Daniel Z. Klein has been terminated by Respawn Entertainment due to "racist and sexist" blog posts he published in 2007, the former Apex Legends lead game designer confirmed.
Klein posted a lengthy Twitter thread Tuesday to announce he had been let go by the studio Aug. 6, and that although he is "heartbroken and depressed," he feels Respawn were within their rights to let him go.
"Again, to be clear," Klein said, "I'm not saying EA or Respawn did anything untoward. They were absolutely within their rights to terminate me, much as I may disagree with that decision."
Klein, a prominent developer for the battle royale's Legend balance team after initially being brought on in January 2020, had been one of Respawn's most active voices on Twitter and Reddit, engaging with the community on discussions regarding the playable heroes.
Over the past year, Klein had faced plenty of backlash from the community over his reserved approach to buffing the character Wattson. While players would argue that their experiences with the Legend served as proof for needed changes, Klein often cited pick rate and win rate analytics in response.
Klein addressed those blog posts via Twitter.
"I said racist and sexist things, not because I deeply believed any of them, but because I knew I could get a reaction out of people," he wrote. "That does not excuse anything I said; the impact of my words was the same regardless of what I believed."
"I'm just truly sorry to the Apex team," Klein said. "This is a headache they did not need. I know what their future plans are and I absolutely believe Apex has a bright future. There's so much cool shit coming. I just wished I could have worked on it."
At the time of writing, Respawn has yet to comment on Klein's dismissal.