The Apex Legends community found a skin in the game troubling, and Respawn has now stated that it will be changed.
Wattson is receiving a new skin called Charged Conquistador. The cool skin has Wattson wearing an old-fashioned helmet reminiscent of the Spanish Conquest. She is also sporting a full suit of armor. But fans were concerned with the name of the skin, stating that “Conquistador” has a connection with the colonization in America.
Hi Respawn friends. I want to ask you a little something. Please reconsider naming the new Wattson skin “Charged Conquistador”. Let me elaborate on the next tweets. This is not a cancellation nor an accusation, but an invitation to give the name a second thought pic.twitter.com/43991bJ0hS
— 𝐕𝟎𝐍 (@VonHollde) March 7, 2021
Some in the Apex Legends community explained that conquistadors are tied to the “destruction of empires and cultures” through murder and slavery. This began in the 16th Century, leading to a “bloody process” that massacred native peoples and their cultures.
Design director Jason McCord responded to the concerns. He stated that there was “definitely no ill intention” and it “slipped through the cracks.” According to McCord’s tweet, there is currently no skin approval process because there are so many skins being developed and released.
The skin will have a new name before the cosmetic goes live or immediately following its release.
Apex Legends was already under fire for controversy related to accusations of being insensitive. In an older voice line, Caustic called Crypto a “gutter rat,” which was meant to refer to his backstory as an orphan. But some fans noted that “rat” was a slur used towards Asians during World War II. Japanese people were compared to rats in some propaganda from around the time. The interaction was quickly removed by developers.
Respawn developers also renamed the Wendigo charm before it was released last winter. A Wendigo is a supernatural being that has a desire to kill victims. Humans are said to transform into this monster if they are greedy or weak. It’s part of Native American folklore. The original charm didn’t fully match the traditional description of a Wendigo and was seen as offensive to some people.