Apex Legends is a game new enough for developer Respawn not to worry too much about balancing it for competitive play and esports. But the company has reportedly considered implementing an economy system to support competitive play in the future.
Twitch streamer Michael "shroud" Grzesiek revealed this when streaming Apex last night. He’s known for playtesting the game for Respawn before release, and he’s had contact with unreleased content such as the upcoming legend, Wattson.
In the system the company shared with shroud, there would be 10 matches played in a professional competition. Before each match started, players would have some money to buy weapons and gear for when they dropped, in a similar way to the buying stage of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The other mechanics of the game, such as being able to find guns on the floor, in crates, and from opponent’s bodies, would apparently remain the same.
In the current system, all Apex players drop with no gear at all. If there’s early combat and nobody has guns, players have to punch each other to take the opponent down. Players also start with no armor, helmet, or any consumable item.
If Respawn did this, it would reduce part of the randomness in Apex, which is inherent to every battle royale. The randomness in this kind of game is what professional players complain about the most. The greatest player in the world can be the first to be eliminated from a match if they find no weapons in the first few seconds and run into an opponent who’s already geared. Having skill has no effect on this.
Shroud refrained from detailing this system or if Respawn has given up on this idea. Apex’s development and updates are coming out slow, so if a pre-match economy system is coming, players will probably take some time to see it available.