A new video from Apex Legends content creator Thordan Smash has revealed EA is now copyright striking leakers.
In a new video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Saturday, Dec. 18, Thordan Smash discussed the loss of core members of the Apex development team and the expanding influence Electronic Arts (EA) has on the franchise. He brought up the number of important staff members who appear to be jumping ship from the studio and uncovered a review written by an employee detailing EA's handling of Respawn IPs.
This includes a new initiative from the studio—doing an about-face from previously ignoring leakers posting content about the game.
EA Apparently Striking Apex Legends Content Creators
"The studio that brought us Titanfall 1, Titanfall 1, and Apex Legends, most recently, no longer exists," Thordan began. "This is a completely new Respawn, with new faces that don't share the same agenda as the creators of those games."
He attributed a sudden reported tonal change between Respawn and its Apex community to EA having now "firmly taken over" the franchise—facilitated by the departure of several major original Respawn executives.
According to Thordan, their departure can be explained by a job-posting review by an anonymous current employee. While the employee did praise the studio founders' game sense—especially when compared to the rest of EA—the majority of the post was negative. They cited extreme stress and burnout at Respawn, writing they are "considering leaving without a next job to go to just so mentally I can be in a better place."
Content creators are also feeling the heat as major Apex Legends dataminer GarretLeaks has received a strike for five videos on his YouTube channel, alone. This isn't a new strategy from game publishers, of course, but is a new course of action from Respawn. In fact, Respawn has been known to place fake game files for dataminers to find and spread, Thordan explained.
He mentioned that he wouldn't mind the change if the studio was transparent about their decision. It isn't uncommon for developers to have a dialogue with content creators and the relationship has been respectful on both sides. However, with Ryan K. Rigney's replacement being noticeably less communicative, creators were left to deal with copyright strikes without warning.
"Keep in mind this isn't a bash on Respawn, but at the same time the Respawn team that created Apex Legends and Titanfall really no longer exists." Thordan went on to write in a pinned comment below the video.
Garret also commented about the video on Twitter, calling the employee review "really sad." He also expressed some anxiety over the strikes but encouraged supports not to "harass anybody on Twitter over it."
"I will try my best to keep content flowing bro," he wrote in a reply, "strikes are very scary because my channel can get deleted at any time."
Neither EA Games nor Respawn have responded to Thordan's video at the time of writing.