Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts have both promised long-term plans for Apex Legends, so it stands to reason that the battle royale's team of developers will change over that time. Today, though, Apex is saying farewell to one of its most prominent leads: on Twitter, executive producer Drew McCoy announced that he's leaving Respawn after a decade with the company.
In his announcement, McCoy says he's "not sure" where his next position will be just yet. "Rest assured, I can't stay away from games for long," he writes.
Today marks the start of a new adventure for me. I will absolutely cherish the last 10 years I spent helping start Respawn and ship some awesome games alongside amazing people. I'll miss the people the most - the daily arguments, successes, failures, and everything inbetween. 1/2— Drew McCoy (@DKo5) February 24, 2020
McCoy joined Respawn soon after its formation in early 2010. After Activision fired Vince Zampella and Jason West, then the leads of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward, Zampella and West went on to found Respawn with financial assistance from EA. McCoy and dozens of other Infinity Ward staffers followed the duo to Respawn. EA later acquired Respawn in 2017.
Before working on Apex Legends, McCoy worked as a producer on both Titanfall games. Just over a year ago at the launch of Apex Legends, before it went on to become a success in its own right, McCoy talked openly about why Respawn opted to work on Apex in secret rather than say it had put aside plans for a Titanfall sequel. "We're doing a free-to-play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it's not Titanfall 3," said McCoy. "It's the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that—let's just ship the game and let players play."
McCoy's candidness also caused some friction in the Apex community later on in the year. After widespread backlash to the pricing of cosmetics in August's Iron Crown event, McCoy angered some fans by observing that "toxic people" had railed against the event pack pricing and that many Apex players didn't spend any money on the game whatsoever. "The amount of people who spend is crazy low, most of ya'll are freeloaders (and we love that!) and a change in price doesn't move the needle," McCoy wrote on Reddit. Vince Zampella later issued an apology for the matter and vowed that Respawn would "lead by example" moving forward.
Other recent departures from the Apex team at Respawn include lead software engineer Jon Shiring, who left earlier this month, and producer Tina Sanchez, who left for a new position at Sony Santa Monica in November.
With the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order behind it and a Medal of Honor VR game in development, Zampella (who now leads DICE LA as well) says Respawn's future isn't just about multiplayer FPS games. "This is about expanding who we are," he told USgamer backstage at the 2020 DICE Awards. "'Cause as game makers, we're all super unique. We're all interested in so many different types of games that we play by ourselves, together."
For more on Apex Legends, read Hirun's impressions of the latest season's new addition to the roster of playable characters: the stealthy, death-defying Legend Revenant.