A new video from Apex Legends content creator Thordan Smash has revealed that EA is now copyright leakers.
In a new video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Saturday, December 18, Thordan Smash spoke about the loss of key members of Apex’s development team and Electronic Arts (EA) ‘s growing influence on the franchise. He spoke about the number of important staff who appear to be leaving the studio and discovered a review written by an employee detailing EA’s handling of Respawn IP addresses.
This includes a new initiative from the studio: to do an about-face by previously ignoring leaks posting content to the game.
“The studio that brought us Titanfall 1, Titanfall 1 and Apex Legends, more recently, no longer exists,” Thordan began. “This is a whole new Respawn, with new faces that don’t share the same agenda as the makers of these games.”
He attributed a sudden signal change in tone between Respawn and its Apex community to the fact that EA had now “firmly taken over” the franchise, facilitated by the departure of several original senior executives from Respawn.
According to Thordan, their departure can be explained by a review of a job offer by an anonymous current employee. While the employee praised the studio founders’ sense of play, especially compared to the rest of EA, the majority of the post was negative. They cited extreme stress and burnout at Respawn, writing that they “are considering leaving with no next job just to go so mentally that I can be in a better place.”
Content creators are also feeling the heat as Apex Legends’ major dataminer GarretLeaks received a strike for five videos on his YouTube channel, single-handedly. This is not a new strategy from the game publishers, of course, but it is a new course of action from Respawn. In fact, Respawn has been known to place bogus game files for dataminers to find and distribute, Thordan explained.
He mentioned that he wouldn’t be against the change if the studio was transparent about his decision. It’s not uncommon for developers to engage with content creators, and the relationship has been respectful on both sides. However, with Ryan K. Rigney’s replacement being significantly less communicative, creators have had to deal with copyright strikes without warning.
“Keep in mind that this isn’t a hit on Respawn, but at the same time, the Respawn team that created Apex Legends and Titanfall really doesn’t exist anymore.” Thordan then wrote in a pinned comment below the video.
Garret also commented on the video on Twitter, calling the employee review “really sad”. He also expressed some concern over the strikes, but urged supporters not to “harass anyone on Twitter about it.”
“I’ll do my best to keep the content flowing, brother” he wrote in a response, “strikes are very scary because my channel can be deleted at any time.”
Neither EA Games nor Respawn have responded to Thordan’s video at the time of writing.