Respawn Entertainment went and had themselves a year in 2019. It’s not overly common for developers to release two games in a year, let alone two hugely successful and well-received games. That’s exactly what Respawn Entertainment did, though, and in the process provided gamers with one of the coolest moments of 2019.
Apex Legends was revealed and released on February 4, 2019. This all happened in the span of about an hour. There was a reveal announcing the game was coming, then it was live. Players could download it for free and play it that very moment. Not only that, but it was a decently polished and complete experience. Except for a few rumors, which the average player isn’t going to see anyway, most gamers learned of its existence and got to play their first matches in less time than it takes to make dinner. In a day and age where we hear about games that are still five years off, this was a refreshing approach. It was something different and fun and watching my favorite Twitch streamers lose their minds was like watching kids open presents.
Fast forward to November 15, 2019 and we have Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It couldn’t be more different from Apex Legends, but the anticipation for it was through the roof. While Star Wars Battlefront 2 did just fine, there was an appetite for something with a little more grit in the Star Wars universe, and given the run Respawn Entertainment was on, they felt like a good bet to deliver, and deliver they did. The game sits at about 80/100 on Metacritic across PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It abandons the live model EA has been known for over the last few years and focuses strictly on the single-player experience, and by all accounts fans couldn’t be more pleased.
For rolling out Apex Legends in the unique and refreshing way they did and providing Star Wars fans a new experience they were desperately craving, Respawn Entertainment has won the Shacknews Best Developer of 2019 award.