A little update mishap by Respawn Entertainment has revealed that an early-quitter sanction is on its way to Apex Legends. Players abandoning their squad prematurely will face an escalating cooldown when trying to find a new match.
It's bad enough to have one of your squad mates not reach the ground in Apex Legends due to connection issues or some other random stroke of fate, but it's a different and entirely more frustrating experience having one of your comrades in arms abandon a game even while you are rushing them to the nearest respawn beacon.
Respawn Entertainment are apparently aware of players abandoning matches prematurely in a lot of cases, and a system designed to disincentivise such behaviour is on its way.
After an upcoming update, players who leave matches too early will face an escalating cooldown when they try to find a new game.
Quitting after the respawn timer runs out will of course still be permissible without penalty, and abandoning a game every once in a while won't be as heavily scrutinised. However, repeatedly ditching matches will cut into your time.
Respawn have accidentally deployed a work-in-progress version of the feature in the last update, and have since reverted the change and said that they are working to implement it properly, but still don't have an ETA.
"There was a piece of script that was missing and caused the leaving match early penalty to be turned on when it shouldn't be. That's why it wasn't in the patch notes," a studio representative explained via Reddit.
It is still unclear exactly how severe the penalty will be once the system goes live, and players not in the habit of dumping their squad might not even notice its presence beyond hopefully seeing their squad bail on them less frequently.
Apex Legends' respawn system is one of the game's more interesting bits, so players dropping out of matches and ignoring the system is probably not the effect the developers had in mind for the feature.
While penalising players for leaving instead of somehow incentivising them to stay might be seen as an easy way out from a design perspective, addressing the issue at all seems like a step in the right direction.