Apex Legends Gamers are no different from fans of other free-to-play games: they have a lot of criticism and are not afraid to voice it. But Respawn Entertainment feels the fandom took the criticism too far and now counts it as harassment.
The backlash got too much during a recent Reddit AMA. What was supposed to be a Legends and Weapons discussion soon turned to outspoken gamers, who argued with the developers, who answered questions on the thread.
Things got heated up when a player named HisWattson started attacking the developers on Twitter, including Conor “Hideouts” Ford, the game’s “ban hammer”. HisWattson claimed that Hideouts didn’t do his job after being kicked out of a match mid-stream.
HisWattson is a prominent member of the apex community and has participated in many tournaments. This includes the ALGS Year Two Championship, where he was named MVP. But it’s not just HisWattson that has been very cantankerous with developers, especially Hideouts. As more and more players started attacking Hideouts, inspired by HisWattson, Respawn issued a statement on Twitter.
The company said it has seen “increased harassment” towards developers. While the Company welcomes input from the community, it believes that much of the recent feedback has crossed the line from feedback to harassment.
“We want to remind our players that we have a zero tolerance policy for threats and harassment of our developers,” Respawn wrote.
The message also states that Respawn will take steps to ensure the “health and safety” of its team.
The gaming community was broadly supportive of Respawn, including Bungie and some prominent streamers.
“The level of harassment that developers have been dealing with lately is unacceptable.” said Andrew Goldfarb, a gaming communications professional. “Please remember that there are people who create the video games you play and read the abusive messages you send. Nobody deserves to be treated like shit for doing their job.”
Unfortunately, player harassment of developers is nothing new, and some developers are even taking to social media privately to avoid angry mobs. But Respawn is doing its part to make it known that the company will not tolerate this behavior.