In early April, news surfaced that Respawn would start penalizing players who left a match early. The quit penalty has been requested by players since the battle royale game’s launch, the idea being that a single team member who quits the game can leave the rest of the remaining players at a strong disadvantage. The penalty system is fairly lenient, however, and players won’t suffer much the first time it’s issued.
Quitting early in team-based game matches leaves the other players at a disadvantage — they are, more often than not, outnumbered when they engage with an enemy team, resulting in higher odds of losing. Repeatedly losing represents a hit to one’s stats, which is a big deal for some players, resulting in frustration toward players who decide to leave the match early.
There are a number of reasons an Apex Legends player may leave a game before it’s over, including having to wait to respawn. In early April, some players saw an early quitting penalty appear in the game, prompting a statement from the game’s developer on Reddit.
According to the post, the penalty has been in development behind closed doors for weeks, and the company hadn’t actually planned for the penalty to go live with the April update. However, a script issue caused the penalty to appear in the live game, and so Respawn both acknowledged and removed it.
The studio wasn’t able to offer a release time frame for the feature, but players are now seeing it live in the game, according to Comicbook. The penalty is only applied to matches where the player is part of a full team; as well, the penalty only applies after three consecutive instances of leaving early.
The penalty is fairly benign: you’ll be blocked from matchmaking for five minutes the first time and 10 minutes if you leave early four times in a row.