Apex Legends is a battle royale FPS game with hero shooter elements inspired by games like Overwatch and Team Fortress.
Respawn was one of the first developers to combine the concept of battle royale games with hero shooter mechanics. As it turns out, these hero shooter aspects of the game really resonated well with its audience. Back in 2019, when Apex Legends launched without any marketing or open beta, one of the things that made the game stood out amongst the endless sea of battle royale games was its unique cast of diverse characters.
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Dev explains their character design process:
Moy Parra who is currently the principal animator at Respawn just revealed more information on exactly how long it takes to create a legend in the game. According to Moy, it takes at least 9-11 months to create a character in Apex Legends.
Basically it takes close to a year to create a legend completely from scratch. The time includes pitching the concept of a character to department heads. And only after the heads of each department gives their approvals, the real development begins.
“Characters cannot be changed on a “whim” as they take on average around 9 – 11 months to create“, Moy Parra on why they can’t make any sudden change to any character in the game.
Since all of these new characters go through a lot of iterations during the design and development phase, the end product sometimes changes a lot from the original concepts. Additionally, all of those future character leaks that players found in the game files might never see the light of day as sometimes a character can get canceled.