Vince Zampella spoke with Ted Price of Insomniac Games yesterday at the GamesBeat Summit 2019. Here’s what he had to say about Apex Legends.
Apex Legends Early Success
Ted Price of Insomniac Games did an interview with Respawn Entertainment’s CEO Vince Zampella yesterday at the GamesBeat Summit in Los Angeles. The interview started with Vince acknowledging the early success of Apex Legends and how no one internally expected the success the game was going to have at the beginning. With 25 million users in the first week, and 50 million users in the first month, Apex Legends was breaking records set by Fortnite. But this type of success early in the game’s life-cycle brought challenges to the Apex Legends team. Moreover, the success had made the company “quieter” as they were trying to figure out what their next move was going to be with Apex.
Apex Legends hit 50 Million players worldwide! We are humbled by all your support and can’t wait to show you what’s next. pic.twitter.com/QTDH57lfvB
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) March 4, 2019
Respawn Entertainment created the Titanfall series, in which the games focused on a campaign story mode. Apex Legends was their first free-to-play game, and Respawn didn’t have experience with this type of game. They’ve never had to continuously create content for their games, and figuring “how much” content is required is proving be challenging. This is why Vince said it’s hard to tell people that they “don’t know yet” in terms of their next move.
Vince Is Looking to Improve Communication
Another problem that has been shadowing the Apex Legends community is communication. Many users have said that the lack of communication from Respawn regarding their F2P game is concerning. One Repsawn Developer from the Apex Legends Reddit community shared his thoughts about this. What he said was that Respawn has to be careful what they say publicly. In the fast-changing environment, priorities can change, projects can also take a side step and what they might have promised a month ago might not come through anymore. He said that Respawn has to be careful what they say otherwise their past statements can be used against them.
There’s a post from @JayFrechette about that, Jay can you link?
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) April 11, 2019
However, Vince Zampella recognizes the issues, and said that “wants to improve that communication“. Part of that communication was making sure fans know Respawn Entertainment’s new release, Star Wars: Fallen Order, was not going to interfere with Apex Legends. That there are two separate teams that are working on those projects. In an old interview done with Ted Price at the Game Maker’s Notebook podcast (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences), Vince Zampella Told Ted Price then that he has “a unique group with each game” when asked if he shares groups for their games. Essentially, there’s no crossover and every game has a dedicated team which means there’s no compromise in a games development (source). You can listen to the entire podcast below.
Ted brought up the Fortnite comparison, asking Vince, “how difficult was it to say ‘hey, we’re not Fortnite‘”. Vince replied saying,
“Fortnite is a social platform, they do amazing things. We’re more of a core game.”
He said they differentiate themselves from the gameplay and style, however, there isn’t a crossover like we see with PubG and Blackout. To watch the entire GamesBeat Summit interview with Vince see below.