Apex Legends Season 18: Resurrection is now live, and has brought a number of new features to the game, like a reworked ability set for Revenant and a spooky new battle pass. But there’s an additional, slightly unexpected feature tucked away in the new seasonal update: a hidden message to dataminers.
Digging through the game’s latest seasonal update, prolific Apex Legends dataminer KralRindo uncovered a special message from the game’s developers:
“HI_DATAMINERS,” the snippet of code reads. “TOP SECRET DATA HERE ->”
The text then links to a section of Respawn’s official website that lists open positions that developers can apply for. At first glance, this may seem like a subtle dig, but it’s likely an earnest invitation, as Respawn has a history of hiring fans of Apex Legends to work on the game, including artists and dataminers. Respawn’s official lore historian for Apex Legends is David Bartle–originally known as prolific dataminer FrozenFroh. After years of leaking datamined info from the game and speculating on the implications upcoming game changes may have on Apex’s lore, Bartle was eventually hired by Respawn to work on narrative design.
Due to the fact that Apex Legends runs on a (heavily modified) version of Source Engine, datamining has always played a major part in the game’s community of players–and this isn’t the first time the game’s developers have left behind something for dataminers to find. Leading up to Season 4, players were under the impression that the upcoming season’s debut legend would be Forge, a Hammond Robotics-backed cage fighter. Developers even dropped breadcrumbs hinting at Forge’s existence for dataminers to find within the game’s files.
So it came as a major shock to many players when Forge’s episode of Stories From The Outlands aired and revealed that things were not as they seemed. In the episode, Forge can be seen giving an interview to OTV (Outlands Television) News anchor Lisa Stone. As Forge rambles on about what an amazing combatant is, the lights flicker, and a moment later, Revenant appears. The murderbot proceeds to impale Forge on his metal arm, killing him instantly and splattering the news anchor with blood. Revenant would go on to replace Forge, taking his spot as a competitor in the Apex Games.
Though some dataminers did figure out the ruse ahead of time, many players were taken by surprise, and it seems that Respawn has decided to embrace the game’s dataminers with hidden jokes, tongue-in-cheek references, and invitations to apply for a job at the studio rather than attempting to combat them. Apex’s datamining community is so committed to their craft that the complete overhaul of Revenant‘s abilities introduced this season had already been leaked by dataminers months before the new season launched. Respawn’s “if you can’t beat ’em, invite ’em to join you” approach to handling dataminers may be unorthodox, but it’s likely a wise choice given how much of the chatter and hype surrounding the game is focused on leaked information.
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