A dataminer has discovered an unreleased mini-battle royale map in Apex Legends Mobile.
It's not a good time to be a fan of Apex Legends Mobile, with development on the game now halted and the servers soon to shut down.
The news came with the game not yet a year old, and while many in the community were as unhappy as Respawn Entertainment about the frequently delayed updates, few meant their criticism to be terminal for the battle royale.
Since the 'sunset' announcement, it hasn't got any better for fans, with many considering the recently released Season 4 - expected to be the last the game will see - as the best update yet, introducing the hugely popular Olympus map and a new tournament mode.
And that disappointment has deepened further, as a dataminer has discovered that Apex Mobile was set to get a mini-battle royale map.
The map appears to take place in an arid biome, with one screenshot revealing eight POIs, including 'The Worm' and 'High Rises'.
Apex Mobile was in line to get a small scale mobile exclusive map, most likely for the Blitz mode (faster circles and shorter cooldowns, less players).— TheLeakerBot (@theleakerbot) February 12, 2023
The minimap is just an aerial view and not properly built yet. It was added into the Season 4 files. pic.twitter.com/35xTpXdjDu
The dataminer claims the map would have likely been for a 'Blitz' game mode, offering shorter, more action-packed matches.
It is unlikely the map would have appeared in Season 4, as, in terms of assets, only a top-down map was found in the game's files. A more likely release date would be Season 5, which we now know isn't going to happen, with the game set to close its doors on May 1.
The lack of map variety was always one of the main criticisms facing the game. and this will be yet another bitter pill for players to swallow, who also recently learned that the developers were planning on introducing eight as-of-yet unreleased legends to the game.
What the discovery of this map does more than anything is reveal what a surprise the game's closure was, no more so than to the developers working on it. Because while Respawn Entertainment made the decision to close the game - with agreement from publisher Electronic Arts - the primary developers on the title were, in fact, Tencent's LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, the team behind PUBG Mobile.
When announcing the closure, Respawn Entertainment cited that the "quality, quantity, and cadence" of updates was the primary factor, which, in hindsight, looks like a potentially poor decision, especially with the game not yet a year old.
A campaign has sprung up to save the game. News of this map's existence will add to the feeling that Respawn Entertainment didn't give the game enough time.
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