Apex Legends development wasn’t influenced by EA, says Respawn exec

While some may have been holding out hope that Respawn Entertainment was working on Titanfall 3, the simultaneous announcement and release of the battle royale game, Apex Legends, is what we got instead. And speaking about the Apex Legends development in an interview, the game’s executive producer, Drew McCoy, has said that EA had no influence over the game whatsoever.

During an interview with Game Informer, McCoy explained that when he showed EA executives portions of Apex Legends, it wasn’t so much a matter of convincing them that the game was good, rather than being a matter of him saying “Hey, trust us! This is the thing you want out of us.” Before confirming that EA “had no hand in development or anything about this game.”

And with the closest EA has come to entering the battle royale genre being the as yet unreleased Firestorm expansion for Battlefield 5, McCoy explained that the publisher “can only quantify based on past data and they’ve never done anything like this before. There’s a giant rainbow question mark over revenue projections for this game.”

It could be the case that EA is using Apex Legends to gauge how much interest there still is in new battle royale games. McCoy suggested that the genre doesn’t feel like a “fad,” though. He pointed out that other than “Fortnite, there is no AAA battle royale game. They’re all modes. They’re all side-dishes or they’ve died. Our goals for this game are very different than a Fortnite,” though McCoy didn’t go into too much detail as to what those plans are, other than the beginning of Apex Legend‘s first season in March.

McCoy was also questioned on how long Apex Legends has been in development for, saying that Apex Legends development began back in mid-2017. Kotaku reported a similar date yesterday before the game’s announcement. So, while Apex Legends may well have been in development since 2017, it could be the case that the final iteration of the game ended up being a project that Respawn turned to after, as Kotaku reports, work began on Titanfall 3. McCoy didn’t go into too much detail about whether this was the case or not. Though he did wrap up the interview by saying that Apex Legends was a product of something that could “have gone in any number of directions. We prototyped a ton of random stuff. This was the most popular.”