Is Forge dead in Apex Legends?

Someone grab his banner.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Even champions fall. Respawn revealed Jimmie “Forge” McCormick as Apex Legends’ next playable character for season four, but the latest teaser may have killed him off in gruesome fashion.

In an in-universe segment titled “Up Close and Personal with Lisa Stone,” Forge was triumphantly commenting on his path to the Apex Games. Shortly after daring other competitors to take the fight “up close and personal,” the mysterious Revenant snuck behind the champion and stabbed him, splattering animated blood all over the mortified TV hostess.

After the teaser, dedicated fans have been frantically digging through each clue and trying to make sense of the new developments. Here’s our take.

Is Forge dead?

The season four page on EA’s official website was updated with a memorial page for the legend shortly after the teaser aired. His picture was grayed out and the page displayed the words “RIP Jimmie ‘Forge’ McCormick” below the character. The text on the website was also updated to reflect the arrival of a “mysterious legend.”

Screengrab via EA Games

As a final tribute to the character, players can get a charm honoring the late character by heading to Sorting Factory, the stage of an Easter egg involving him.

It’s possible that this is indeed the end of Forge. It could also just be another bamboozle.

Respawn misled its fan base by announcing Forge. The community expected the introduction of the anticipated Revenant, a recurrent presence in data-mining efforts and host of a limited-time mode during Apex‘s Halloween event. Hinting at killing off Forge could be just another attempt at misdirecting players.

Data miners uncovered some of Forge’s skills hidden in the game files and the legend possesses an intricate, melee-oriented kit that matches his backstory. There are plenty of different abilities that were tested at some point and it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that Respawn would throw out that much effort.

At the same time, the company could have determined that his brawler playstyle wasn’t a good fit for Apex and decided to have a little fun rather than scraping the character altogether.

Another theory is that season four will introduce two new legends rather than just one. The next season will be divided into two splits, each played on a different map. It’s possible that each split will introduce a new character. Data miner That1MiningGuy uncovered bits in the game files that could point to the introduction of “characters” (plural).

For the most conspiracy-inclined, fictional hostess Stone’s remarks that “some people may still believe that you’re not ready to be an Apex Legend” can be telling. The deliberate phrasing could point to the character’s eventual addition to the roster, rather than debuting him immediately when season four hits. It would fit the character’s WWE-like narrative, drawing inspiration from long feuds in pro wrestling.

EA’s official stance is that Forge is gone. Despite some evidence pointing to the contrary, it’s reasonably safe to believe that Forge is officially dead—at least for now.