EA struck gold with the launch of Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn, the developers behind Titanfall. And while the game's player base has shrunk since its initial launch, there's been a dedicated community of players pouring hundreds of hours into the game. However, it seems that some developers from Respawn may have alienated some members of that community.
Right now, Apex Legends' SubReddit is flooded with negative comments and memes after a post from Respawn titled "An Update on The Iron Crown Event" quickly devolved into name-calling and vitriolic comments, from both players and the developers. One developer, known as dko5 on the SubReddit, seems to have poured gasoline on the fire, calling players "ass-hats" and "freeloaders." Needless to say, this hasn't gone over well with the community.
As of this writing, one of the most upvoted threads on the page is titled "PR team and devs, well done. You have alienated your playerbase." The post states that the developers committed "the ultimate cardinal sin" by getting "personal." It goes on to state, "You've set a new tone for the kind of interaction we'll be having with you. It's a cold one." This sentiment seems to be common among members of the community active on the page.
Respawn admitted that they "missed the mark" with the Iron Crown event, though these comments likely won't do much to win back angry fans. That being said, the developers are still human, and they had received a fair amount of hate themselves. That doesn't necessarily make their comments okay, but it is important to recognize where the frustration stems from. It's also important to remember that one person doesn't speak for an entire team of developers, and there have been other members of the team attempting to put out some of the flames.
This mishap pales in comparison to some of EA's other PR snafus. Around the launch of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA posted a comment regarding the insane am0unt of grinding it took to unlock new heroes, stating that they wanted a invoke a feeling of "pride and accomplishment" for players that earned an in-game reward. It quickly became the most down-voted comment in Reddit history and was listed as one of the reasons for EA ranking fifth place on a list of most hated companies.
The relationship between developers and players has felt incredibly strained as of late. Recently, developers of the indie game Ooblets found their Reddit overrun by hateful comments and death threats after their announcement of Ooblets being an Epic Game Store exclusive attracted the worst of the internet community.