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Respawn Opens New Studio in Vancouver, Focused on Apex Legends

Respawn Opens New Studio in Vancouver, Focused on Apex Legends - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 08 June 2020 / 1,509 Views

Respawn Entertainment COO Dusty Welch speaking with GamesIndustry said the developer was caught off guard by the popularity of the free-to-play battle royale, Apex Legends. The game passed one million players within its first eight hours available and topped 50 million in its first month. 

With the game remaining popular, Welch announced Respawn has opened up a new studio in Vancouver to focus on development of Apex Legends. The new studio is the second location for Respawn, with the main studio based in California. Henry Lee will be the head of operations and Steven Ferreira will be the team director. 

"When you look at Vancouver, it's one of our [EA's] biggest studio locations," Lee said. "And Vancouver is full of talented people in the games industry, so there was a natural fit with Steven coming on board with his core team and really establishing that foundation. Now we're just adding the missing pieces to it.

"This is a great opportunity, not just for the Vancouver studio to bring some new creative challenges to people already there, but also to the local industry in terms of being part of the Apex Legends roadmap. So we're very excited about bringing this to Vancouver and hopefully greater Canada as well, because we can tap into much more of a talent base broadly."

Apex Legends

Respawn Vancouver has already existed for eight months while it has hired internally. The studio plans to also hire staff externally as well, with plans to expand to a size of around 80 people. However, there is no rush to scale up the size of the team.

"We approached [hiring] a little bit differently than we would normally," Ferreira said. "Rather than list out the thing we want to get done and therefore what roles we need, we started off with: we know we want to build Apex, And Apex has a huge opportunity to evolve in the future, being a live service game. And so we started with who was passionate about making Apex, and we built a team around strong individuals as opposed to a project plan that you would conventionally start off a project around."

Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier added, "You invest in the people you're working with, and as long as you can carve out that time and not get sucked into the day-to-day live service, the innovations will happen. At Respawn we've already got a lot of innovations underway.

"The trouble is we can't do all the innovations we want -- there are just too many. How do you choose which ones to run with, and which ones are best for the game? And building a team in Vancouver is only going to help us bring more to the game."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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