack of on disc content meant that titanfall was forgotten as quickly as it arrived Titan falls problem was that it didn't have enough juice in its multi player to keep you coming back over and over and over again I tied it out you know after resenting that second time around they didn't have content or a plan or announcement of what they're gonna do to make you want to come back and keep powering it on for this when respawn released a trailer for titanfall 2 in April of 2016 it seemed like they listened to feedback and made changes for the better it's a different story like you don't have to have played titanfall one to enjoy understand Titan fry – it's its own contained story and and everything so and which it was important for us yes we hopefully will have a lot of new fans the sequel included an interesting single-player story more emphasis on unique Titan classes and more of everything people loved about the originals multiplayer but of course in classic respawn fashion things weren't easy the month of October is a historically crowded release window for videogames so when it was announced that titanfall 2 would release on October 28th the community scratched their heads with many assuming EA was sending it out to die it's only a damn shame that EA made the fucked up decision to release it like a week after battlefield 1 and just before call of duty almost dooming it to fewer sales and less recognition but depending on what you read and who you listen to the decision to release titanfall 2 between EA zone battlefield 1 and Call of Duty infinite warfare reportedly was respawns combined the release window with a lack of marketing and people assuming it was still a console exclusive and titanfall 2's launch week sales only reached a quarter of its predecessors through that same time period two rounds in and the brash rebel studio was on the ropes and in need of a win after the release of titanfall 2 EA bought respawn in 2017 and started development on a third title in the franchise a is buying respawn developer of titanfall 1 & 2 and apparently 3 yes and a as yet to be named Star Wars game in a deal that is reportedly worth up to four hundred and fifty five million dollars but in watching the Battle Royale genre take the world by storm respawn decided to make some changes when battle royale started to blow up we recognize that this was a opportunities is a new genre and it's a chance to define that space up until this point the Battle Royale genre had occupied two popular extremes the gritty military inspired tactics of pubsey and Call of Duty black out that rewarded methodical play and twitchy reflexes come on you gotta cross off me like that let's go and fortnight which is well fortnight oh my god if that respawn were hyper aware of this and made sure that their Battle Royale game would land squarely in the middle straddling fortnight's quirky over-the-top nature with the fast and strategic gunplay of pub G and blackout sprinkled with a dash of MOBA inspired hero abilities for good measure and it would be known as apex legends silence you think you've got what it takes and coulis a bakes legends set 30 years after the events of titanfall to the world of apex legends is rife with Civil War and political unrest a long-forgotten bloodsport is resurrected and 60 legends drop into kings canyon scrambling for weapons and resources before fucking each other up in the name of glory I can do this I think let's fucking go dude let's fucking go 33 let me choose Apex follows in the footsteps of its battle royale peers by borrowing concepts and twisting them slightly which uh sure's in a sense of familiarity just different enough to be refreshing we play games just like everybody else and so we were like if we're gonna do battle royale like we're really gonna do it right we tried our version of it right off the bat it wasn't elisa magic there the twisted familiarity begins with its characters and world building the characters become legends because we knew very strongly that we didn't want generic soldier characters respawn took the concept of a hero shooter black blizzards overwatch and narrowed it down to eight unique characters at launch there's life line the Haitian medic who's eternal optimism is infectious or mirages whose charming persona is baked into his decoy abilities this was just a lovely time thank you for this the small but diverse roster makes each character easy to try out while their abilities are deep enough to rock a main class distinction is present as well gibraltars passive gun shield and deployable protective dome make him ideal as a tank while bloodhounds tracking abilities make him an interesting offensive support hybrid they have a very interesting tracking system which allows you to hunt down opponents by seeing their recent actions for the previous 60 seconds and it lets you play a very aggressive play style respawn also paid close attention to the inclusivity of its roster as well highlighting to women of color in Bangalore and lifeline as well as confirming Gibraltar as a gay man and bloodhound as non-binary utilizing vais them pronouns respawn baked these identities into its launch extending a welcoming hand to those players who've yet to see themselves represented in a video game from day one very important to me that the female characters look like they belong to this universe and race in particular embodies a lot of that for me she's mysterious she can get up close and personal she can scare the crap out of you I've got everything you need twisting familiar concepts extends to response take on squad play unlike fortnight in pub G apex Legends has no solo or duo drops instead squads of three drop into king's canyon with a designated player controlling the descent WOD play with our legends gives you this opportunity to define how you want to play there's lots of meta choices beginning to match about what characters you're gonna choose sure you could peel off from your squad mid launch but be prepared for constant 3 view 1 scenarios as most squads tend to stick together Oh God dude even death isn't constant in apex if you die your team has 90 seconds to grab your banner and bring you back into the action if you manage to collect it locate the nearest respawn beacon and call them back into the fight it's a mechanic that's a direct response to the perma death of its peers and reinforces response team first mantra amongst randoms the big surprise is gonna be responding we couldn't make banner Alvin didn't respond it just doesn't make sense respawn also iterated on the intricacies of pub G in regards to inventory management attachments and ammo types by color-coding everything and simplifying the knowledge of what goes with what how everything works with the weapon attachments dropping ammunition frog it's incredible it might be the best I've ever seen in any battle royale all of these contextual tweaks and iterations to a popular genre creates the feeling of it's okay to sunk while simultaneously providing a hardcore experience built on foundational and digestible mechanics on top of these minor quality of life changes respawn also managed to generate those so simple yet effective moments that every gamer pines for oh the smart ping system as respawn calls it feels like it's been there since the beginning when in reality it's a system new to the genre I like the way the apex has as said hey okay you guys are all you all have this thing that you're doing that's great and I know we all enjoy your be ours so what about this extra thing and the speed at which epic said yeah we'll take that put it in our game I think that says a lot about about every other BR and how they're all kind of feeding off each other and this has been a thing for forever man and it's already changed the landscape of the Battle Royale genre thank you for seeing that in Apex because it was so good the rebel studio with a penchant for bucking trends entered and disrupted a popular landscape while sacrificing the best parts of their past in the name of balanced gameplay we prototype approximately a bajillion ways of having Titans in this game and the reality was they were an incredible unbalancing factor and that goes back to the goals of titans from titanfall 1 or 2 they were meant to be a giant powerup for a period of time whereas Federale games but specifically apex legends are trying to be much more level playing field because apex dropped into a space with already established parameters and expectations respawn skipped arbitrary explanations and gave players a product they inherently understand while delivering an experience whole unique – response development history for us we don't put it in a game unless we think it fits and makes the game better in its first eight hours apex legends racked up a million unique players the next day that number jumped to 2.5 a month after release and apex hit a unique player count of 50 million it's the first contender to seriously challenge for the twitch throne I think the game is a very good game that has a lot of future potential and is could be a mainstay in the matter Royale genre if things develop smoothly with the game between February 4th when it launched to March 5th apex averaged over 190,000 viewers to fortnight's roughly 126 thousand while watch time measured 137 million hours to fortnight's 91 million so there's a lot of people that were very big in fortnight King Richard is a good example and that we're like fully dedicated to fortnight apex came out and both him the man is just crying the game like crazy he's pulling thousands of viewers now it's great to see that kind of dedication I think that should tell people a lot about what really the game has to offer and that's quite a bit it is a very fast-paced be our apex briefly knocked for tonight out of the top spot on Twitch and the two titles have been trading back and forth for battle royale supremacy I think base we're gonna take over for tonight let's see stay down I feel like I feel like apex as a game there's a lot more solid a lot more fluid it feels better it plays better than everything before tonight is just got like it's got like it's got the kids went over and it's got the but it's not like the crowd a success indicator for apex legends is the fact that the streamers who respawn partnered with are still playing the game after their sponsored streams are over I got paid to promote the game yesterday but now I'm just playing it because I like it and respawn is supporting apex legends from an eSports perspective right out of the gate while other battle Royales have languished in supporting the competitive community it's absolutely amazing respawn yeah everybody like it is a beautiful beautiful game and I'm excited to see what these streamers got he's tied his all-time all-time high of today thus far dizzy Kings Canyon I think they just took the lead hello and welcome to the wonderful t1 and faced at Apex legends Invitational any damage that can be done and they apply a lot of pressure no cover for these young chaps I'm afraid down they go absolutely bamboozle here that you are the new kill leader no surprise here some of the world's best apex Legends players on the screens right now they will not be winning the overall competition if they drop at this stage they needed 28 kills and the victory all come down and that's it it will be decided this is CodeRed Apex legends and then those close to bleeding out he is so close to bleeding out right now and pushing forward good connects this is what you need to do you need to isolate out fight that's why he backed away to heal up and now he's got the AR 301 out is these on the chase for this next kill yes we'll be able to clean that up but he's left has a solo it just requires that extra oomph to be able to dethrone the kings of apex legend right now which is happening with King Richard Mentos and dizzy it's spark discussion from the community in regards to the best format to run successful competition the way that these apex events are happening is in public matches it's all about killcount and the others there's way down placement – and winning a game that kind of thing but like it's very engagement focused which is great that makes for a fantastic battle royale spectator experience if you're looking at it from just a viewer standpoint you're not weighing in you're not variant bringing the you know the competitor side of things in it's way more fun to watch a game where everybody is constantly pushing fights everyone is it's always aggressive gameplay because it's very action focused after its launch players were anticipating the release of a potential battle past that most assumed Woodmere fortnight season style format but when wild frontier launched on march 19th that anticipation turned to disappointment so what I'm not what I'm disappointed in is I'm not seeing enough character skins it's all weapon skins and I get that's what you see but I feel like some people want to rock some cool character skins respawn with there's kind of fluid I feel like a lower tier of content in there people were hoping for a little bit it couples a few more special things wild frontier felt like a reactionary move rather than a decision that would push apex legends in a unique direction it's quickly it's quickly evaporating I don't I don't think see a season passes is gonna just like absolutely take it to the next level no I think it's just gonna maintain instead of twisting the battle pass concept in interesting ways respawn served up the status quo releasing a battle pass for the sake of saying hey we have one too instead of convincing players that the game was going to be great during a months-long lead-up to the release respawn let Apex speak for itself the best part about apex legends it's not just free-to-play it's available right now if apex legend showed the video game industry what could be accomplished with smart influence or marketing and a strong belief in product which is the platform that allowed that message to spread three of them with it was that one all that all day in an interview with Game Informer lead producer drew McCoy sent the decision to make Apex legends and keep quiet about its release was respawns at one point having to convince EA this was the game to make apex Legends is a perfect distillation of the mythic overnight success that does not exist but is used to describe a popular trend this game is big and you know I'm still liking it be cool nuts you never know what games blow up nowadays man you not I mean this game is not $60 this game is respawn has released fantastic videogames years before apex Legends was ever an idea but the ubiquitous adoration afforded to the likes of fortnight and epic games has always been just out of reach what for Knight has done for all battery outs and for what they're gonna continue to do with because they're still light years ahead of any any other battery I'll with what they've been doing for the last year but what fortnight did they when they came out with their game they they took and they saw what what everyone's main issues were with other Battle Royale Zara previously out and then the camel for Knight important he just killed it in it in it amazing and it's definitely one of the best girls for a long time and while we can't know how apex legends is going to net out in the long run all eyes are focused on the rebel studio and its spiritual successor to an embattled franchise it's a game that brings polished to a genre rife with jank while adding small but thoughtful additions to the sandbox that pushes the Battle Royale landscape in an objectively positive direction respawn knocked it out of the park and I still think they're mapping it bigger put more players in it and still keep the same philosophy of dead space I'm telling you right now that is a triple-a multi-million dollar app design idea apex legends never showed off the fun we were about to have you just handed us the controller and step back excited ready to watch the world react [Applause] oh he's tied his all time an all-time high of today thus far masses followed with the mass if that's night that's the champion thanks for watching if you want more great content just like this be sure to hit the subscribe button