Apex Legends developer values employees’ lives over more content

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Even as horror stories about months of brutal crunch, workers becoming stress casualties, and even employees dying at their desks from exhaustion, have popped up in the gaming industry again, the CEO of Respawn Entertainment decided to put his employees’ quality-of-life first. Speaking at GamesBeat Summit, (as reported by Gamasutra) Vince Zampella revealed that the studio plans to support Apex Legends with a seasonal release schedule to maintain his team’s work-life balance and level of production.

“The thought was ‘hey we kind of have something that’s blowing up here, do we want to start trying to drop more content?’ But I think you look at quality of life for the team. We don’t want to overwork the team, and drop the quality of the assets we’re putting out. We want to try and raise that.”

While Zampella did not directly call out BioWare, Epic Games or NetherRealm Studios for their recently publicized troubles, it’s hard not to contrast Respawn’s strategy with theirs. Although many in the community have criticized the recently released first Apex Legends Battle Pass for being light on content compared to its competitors, (a criticism the studio acknowledges) programmers and artists killing themselves to make more gun skins is probably not what anyone wants.