Respawn Entertainment is opening a third studio to support the development of Apex Legends, weeks after parent company EA laid off over 200 of the game’s testers.
Respawn’s third studio will be located in Madison, Wisconsin, and will initially support the company’s battle royale shooter Apex Legends.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the studio will be led by Ryan Burnett, who previously worked as Epic Games‘ director of engine production and, prior to that, worked at Call Of Duty developer Raven Software for 14 years.
“Wisconsin is quickly becoming a central development hub here,” Burnett told GamesIndustry.biz. “I’ve been here a long time working on FPS games, so we think there’s a really good hotbed of talent here we can pull from.”
Steven Ferreira, the game director for Apex Legends, added that Respawn’s Wisconsin branch will offer more room to experiment with the game.
“Building the live service of Apex is a constant cycle of trying new things and experimenting, and that’s what Wisconsin is going to give us – that capacity to do more of that,” he shared.
However, Respawn’s new studio comes several weeks after parent company EA fired over 200 Apex Legends testers in Baton Rouge.
Former workers told NME that they had been fired because EA wanted “a more ‘globally diverse’ testing team,” and their contracts were terminated through a short-notice Zoom call.
NME has reached out to EA to find out if Respawn’s new studio is related to the layoffs at Baton Rouge.
Looking ahead, Ferreira said that Respawn sees Apex “as a franchise that’s going to be around for 10, 15 years or more and we’re excited to make that happen”.
In other gaming news, Paradox Interactive has revealed that its rival to The Sims, Life By You, is launching in Early Access this summer.