Since Apex Legends season 9 kicked off a few months ago, the free-to-play battle royale has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. But as with any popular competitive game, more general attention has also attracted more prospective cheaters. The recent influx of nefarious players and DDoS attacks have become so disruptive in Apex that it's affecting development on a pretty big planned feature: cross-progression.
According to Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier, work on cross-progression has slowed as a direct result of Apex and Titanfall's recent troubles with hackers. Responding to a tweet seeking an update on cross-progression, Grenier said, "In development, although recent hacks on Apex and TF have slowed down the progress of it as we context switch to solving live game issues."
Cross-progression has been among the most anticipated features in Apex since crossplay was introduced last year. Players were excited to learn that they wouldn't have to repurchase every legend and cosmetic on their account to comfortably switch platforms, but the wait has been long.
In development, although recent hacks on Apex and TF have slowed down the progress of it as we context switch to solving live game issues.July 10, 2021
Even before the recent cheating surge, Grenier has been open about the difficulties of adding the feature. In February, Grenier told players that it's "certainly more challenging to add cross-progression to a game that's been out for two years." It sure sounds like a decent challenge—Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege are two other FPSes that received crossplay years after release but have yet to deliver on cross-progression.
Cheaters and DDoS attacks have become a larger problem in Apex as of late and Respawn has committed to cracking down harder on rule breakers. One of the issues Grenier's tweet refers to is, I imagine, the July 4 hijacking of Apex Legends' main menu. Over the holiday weekend, hackers were able to take control of the game's playlist function to protest Titanfall server hacks and display the message: "SAVETITANFALL.COM, TF1 is being attacked so is Apex."
Respawn communications director Ryan Rigney later stated the hackers "achieved nothing of value" by attacking Apex and pointing out issues the studio was already working to remedy in Titanfall.
Considering only "one or two" people are working on Titanfall's server woes, it sounds like all hands are on deck to bring Apex Legends back to full strength. Back in June, Respawn security analyst Conor Ford said over 30 DDoS attackers were shadowbanned in a day. "We care and are just as frustrated as the players."
The DDoS situation is being addressed as we speak by our very own @ricklesauceur. It isn’t the easiest fix in the world but huge steps are being made to take care of this. 31 abusers were shadow banned today in the meantime. We care and are just as frustrated as the players.June 1, 2021