Just like its first year–which we detailed in our Year 1 recap—Apex Legends Year 2 (February 4, 2020 – February 3, 2021) was a transformative period for developer Respawn’s battle royale game. The final days of Year 2 will see the start of Season 8: Mayhem, which adds playable character Fuse, remakes Kings Canyon for a third time, and implements the 30-30 Repeater, a bolt-action rifle, to the general loot pool. But before that arrives, it’s worth looking at just how much Apex Legends has evolved in the past year.
“I think a big part of [Year 1] was just actually getting comfortable with and getting to learn what it is to make a live service game and build a relationship with the community,” team director Steven Ferreira told me when talking about how Respawn’s strategy for Year 2 was informed by the battle royale’s first year. “And that was always the plan, but like any well-laid plan, it’s not really real until you actually get into it, and then things change. I think that first year was definitely figuring out what was the right balance in terms of how much content could we actually make in a healthy and sustainable way.”
He continued: “How much content was the community looking for? What types of things were they looking for? How did it influence our creative process in terms of making sure that we weren’t locking things in so early that we couldn’t react to the community’s feedback, season to season? So I think we’ve really started to hit a stride and hit a sweet spot in terms of being able to find a balance of what we’re building, how we build it, and in a way that feels like a partnership almost with the community and including them in that process as well.”