A Reddit thread for Apex Legends dedicated to attempting to fix problems caused by microtransactions took an ugly turn, souring the relationship between fans and developers.
Following the backlash from the expensive and wildly unpopular microtransaction shenanigans in the recent Iron Crown Collection Event for Respawn’s battle royale Apex Legends, the developer took to Reddit to acknowledge that it’d “missed the mark.”
What started as an announcement of changes to the way players get hold of Legendary skins during the Iron Crown event quickly turned ugly, as individual developers at Respawn got involved in discussions (or rather, debate) about developer/fan relationships.
Apex Legend’s Executive Producer Drew McCoy took to the thread to address the growing toxicity within the gaming community, unfortunately referring to players as “ass-hats” and “dicks” in the process.
I’ve been in the industry long enough to remember when players weren’t complete ass-hats to developers and it was pretty neat. I forged a bunch of long lasting relationships from back then. Would be awesome to get back there, and not engaging with toxic people or asking ‘how high’ when a mob screams ‘jump’ is hopefully a start.
After one user in the thread called Respawn “money-grabbing f*cks”, McCoy responded: “Hey everyone—found the dick I was talking about.” He later wrote that “I think technically I was calling gamers dicks? I dunno. I had a spicy lunch, feelin’ it.”
Despite the fact that a number of users on the Reddit thread were giving as good as they got, it became clear that McCoy’s comments were sparking the majority of outrage, with fans now claiming that McCoy’s “unacceptable” comments have “alienated” the playerbase.
One user wrote:
You committed the ultimate cardinal sin, you got personal. You, as a team of professionals trying to make money, got personal. You got personal and decided to insult your playbase, calling us ‘ass-hats’ and ‘freeloaders’. Not a wise move,” it said. “We won’t forget this. You’ve set a new tone for the kind of interaction we’ll be having with you. It’s a cold one.
Respawn Community Manager Jay Frechette attempted to argue that McCoy’s comments were in response to personal insults that had been hurled at the team, writing; “So it’s fine for you all to call us liars, full of shit, and other personal attacks when we communicate an apology and update to the event but we’re ‘immature’ when we call people out on it. Got it.”
Things eventually started to calm down, with one of the most upvoted posts of the day calling for more reasonable discourse on both sides, and noting that nobody should be acting like “all of Respawn is evil.”
Said post highlighted a lengthy comment made by another Respawn dev with the username RaymeCV, who argued that the team behind Apex Legends is full of hard working people who just want to be talked to reasonably, without conspiracy theories or personal attacks.
I get that you don’t know anyone from the studio personally, that we might as well be evil robots or trained murder pigeons or whatever, for all you know. But if your takeaway from the last six months of Apex is ‘these diabolical lying money geniuses know exactly what they’re doing to surgically extract our soul cash’, then oh buddy.
Admitting that Respawn doesn’t have its free-to-play model for Apex Legends down to a science yet, RaymeCV did point out that the team is always working on “gameplay stuff” that everyone will eventually get to play for free, and suggested that McCoy was simply being honest with fans.
If nothing else, at least this Reddit thread went better than that time EA tried to justify the microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.