Apex Legends surprise release was a calculated PR move by EA

It might be unusual to announce and then release a game within the same few days, but that was part of the plan for EA. The lead producer on Apex Legends Drew McCoy acknowledged that the decision to announce and release the game over two days was a calculated necessity for the brand. The candid quotes were offered up in an attempt to explain why Respawn Entertainment chose this release method and how EA‘s reputation affected its choice.

While discussing the game’s mechanics and monetization systems in an interview with Eurogamer, the producer touched on the subject of potential problems related to the perception of Apex Legend. The decision to focus Respawns’s efforts on a free-to-play shooter instead of a sequel to the beloved Titanfall 2 was inevitably going to create some backlash in the gaming community. This choice alone would have been enough to cause a stir but once paired with publisher EA’s poor handling of microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, there was very little room left for EA to mishandle Apex Legend‘s marketing.

The decision to release Apex Legends without the use of traditional marketing strategies was made in an attempt to defuse this potential PR struggle.

“We’re doing a free-to-play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it’s not Titanfall 3,” said McCoy. “It’s the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that – let’s just ship the game and let players play.”

McCoy’s willingness to directly address the potential issues related to Respawn’s relationship with EA and its business practices is refreshingly honest. His comments to Eurogamer weren’t the first time he had been transparent about Apex Legendsattempts to distance itself from the publisher. McCoy’s honesty speaks to an internal understanding at Respawn and perhaps EA that the company’s optics have become overly negative.

Time will tell if Apex Legends becomes the financial success EA needs it to be, but with Anthem also releasing this month, the shooter market is about to become a warzone.