With the growing popularity of Apex Legends, the development company Respawn has been prompted to open a third studio.
Respawn Entertainment has not been missing with their latest games hitting all the right gamer fanbases—from Apex Legends to the Star Wars Jedi series. However, it was the battle royale game Apex Legends that prompted Respawn to open a third studio in Madison, Wisconsin, to help further develop the game. The announcement was made on the company website, and the Wisconsin studio was said to be headed by gaming industry veteran Ryan Burnett.
The announcement post explained how Burnett’s credentials matched Respawn’s vision to develop the game further: “Ryan is an extraordinary leader with a proven track record in live service games and as a pillar in the massive mid-western game development community in Madison. With nearly two decades of development experience at places like Raven Software and Epic Games, Ryan has a history of inspiring the sort of creativity and innovation in his teams that is the foundation of games like Apex Legends.”
It almost sounded like a no-brainer as Burnett worked at Raven Software to develop games like Call of Duty games, and Epic Games’ Fortnite. With Apex Legends being a growing battle royale, it has almost put itself in front of Fortnite and PUBG in some aspects.
For a game that began as a spin-off battle royale game for the Titanfall series, it has truly cemented itself as a contender for the genre since its 2019 release. I have been playing it since then, and I think it has continued to adapt well to what fans are always asking for. While Fortnite has the ability to add more and more IPs to its game, Apex Legends paved its own way by being a more competitive, dynamic game.
The post continued to explain why the location in Madison made sense as well. They discussed how they worked out a good deal with “the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help facilitate the studio’s growth in Madison.” Burnett also added that he has worked in the area and noted it was “quickly becoming a central development hub here…I’ve been here a long time working on FPS games, so we think there’s a really good hotbed of talent here we can pull from.”
The first two studios were primarily working out of Los Angeles and Vancouver with hybrid office formats, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic ensued. This could be a great opportunity for a studio that could be dedicated as an Apex Legends think-tank, allowing another studio(s) to focus on its other popular game series, Star Wars Jedi.
Star Wars Jedi Survivor was recently delayed by six weeks due to further development of the game, or more specifically, to “enhance performance, stability, polish, and most importantly, the player experience.” It was originally set to release on March 17, 2023, but was pushed to April 28. So, the third Respawn studio could help alleviate future delays down the line.