Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment issued a statement today calling for the community to stop harassing staff members. It is unclear what specific incident prompted Respawn to issue this statement, though the relationship between Respawn Entertainment and the Apex Legends community has not been wholly positive.
Founded by former Infinity Ward developers, Respawn Entertainment is known for the Titanfall series, its hero-shooter spinoff Apex Legends, and the action RPG Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Many Titanfall fans have criticized Respawn for seemingly abandoning the series in favor of the live-service spinoff. The hero-shooter also faces regular criticism for its bugs and unbalanced classes. However, some of this feedback appears to have crossed the line into personal attacks on Respawn employees.
Respawn Entertainment addressed the recent harassment in a statement on Twitter on Thursday. The message opens with Respawn alleging that studio employees have seen a recent increase in personal attacks and harassment. Respawn says that “We welcome community input, however, the line between constructive feedback and the harassment of our dev team cannot be crossed.” Respawn Entertainment went on to reiterate its zero-tolerance policy toward threats and harassment.
The statement warns that the studio takes its employee’s health and safety very seriously and will take the “appropriate action” in response to further harassment. However, the statement concludes with Respawn saying it appreciates community feedback. The studio says that it hopes “to foster a respectful, collaborative environment and uphold the competitive integrity of the game.”
That closing statement resulted in some grumbling from certain Titanfall and Titanfall 2 fans, who saw the comment as proof that Respawn only cares about Apex Legends. Others suggested that the developer brought it on themselves for failing to address Apex Legends’ bugs and balance issues. Other criticisms include accusations of greed and broken promises, with several other replies bringing up Apex Legends’ lack of cross-progression.
However, most of the Twitter replies were positive, expressing support for Respawn Employees and approving of how the company responded to the situation. Other replies directly pushed back against the implication that problems with the game somehow justified personal attacks against members of the development team. Respawn’s statement also attracted attention from other studios, with Destiny and Destiny 2 developer Bungie expressing its support.
Again, it’s unclear which specific comments prompted Respawn to issue yesterday’s statement. However, this would not be the first time fans resorted to personal attacks against individual members of a development team, as one Destiny 2 developer experienced in June. Furthermore, the number of comments defending, or at least appearing to defend, the harassment may give some insight into how certain community members feel toward Apex Legends and Respawn Entertainment. Fortunately, that does not seem to be representative of the community as a whole.
Apex Legends is currently available on Mobile, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.