The Apex Legends Iron Crown event has become a public relations nightmare for developer Respawn Entertainment.
Apex Legends’ new medieval-themed event hit live servers August 13. The limited-time event introduced 24 new items split evenly between epics and legendaries. Players initially could only obtain the new items through randomized loot boxes. This method of receiving in-game rewards is controversial to begin with, but the kicker here is that players could only freely earn two event loot boxes through grinding. All subsequent lootboxes had to be purchased for $7 a pop.
Fans immediately pushed back against the event and its questionable requirements. Respawn responded by announcing that all of the event’s legendary skins would be available to purchase in the store for roughly $15 each beginning August 20.
Many fans were still unhappy with the situation. Those who had already spent money on loot boxes to obtain the legendary skins wanted to be compensated. Players who want all the Iron Crown items still have to purchase more loot boxes before the event ends. Additionally, there is a limited edition axe that can only be obtained after getting all of the event’s other items. Therefore it still requires a player to pay for multiple loot boxes to obtain it.
Fans continued to voice their complaints to Respawn, but nobody was expecting the response they received.
Respawn community manager Jay “Jayfresh” Frechett and Respawn Project Lead Drew “dk05” McCoy fired back at community complaints, calling fans “dicks,” “ass-hats,” and “freeloaders.”
“I’ve been in the industry long enough to remember when players weren’t complete ass-hats to developers and it was pretty neat,” McCoy said.
These comments only served to bolster the community’s growing animosity and distrust towards the developers. Comparisons were drawn to the “pride and accomplishment” comment made by Respawn’s parent company Electronic Arts last year regarding the loot box situation in Star Wars Battlefront II, which became the most downvoted comment in Reddit’s history.
Respawn Entertainment assured that future game events will be handled differently. The developer will hope that it can win back their community’s trust going forward.