Apex Legends season 9 “Legacy” will be launching on May 4, 2021! Shortly before the release of Apex Legends “Legacy”, we had the opportunity to have a special interview with Game Director Chad Grenier from Respawn. He answered our questions and revealed some exciting details about their work.
Q: Have you been to Malaysia?
A: Unfortunately, I have not been to Malaysia but I would love to go sometimes, once we can travel again.
Q: In the future, will Apex permanently add single player mode or PvE game mode?
A: There is no plans to add the single player or PvE to Apex Legends. We had a PvE mode at one point with the quests and it was a lot of fun for one season but it was really not sustainable for our team to continue to make. It took away resources from what we felt like was our bread and butter which was the PVP combat and team health is really important to us as well so we want to make sure that we are building content that is at a healthy pace and sustainable for the long-term. PVE got us creating a lot of content that was kind of throw away work, you play it and then never return back to it and it was something that we decided to move away from for now.
Q: As the game director of Apex, will you use an undercover account to play Apex Legends with strangers?
A: I actually play every day with strangers, and I don’t use an undercover account. I use my account that a lot of people know about because I get a lot of friend request but most people don’t know who I am. I get to hear what they say in chat, how they play the game and all the things they say. It’s really exciting! I also watch a lot of Twitch and YouTube; all the places where people are posting. That’s the best part about this job is that after we release something I get to go play it with everyone and see how they like it.
Q: Which Heirlooms is your favourite and why?
A: I really like The Wraith knife because it was the first one we ever made. It is near and dear to me being the first heirloom that we created but my favourite is probably the Mirage trophy. I actually made a replica myself and I have it here in my house. I just think it’s funny. I love the humour in the trophy there but they’re all great it’s hard to pick one.
Q: If you were forced to go to a real-life hunger game, which legend would you choose?
A: That’s a good question. I never thought about that. I think, I play a lot of Lifeline so I probably would want to be Lifeline. I like calling in the care package. It makes me feel kind of safe because I don’t have to loot quite as much. I can kind of stay more, cover and take the rotations that I want. I don’t have to go scouring the map all over the place. I know I can call on those care packages two three times a match and get usually the loot that I need.
Q: If you were forced to go to a real-life hunger game, which legend you would not want to meet?
I definitely wouldn’t want to come across a Pathfinder because he’d be zip-lining and flying it all over the place and I probably wouldn’t be able to shoot him
Q: Which existing legend will you choose to counter the new legend, “Valkyrie”?
A: That’s also good question. Probably, Revenant because you can silence Valkyrie, take her abilities away and you could theoretically keep her grounded. That might be one tactic.Q: If you are to attend a cosplay event, which legend will you choose to cosplay?
A: Mirage. I don’t know, I feel like I look with maybe the closest to him compared to other legends. I think I could pull off fuse but I can’t do an accent so maybe I would just do Mirage beause I could see myself with some makeup and hair and whatever being able to look like Mirage.
Q: The Apex cinematic animations are very detailed and nice, do Apex has any plans for animated tv series or movies?
A: That would be awesome! If like Netflix or Disney+ or somebody wants to make something then we’re all open for it but so far, that hasn’t happened. We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to make our animated shorts as good as possible. There’s certainly enough riding and lore in the universe to have a full series. It’s something I think the team would be really excited about but unfortunately we’re not secretly working on anything like that. But again, if any companies out there want to partner with us, hit us up!
Q: Will there be any plans to bring Apex to VR?
A: That would be really cool! There’s no plans to do that but we do have a lot of VR enthusiasts on the team. They would probably love to tinker and do some things there. Would probably be hard to get the game running on VR and be competitive with other players but it’s interesting. Yeah, no plans currently though.
Q: Ash from Titanfall has appeared a lot of times in Apex. Is it possible that she will join Apex as a new Legend in the future?
A: I think it’s possible. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I think she would probably make a good competitive legend in the arena. Yeah time will tell, we’ll see what happens.
Q: How does the current pandemic situation affect the development team?
A: Well, it flipped the table on us and changed everything just like, I’m sure every other company out there. We’re not going through anything unique. You know, it’s something that everyone’s had to deal with but certainly was a struggle going from a one studio team where everyone is in the same building to everybody being remote and nobody being in the same room. When you have a creative and collaborative project, you rely on people getting together and talking or looking over a shoulder or using a whiteboard together and so when we all had to go home and work from work remote we couldn’t do any of those things so we kind of had to relearn how to collaborate and build a game together while working remote. It was a it was certainly a challenge. It’s hard working from home because we don’t say that you’re working from home we actually just say you’re living at work because you tend to just don’t have that separation of work and home. You just feel like you’re at the office all the time even when you’re away from your desk so team burnout was certainly a concern and something that we had to learn a lot about. We started giving more time off and we started allowing people to work different hours based on their their schedule or when they could get child care or when their spouse was home and things like that we had to make a lot of adjustments to when we’re working, how we’re working and how much time we’re giving off to get a break. We’re working very differently but i think we’ve done well. It’s we’re a year in now to working remote. We’ve learned a lot of lessons, hopefully we’ll start to see some people return to the office soon.
Q: When did you start planning for this season 9? Can you share with us any challenging or interesting encountered during the process?
A: Parts of the season started about a year and a half ago. I think it was september in 2019 that we first played arenas mode for the first time and it was very different. There was still loot on the ground and there was no custom maps. We were playing with a very tiny circle a small ring within kings canyon and there was multiple of these matches happening at the same time so that the arena’s mode evolved over the year and a half. Valkyrie was a legend in prototype very early on; probably even before then we had a jetpack character. We didn’t know that it was going to be viper’s daughter but we had a jetpack character in the works very early on. As time progresses, you start to just get some clarity on what these things are; you start fine tuning the gameplay and the buy phase, how loot works in arenas over that time and you start figuring out Valkyrie’s abilities; what works what doesn’t work. There’s lots of work that you try and you throw it away and you try something else and it’s very iterative and then we say okay well Let’s make her a Japanese character and let’s make her viper’s daughter and all those details start to emerge over the course of the year and a half that we work on any legend and then of course we’re working on season nine during the transition to work from home so that certainly threw a wrench into things. The bow’s been in the works for two years. It took us a while to get it to just feel right . We almost released it in season seven and we made a decision that it wasn’t ready and we needed more time to make it better. We also didn’t want to crunch the team to try to get it done for seven so we held it for two more seasons. I guess that’s an interesting bit of information there