Respawn are way ahead!
Exclusive Apex Legends Season 8 Interview: The Future of Apex
Apex Legends Season 8 is going live today and there are only a few hours left. While you're waiting why not take a sneak peek at what might be coming next?
We sat down with the Apex Legends dev team to discuss both the new 'Mayhem' theme and the future of the game. As with all interviews in this modern-apocalyptic setting, we sat down for a Zoom chat. Once again, many thanks to the Respawn team for being so awesome to talk to. Without further ado, let's get to it:
Should we expect vehicles on other maps as well or is it something that’s going to be specific to Olympus?
There’s always a chance. Olympus had to be designed specifically for the vehicle and the vehicle was designed for Olympus. We’ve run the vehicle on Kings Canyon internally, we know what that feels like, how good it’s going to be and we’re not choosing to do it yet. Maybe some day.
New modes in Apex Legends in the future? Arena battles, custom maps, Among Us in Apex?
Yeah those are cool ideas, we talked about all those internally too so we’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re working on.
Is a replay system on the way?
We have a huge list of things that we want to do and it’s definitely there somewhere. It just has to be balanced out with everything else we want to put out. We’re not announcing anything right now but…
Are legends going to be released every season or is there going to be a point where you’ll hit a cap and focus on other features?
We talk about this frequently, in fact, we had a conversation about it a couple of days ago. We’re always asking ourselves but I feel we’re pretty far away from that problem of “too many legends”. We’re not stopping anytime soon, we’ve got easily the next year plus of legends that we’re working on already.
It’s a theoretical problem that might be coming in the future, if ever.
You always try a to add new things to the game and keep it all fresh, how do you feel when a rival title “borrows” features from Apex?
It’s barely a thing, really. The industry a hivemind of ideas so it’d be impossible for me to say that everything we put in the game is the most original thing that ever happened. Every game looks at other games and it’s inspired by the same other games or movies out there. When you’re working on stuff it’s not a big surprise that everyone saw this movie a year ago and an idea from it is now a common thing. It doesn’t bother us.
During the 30-30 Repeater reveal we noticed a certain Hop-Up is making a return. Is it the Anvil Receiver or something else?
Yeah, for Season 8 the Anvil Receiver is making a return to the floor. That’ll come back for the Flatline and R-301 and there’s a little bit of method behind that madness. With the 30-30 coming out we want there to be, not just 30-30 battles for the entire time, we want other weapons that will compete next to it. Being a legendary Hop-Up we’re not worried it’s going to homogenize the whole 30-30 design space. We’re just giving players more options to go against the 30-30 and to test it against other weapons that are already in the game and let them decide for themselves.
You’ve introduced a lot of changes to the ranked system for Season 8. What was the thought process behind that decision?
The process is get together, talk about ranked, talk about what we want to see. We have goals for ranked – what are the pillars of ranked and what does it mean for our game and what are we trying to get out of ranked. This season we took a couple of those pillars and decided to go hard on them. Those are the health of the game and the quality of matchmaking. In future seasons you’ll maybe see some other changes addressing the other pillars and other goals that we have for ranked but this time around it was health and top quality. We listened to a lot of feedback coming from our pros and our players and we always want to be communicating and getting our game modes in the best state they could be.
Do you see more tournaments aimed at amateurs in the future?
That’d be cool, we’d love to see that. We have a competitive division on our team so they have certain goals in mind. I know we talk about the path to pro pretty frequently, ranked is there to try to get more amateur players to predator and let them build their own way into a team.
We need 20 teams in a match so if you watch an ALGS match you’ll see teams that you maybe never heard of so those are just people trying to make it to the top.
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Did you expect Apex Legends to grow so big, so fast? What were the challenges that came from it?
Definitely not when we launched. It was a big surprise. We launched without any sort of advertisement so we assumed certain numbers for server capacity and that we’ll be able to handle that many players. Our simulation was way off. The amount of players we were planning to hit in a month, I think the numbers that I heard were something along the lines of – “It’d be cool if we could hit 6 or 10 million in a month.” We were on 15 million after a month with our back flipped. What do we do, how do we keep these players engaged and make content fast enough?
I think most people saw that in our first few seasons, especially season one. We were doing what we could, we had to figure out how to make a Battle Pass and what the rewards should look like and what people wanted out of a Battle Pass. Then every season we get a little bit further ahead and a little bit better at making a live game. In season one we were thinking about season two, that’s it, maybe season three. Now we’re in Season 8 and playtesting Season 13 already we’re way ahead of ourselves now. Coming into year three we’re just sprinting ahead thinking how we can make the game better, make it different. Thinking about it for the next decade or so.
Special thanks to the entire Apex Legends dev team who were all truly wonderful. That’s not all the questions we asked though, you can read more from Respawn on Apex Legends Season 8: