Apex Legends first Battle Pass almost dropped... and then it didn't
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For a brief and beautiful moment, it seemed like yesterday was the day. At around 12 PM EDT, many Apex players around the world began posting screenshots of their Origin launchers announcing that Season 1 of Apex Legends had begun. The image featured the same artwork of Octane that we had leaked at the start of the month. Notably, this came on the tails of an AMD tweet, which also implied that March 12 was the date for the Battle Pass.

Shortly after that, everything rolled back. Respawn made an official statement on Reddit claiming it had all been a mistake. The Origin update had been unintentional, the community shouldn’t rally around rumors, and the real Season 1 starts “very soon.”

If the EA Official Youtube stream was any indication, the majority of Apex players took the news pretty poorly. All the signs had pointed to a March 12 release date, and with the Battle Pass hitting clients for a short time on that day, it seemed like that was always the plan. When it was pulled back, people weren’t happy. The community seemed ready to tear down Respawn for not delivering on a promise they never explicitly made.

It seems that Origin was set to auto-update Apex Legends to Season 1 on March 12

A last moment switch?

Personally, I found the language of Respawn’s statement intentionally ambiguous. They did not outright deny that March 12 had been the official start day. In fact, their plea against wholesale leak-mongering seemed to be aimed strictly at mechanics and content data-mined from the game’s files.

Between the report from our source that March 12 was the planned release date, the tweet from AMD, and the fact that the Battle Pass did hit Origin clients for a brief time, it seems incredibly likely that this was the originally planned release date. For whatever reason, Respawn changed their minds. There’s no way to know what that reason is. It could have been a way to battle the leaks. It could have been a back-end issue with the patch just not being ready on time. Maybe they needed more time to solve the lag and crashing issues? Or maybe they’re trying to find a solution to all the cheating going on in-game.

Our guess? We think Respawn intentionally delayed the Battle Pass so they could first patch an exploit that has been allowing users to get a month of Origin Access and 1000 Apex Coins for absolutely free.

An ill-timed exploit

When the Battle Pass appeared in Origin clients, the graphic revealed that it would be priced at 950 Apex Coins. While this price point was met with elation from the players, it presented a huge problem for Respawn. With an exploit circulating that allows players to get 1000 coins for free, Respawn would be releasing its first major content update into an environment where thousands of players would essentially pick it up for no cost at all.

The studio has been burned by this before. Many players targeted the Twitch Prime Loot Pack with a similar exploit and snagged its contents without paying. If the new exploit is truly the reason for the delay, Respawn’s caution can’t really be faulted here.

Whatever the case may be, we’ll have any and all updates for you posted right here. Be sure to bookmark our Apex Legends page and check back every so often.

For more reading, check out our Apex Legends lore analysis, which shows that Respawn may have already revealed three Legends — Octane, Talchum, and Wattson — through easter eggs hidden in the game’s intro and promo art.