Respawn Entertaiment celebrated its 10-year anniversary this month with a bang. The company revealed a newly-created studio based in Canada that will focus entirely on Apex Legends. Respawn Vancouver takes advantage of EA’s existing infrastructure and has been active for eight months, but only just announced itself to the world.
The location is Respawn’s second base of operations and the first outside its California headquarters and will have an experienced team at its helm.
“When you look at Vancouver, it’s one of our [EA’s] biggest studio locations,” head of operations Henry Lee said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. Lee said that Respawn set up its new studio inside EA’s Vancouver campus and has been hiring internally for eight months. Now, the studio is open to hiring externally as well.
The fact that Respawn Vancouver is housed in an EA Games facility doesn’t change the relationship between the two. In fact, EA has less interference in Apex than people think, according to Lee — and its approach is more liberal than expected.
“I’ve never run a franchise before where there’s been so little or no pressure from the publisher or from corporate or my partner about the monetization or the revenue,” Lee said. “They [EA] allow us to make the decisions and the calls that are best for our company and our team, and also consideration for the IP and our player base. It’s an interesting matrix of things to try and manage.”
Both Respawn and EA are invested in the longevity of Apex Legends, according to Lee. “We have a long-term view for where we’d like to take the franchise, and EA supports that long-term view of building out the franchise,” he said. The battle royale recently released its fifth season — and there are many more to come, if Respawn and EA have their way.