Apex Legends may be getting something like a campaign in Year 3. Respawn’s battle royale game came close to having something like that with Quest, which initially was a collection of PvE missions in Season 5 before transitioning to comics in Season 6. However, that transition wasn’t a part of Apex Legends’ original roadmap, and Respawn is “not done” with expanding on its interactive storytelling in the battle royale.
“We’ve got many developers here that would have loved to continue doing something like [Season 5’s Quest],” Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier told me as we discussed the battle royale’s transformative second year. “The problem is, well we did the Quest and then we had a lockdown.”
The COVID-19 lockdowns transitioned Respawn into a working from home structure, which forced the studio to rethink how to expand on Apex Legends in Seasons 6 and 7. New content became an issue of priority, and it was decided that the priority of Quest was to deliver on story, not story-focused missions. As such, the mode transitioned into comics–something easier to program into a game than a brand-new campaign. But Respawn hasn’t given up on including interactive storytelling in its battle royale.
“A lot of those people [who worked on Season 5’s Quest] have moved on to work on things for future seasons, to tell a story and bring some new, cool things to the game,” Grenier said. “So, we’re not done doing things like that. We’re always innovating and trying to push things forward. And we’ve got a lot of people on the team that loved doing things like that. So, yeah–I think you’ll be surprised with future stuff coming out.”
Whatever it is, we’re likely to see it sometime in 2021, so during Seasons 9, 10, or 11. In a blog post, Grenier wrote that “later this year, [Respawn] will launch new ways to play the game that take us beyond battle royale,” which suggests Apex Legends won’t just be a multiplayer-focused battle royale game by the time Year 3 ends. Perhaps Quest will be rebooted and once again become a PvE campaign. We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, at least, Season 8 continues the trend of telling Quest’s story through comics.
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