After the negative response to the Iron Crown event in Apex Legends, the player base may be surprised to learn that two Respawn developers let loose in a Reddit thread, calling gamers “dicks," implying they were all “ass-hats” and describing them all as “freeloaders.”
The two Respawn employees were a developer who goes by the name dko5 and a Community Manager who goes by Jayfresh_Respawn. The insults were laid between sarcastic comments and were generally unbefitting the behavior one would expect from professionals representing such a large game. Below is one comment in which dko5 seems unable to remain professional:
Dko5 then followed it up with this comment, disparaging gamers as a whole:
For those who are unfamiliar, the controversy can be traced back to the start of the Iron Crown event, which offered a collection of new cosmetics that could only be obtained after spending approximately $154, and then further funds for an axe.
At first, the criticism levied against Respawn was based on the fact that these are the same kinds of predatory loot boxes that are gaining attention worldwide. In addition, the developer has insisted that it does not wish to try and squeeze consumers of every last cent, which was a statement inconsistent with the design of this event.
It also does not help Respawn’s image that it works so closely with EA, which has been considered one of the worst offenders when it comes to squeezing as much money from consumers as it can. It is also responsible for the fiasco related to “a sense of pride and accomplishment” as a justification for gauging players with loot boxes.
Finally, dk05 went on to describe most players of the game as “freeloaders" without any hint of sarcasm:
This final point is perhaps the most fascinating since the model that they describe as being insufficient for their revenue streams is the exact same one that Fortnite uses, which is on track to bring in $3.5 billion this year. It would appear that the model works perfectly well for those competent enough to make a game and items worth buying.
What is most shocking about this inappropriate response from two of Respawn’s developers is that Apex Legends has been on a downward spiral in terms of popularity and antagonizing its player base seems like a bad decision. This comes after the developer released what must be considered the laziest of season one Battle Passes. This was its opportunity to show that it could compete with the likes of Fortnite by offering something interesting, and it blew it.
The reality is that today’s market is saturated with all manner of great games, and the Battle Royale genre is one of the fiercest thanks to Fortnite and many other developers trying to get a piece the pie. Calling players freeloaders is ridiculous since other games still manage to do extremely well with models that do not focus on predatory behavior.
In any case, these two developers are not likely going to be making any more public announcements. Or, if they do, Apex Legends might cease to be a relevant title in the near future.