Apex Legends is not introducing Smaller Maps in Season 9

One of the most popular battle royale shooters for the past couple of years recently decided to say a big “no” to the prospect of changing map size. Before that, this process saw Respawn’s developer team for Apex Legends get a range of ideas and concepts about map changes. Yet, none of them stuck to the walls of the team’s outlook about the future of the game. Instead, developers gave a very definitive rejection of the idea of introducing small maps in Season 9 and its Arenas mode. On the surface, this might not seem like a big deal. After all, Apex Legends is a title that has been created and polished to provide a more outdoors experience, similar to other massive battle royale hits. However, the move by the devs of the game still showcases a lot of interesting insight into the decision and the wider process of supporting Apex Legends development. It also does the same because the devs were ready to take on the detailed explanation of why they are not considering adding smaller maps that come with a lot more close-quarter battles.

Hearing out the Community

First of all, it is essential that the developers and operators of the game made clear they are listening to the Apex Legends community. It was inside of this group of dedicated players that the first voices began expressing their critique of the present maps. These individuals, who quickly grew more and more numerous, pointed out that the game needs some smaller maps. This part of the community stated that the Phase Runner and Party Crasher end up too big even as the ring closes down. The ideas included removing the Artillery Battery map and replacing it with Octane’s Gauntlet. Others also set out their ideas about the general scaling down of individual maps or their complete replacement. Over weeks and months, the Apex Legends team listened to these ideas and many believed that they were indeed preparing these changes for Season 9. However, the dice at the end rolled and the game will showcase no such maps in this Season or any near future update.

Small, but Too Small

Daniel Klein, Respawn’s Lead Game Designer, took the time to respond to these ideas. He said that these concepts are simply too small. The famous designer also pointed out that Arenas maps all need to have a range of points of interest for players. Ideally, those points of interest have all a line of sight running between each of those. All of the presented concepts had one such location, but nowhere near enough additional ones. Another designer from Respawn said that the team tried a range of stuff and learned what can and cannot work. Because of that, there is no need, for now, to try out any reduced maps just to see if these concepts have any traction behind them. The experiments that the team did run with small maps show that the experience quickly becomes repetitive very quickly. Instead, the nature of playing Apex Legends includes a different outlook towards any given match than those that can be seen with games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Exploration and Anticipation

The developers of this successful battle royale title once again enforced the idea that Apex Legends is all about exploration of the terrain and its features, as well as anticipation of what the enemy teams might be doing at the same time. That process of intense, meaningful, and dynamic decision-making is what attracts so many players and keeps a lot of them engaged with the game for a long period. For them, the title risks no chance of becoming repetitive because each of the matches is relatively long (which is again the doing of larger maps with many points of interest). On small maps, the loot bins would be crammed together very close by, making matches into a crazed scramble of kills and looting, all jumbled into one confusing fast experience. At the same time, those singular points of interest would likely become a tower where the majority of winning teams would be defined once one of them manages to entrench their positions in the same location. Of course, those that do have some issue with playing Apex Legends with present maps can always find the ideal solution in Apex boosting services. But, for now, anyone who is looking for small maps in Apex Legends will have to keep hoping beyond Season 9 content.

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