Respawn CEO apologizes for the Apex Legends Iron Crown Reddit spat

(Image credit: EA)

Update: Respawn CEO Vince Zampella released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the recent Reddit spat between Apex Legends' developers and some members of the game's community. Zampella says he "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," but his tone is overall apologetic. "I apologize to any of our fans that were offended," he says, later adding that "going forward we will be better." You can read the full statement below: 

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Were some Apex Legends players soundly critical of the eye-wateringly expensive (and exclusive) microtransactions introduced in the Iron Crown? Yes, and Respawn admitted that the event took pricing and availability in a bad direction. Were some players indefensibly vitriolic in their criticism, which often devolved into personal attacks and threats? Also yes. The evidence of that is still all over Reddit, and that's what prompted the controversial responses from the Apex Legends team in the first place. 

Original story: 

An apology post from Apex Legends developer Respawn has devolved into an angry exchange between Respawn staff and members of the Apex Legends community. 

As we reported yesterday, Respawn's project lead Drew McCoy posted a public blog post that acknowledged that whilst the developer had hoped to monetise the game "in a way that felt fair", it "broke [its] promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released"

But while McCoy admits it "missed the mark" in the way it had monetised Apex Legends' Iron Crown collectables – most controversially illustrated by Bloodhound's eyewateringly expensive $170 axe – they and other Respawn developers have since  weighed in on the corresponding Reddit thread, calling posters "asshats," "freeloaders," and "dicks".

"I've been in the industry long enough to remember when players weren't complete ass-hats to developers and it was pretty neat. I forged a bunch of long lasting relationships from back then," McCoy replied to one comment. "Would be awesome to get back there, and not engaging with toxic people or asking 'how high' when a mob screams 'jump' is hopefully a start."

"So it's fine for you all to call us liars, full of shit, and other personal attacks when we communicate an apology and update to the event but we're 'immature' when we call people out on it. Got it," added community manager, Jay Frechette.

A number of the most inflammatory comments have seemingly since been deleted, but the exchanges were heated enough to prompt this open letter to the development team from the Apex community.

"You committed the ultimate cardinal sin, you got personal," wrote u/Cooloats on the Apex Legends subreddit earlier today (thanks, Game Informer). "You, as a team of professionals trying to make money, got personal. You got personal and decided to insult your playbase, calling us 'ass-hats' and 'freeloaders'. Not a wise move.

"We won't forget this. You've set a new tone for the kind of interaction we'll be having with you. It's a cold one. One where there aren't any illusions about the reality of the situation. Previous notions of 'family' are dead. We are mere consumers to you, and that is obvious.

You have chosen to bring in a new era of hostility and bitterness. Well done. Great PR move."

At the time of writing, Cooloats' post has been upvoted over 13,000 times.  

We've reached out to Respawn and Electronic Arts for comment and will update as/when we hear back.

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.