Well, it sure looks like that Arena mode leak from last year was correct, as the latest trailer for Apex Legends' new season has dropped - and it's teased something called "Arenas".
Following on from the reveal of new legend Valkyrie, the Legacy Launch trailer shows the usual cast of legends fighting their way through various combat situations, before Ash (a simulacrum pilot from Titanfall 2) bids viewers welcome to "the legacy of the Apex Predators" known as "the Arenas".
A phrase that the trailer description and developers are currently repeating is going "beyond battle royale", which director Chad Grenier initially told me in an interview for the launch of Season 7.
"Right now we're a battle royale game," Grenier said. "I think if you look into the future, we have a lot of conversations of, you know, should we expand beyond battle royale? We have this roster of legends that people love - how else can we use them? I think looking into the future, you're probably going to see the game becoming more than just a battle royale game. You see we have all these LTMs (limited time modes) and other ways to play. I think that's a great starting point."
On top of this, director of communications Ryan K. Rigney earlier this week pointed to Fortnite as an example of how "you can delight players and drive massive growth for a game by adding a new [or] different genre as a 'mode' and supporting it as a full game." All of which seems to very strongly hint that Arenas will be a new game mode for Apex Legends, and possibly be more significant than the temporary limited time modes we've seen before. Perhaps those areas shown in the trailer have something to do with the new mode, too.
Few game devs recognized this lesson from Fortnite:— Ryan K. Rigney (@RKRigney) April 21, 2021
You can delight players and drive massive growth for a game by adding a new / different genre as a ?mode" and supporting it as a full game.
League of Legends did it with TFT.
UNRELATED: New @PlayApex trailer coming Thurs ? https://t.co/d0GaAlmS4P
The next seasonal update for Apex Legends is due to arrive on 4th May, but I wouldn't be surprised if we heard some more information before that point. We're yet to hear exactly how new legend Valkyrie's abilities work, for instance, and how will Arenas work? In any case, it sounds like Apex Legends is about to add another string to its bow. No, literally - there's a bow now.