Respawn CEO says devs ‘need to lead by example’ following angry clash between Apex Legends devs and players

Vince Zampella, CEO at Respawn, has apologised to Apex Legends players after an apology post penned by Apex Legends’ project lead, Drew McCoy, sparked a bitter row between the battle royale’s developers and its fanbase on the game’s subreddit. 

To recap, over the weekend, McCoy posted a blog post after fans expressed their disappointment about Apex Legends’ Iron Crown event collectables, such as Bloodhound’s $170 axe. Acknowledging that the developer “broke [its] promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released”, McCoy admitted the latest microtransactions “missed the mark”, but the Reddit thread concerning the post dissolved into an angry exchange in which a number of Respawn devs called posters “asshats,” “freeloaders,” and “dicks”. Several of the angriest comments have seemingly now been deleted, but a number remain.

“On Friday, we gave Apex fans an update in how we were changing the Iron Crown event. Some of the team then joined a discussion with our community on Reddit, and things got to a pretty bad place,” Zampella said by way of his personal Twitter account.

“Some of our folks crossed the line with their comments, and that’s not how we want Respawn to be represented.

“I apologise to any of our fans that were offended. I will always stand behind the team here at Respawn and support them on speaking out against some of the toxic and nasty comments being directed at them, including everything from death threats to comments aimed at their family and loved ones. But we shouldn’t contribute to it when we do comment, and add to the very thing we want to prevent.

“We need to lead by example,” he concluded. “Last week we didn’t do that, and going forward we will be better. Having an open, healthy relationship with our community is incredibly important to all of us at Respawn.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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