Apex Legends Season 16: Revelry has been heralded as a grand fete to commemorate the game’s fourth year – though that joyous celebration has been somewhat dampened by the news that over two hundred playtesters employed by EA’s Baton Rouge office have been summarily dismissed earlier today, according to an article by Kotaku. The notification was reportedly delivered via a sudden Zoom call to the dismay of the hundreds of Apex Legends playtesters, unbeknownst to them, who were about to be abruptly discarded by the triple-A game publisher.

Described as unscheduled and mandatory, it became apparent the Zoom call came as a surprise to both the playtesters and the company’s higher-ups–the latter of whom, according to Kotaku’s sources, were given no warning or time to ready for Tuesday’s sweeping dismissals. To make matters worse, after the Zoom meeting, those let go were only permitted to take their mementos and clear out their desks under the surveillance of EA security. EA, reportedly, is offering 60 days of compensation, though it is supposedly far shorter than the term of the majority of those affected’s employment contracts.

Not to be confused with the publisher’s volunteer playtesters, the folks at EA’s Baton Rouge office were official EA employees who worked in the Quality Assurance department. While the Louisiana-based office had worked on other titles in the past, its focus was shifted specifically to Apex Legends prior to the hit battle royale’s surprise February 2019 launch. Sources that spoke to Kotaku expressed concern regarding the impact of the layoffs on the game itself. Apex Legends runs on a _heavily_ modified version of Source Engine, and is no stranger to fairly significant bugs that have sometimes gone unaddressed for months. Having fewer QA specialists on hand could make troubleshooting a bit more challenging going forward.

Though EA has yet to make any official comment on the matter, their recent series of decisions have left fans speculating on the future of Apex Legends. Respawn’s announcement of Apex Legends Mobile‘s sunsetting, just a few days before its one-year anniversary, was a huge shakeup. This was followed by the cancelation of the single-player game, as well as the lack of a new Legend for Season 16–the first time this has ever happened.

These changes, however, may not be enough to counter the consequences of today’s mass layoffs of playtesters. It’s hard to envision a situation in which fewer quality assurance testers would be beneficial to the game.

Apex Legends is free to access across both console and PC platforms, but the ultimate mobile experience awaits in the form of Apex Legends Mobile. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, players can dive into a world of battle royale action – however, this realm is soon to be lost, with the game set to be sunset on May 1.

By Game Critic

I'm John, an avid gaming enthusiast and passionate critic. Since I was a child, I have been enthralled by the captivating mechanics, visuals, and storytelling of video games. My blog, Game Critic, is the perfect place for gamers to stay up to date on the latest releases and gaming trends, as well as to discuss the different aspects of gaming culture. I'm devoted to bringing you the best analysis and opinions of the games I love.

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