It is no secret that at the moment free-to-play Battle Royale games do very very well for their developers. Apex Legends is one of the most popular games in this genre, yet it doesn’t get the level of undivided attention that some of its counterparts like Fortnite and Warzone do at the moment. Apex developer Respawn Entertainment is under the massive Electronic Arts (EA) umbrella which spans game genre, and also includes developers like BioWare and DICE. Prior to the launch of Apex, Respawn was best known for the Titanfall series of games. The incorporation of some futuristic elements of these games makes Apex unique in the Battle Royale world, and in fact, helped result in a game far more successful than Respawn expected.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Respawn COO Dusty Welch explained that the studio never expected Apex to grow as much or as quickly as it did – the game had 25 million users after one week, and 50 million within a month. Because of this growth, Respawn had to dedicate a lot of attention to Apex even though they had another game in the works: the massively successful and well-received Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
In order to be able to focus of continued support for Apex, as well as new games that build off of the success of Fallen Order, Welch explains that the studio has decided to expand and open a new studio at EA’s Vancouver campus that will focus primarily on Apex, while their main Los Angeles campus can focus on developing games such as the next Star Wars Jedi game, and the upcoming Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond which is a VR game that takes place in World War II.
Welch says that the new studio has been in progress for over eight months, but that it is officially opening now as a celebration of Respawn’s ten-year anniversary. The new studio has presumably already been hard at work on content such as the recently released season 5 of Apex Legends.