The Vancouver studio is based within publisher EA’s existing campus – also home to EA Sports – and will be led by team director Steven Ferreira, who was previously design director at Sleeping Dogs studio United Front Games.
Respawn Vancouver, which has been operating for around eight months already, will be the Jedi: Fallen Order developer’s second studio in addition to its California HQ, reports GamesIndustry.biz.
Part of the philosophy behind opening a second studio is said to be aimed at lowering the workflow of the California team. The move tracks with previous comments by Respawn CEO Vince Zampella about Apex Legends being updated less frequently to ensure its developers weren’t overworking.
Team director Ferreira told GI.biz that the aim was to increase the Vancouver team to around 80 people, now that the initial period of internal hiring is over.
“We approached [hiring] a little bit differently than we would normally,” he said. “Rather than list out the thing we want to get done and therefore what roles we need, we started off with: we know we want to build Apex, And Apex has a huge opportunity to evolve in the future, being a live service game.
“And so we started with who was passionate about making Apex, and we built a team around strong individuals as opposed to a project plan that you would conventionally start off a project around.”
Respawn’s latest standalone release, the action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, has now surpassed 10 million unique players, according to EA. In a recent earnings call, the publisher suggested it would create a sequel to the game.