With the addition of Season 5's Quest missions, Apex Legends now has an engaging, in-game way to deliver the kinds of storytelling that previously existed around the edges of its battle royale experience. Respawn Entertainment says it's going to keep investing heavily in this direction, too. To give an idea of how far out those plans are being formed, Respawn says it is already working on things we'll see in Season 11.
Talking with our friends at Rock Paper Shotgun, Respawn design director Jason McCord and Apex's game director Chad Grenier make it sound like adding story content to Apex isn't so much a seasonal fling as a guiding mission for its continued development. "Storytelling in a BR game is kind of our thing right now," says Grenier. Balancing the story content such that it doesn't get in the way of the battle royale competition is a challenge, McCord tells RPS, but it's one Respawn plans to keep tackling for the foreseeable future.
"One of our driving pillars is to double down on story," McCord says. "I hope that we come across as a game that likes to experiment and try different things, so we'll see what happens, because we wanna keep doing it."
Those story plans may even extend out as far as six seasons from now. McCord says that Season 11 is the furthest out that the Apex team is currently working in terms of planned content, though that might not include plans for its story beats. "We're playtesting Seasons 6, 7, and 8 like regularly," adds McCord, giving some idea of how far in advance Respawn is working on additions like new characters, weapons, balance changes, and map overhauls.
McCord's even a bit forthcoming on how Apex's expansion could feed into a new Titanfall game, if Respawn were ever to return to the series its battle royale was born from: "If we ever made a Titanfall game of any kind, I can almost guarantee Apex stuff would leak out into that game just as much."
One thing that'll help Respawn hit its goals for Apex Legends, in terms of storytelling and other content, is the addition of its recently unveiled studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadian team has been working away quietly at Apex for a few months already, but it's now in the process of looking to bring the headcount up to around 80 people. Hopefully, as Respawn staffs up to produce more Apex content, it'll be able to stick to founder Vince Zampella's desire to not overwork the team responsible for it all.