Apex Legends and Titanfall developer, Respawn Entertainment, has responded to a viral Glassdoor review of the company, in which an anonymous employee accused it of mismanaging remote working during COVID-19.
The employee alleged that despite the unprecedented situation, Respawn stuck to its tight deadlines and roadmap for Apex Legends, resulting in them working extra long hours on top of having to adjust to new working conditions. The employee also claimed that Respawn encouraged employees to continue working long hours from home amidst the stress while simultaneously asking them to take care of their mental health.
Responding to the review on Reddit, Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier acknowledged that “a lot of this falls on me as a leader” and that Respawn struggled to suddenly transition to remote working arrangements. However, Grenier claims that he continuously asked staff to prioritize their health and to inform their managers if they were unable to meet deadlines.
“We certainly didn’t have the tools, tech, or systems in place to make a smooth transition to going from several hundred person team on the same campus to a completely remote studio,” Grenier wrote in a lengthy explanation. “Like a broken record I continuously asked that people speak up to their managers or producers if they will not be able to get their work done on time without crunching. Delays would be ok, we just need to know one is needed.”
Grenier’s Reddit post further details the measures that the studio and EA’s leadership put in place during the pandemic. He concluded by acknowledging that Respawn isn’t perfect, but added that it cares more about its employees than the game and profits.