Respawn Entertainment opens new studio to focus on ‘Apex Legends’

The team has been building internally for eight months

Respawn Entertainment has announced a new studio in Vancouver that will be dedicated solely to its hit free-to-play battle royale, Apex Legends.

Respawn COO Dusty Welch revealed to GamesIndustry.biz that a new studio is being opened in Vancouver, Canada, within EA’s existing campus in the city, to focus on Apex Legend’s continued development. It will be led by a team which includes Steven Ferreira (who was the lead gameplay designer for Sleeping Dogs), head of operations Henry Lee and Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier.

According to the report, the new studio had been in the works for eight months prior to its official announcement. “We started with who was passionate about making Apex, and we built a team around strong individuals as opposed to a project plan that you would conventionally start off a project around,” Ferreira said.

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While the team had initially been building internally over the past few months, it is now seeking to expand with external hiring to reach its ideal team size of around 80 people.

A contributing factor that led to the opening of an Apex Legends-dedicated studio was to allow the Respawn team in California to focus on other projects. Last year, Respawn announced it was working on Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond, a virtual reality first person shooter that’s set for release this year. Apart from that, the studio’s most recent success outside of Apex Legends was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which released late last year to critical acclaim. The game took home the prize for Best Game at the NME Awards 2020.

Apex Legends recently kicked off Season 5 with the launch of a new Legend, Loba Andrade. With the launch of Season 5 comes a new battle pass and game mode entitled Quests and a PvE mode with weekly missions called Hunts. The first hunt will be available beginning today (May 19). Apex Legends is available on PCXbox One and PS4, and is free for all players.

Respawn has also confirmed that it is currently not working on a new title for the Titanfall franchise. Co-founder Vince Zampella said that “there’s nothing currently in development” for the series. However, he added that he would “personally like to see some kind of resurrection there”.

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