What We Know About The Apex Legends 'Save Titanfall' Hack
Early morning on Sunday, July 4, Apex Legends was hacked. The hacker(s) locked all matchmaking playlists, effectively removing the ability to play Apex Legends. Additionally, written text across the main lobby screen was altered to push the hacker’s personal agenda.
It goes without saying, but this cyberattack is a pretty big deal. You may have heard bits and pieces about this hacking incident or even been a victim yourself, but do you know who was responsible? The end goal of the hacker(s)? Or what this means for the future of Apex Legends?
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this monumental event in Apex Legends’ history.
What Happened To Apex Legends?
The cyberattack worked to make the game unplayable and replaced the name’s of all playlists with "SAVETITANFALL.COM”. Below the playlists name reads, “TF1 is being attacked so is Apex”.
Any player whose game loaded up these hacked servers would be stuck on the main menu with no option to queue. If one did make it into a match, they would be greeted with an “important message” at the conclusion of the game that read, "visit and repost savetitanfall.com".
Apex players have reported encountering this hack attack on all platforms, including PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
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Who Was Responsible For The Hack?
The identity of the hacker(s) is unknown. No individual or group has taken responsibility for the attack.
The SaveTitanfall website and its associated Discord servers vehemently deny responsibility. The SaveTitanfall group claims that the hacker is using their website without their permission and that they have no association with the hacker. The individuals behind the SaveTitanfall website do want to bring
attention to Titanfall’s issues - but not like this.
Why Does Titanfall Need Saving?
Obviously, hacking Apex Legends was not the right way to get Respawn’s attention, but there’s no denying that Titanfall does need saving. Titanfall and Titanfall 2 are both under attack by their own sets of hackers.
Titanfall 1 has been made unplayable for three years due to the malicious exploits of a hacker. Titanfall 1 is an online-only game as well. If players can’t get into an online server, there’s literally no other way for them to play the game.
Titanfall 1’s hacker problem is made worse by the fact that the game is still for sale on both Origin and Steam. Electronic Arts (EA) and Respawn are actively selling a broken game.
Just take a glance at Titanfall 1’s reviews on Steam for some first-hand accounts of how terrible of a problem this is. The game has overwhelmingly negative reviews. The large majority of these reviews claim that it’s impossible to play the game due to the hacker’s lockout.
Titanfall 2 has a similar issue with hackers, though their method of abuse is a bit different. The Titanfall 2 hacker is applying targeted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to streamers of the game. This cybercriminal is picking and choosing specific players to grief. Players targeted by this hacker have been unable to play Titanfall 2 for months.
To make matters worse, at least one of the Titanfall 2 DDoS victims reports that the hacker has tried to extort them for money. Titanfall 2 content creator, Iniquity, wrote on Twitter that the hacker asked for $350 to relent the DDoS attacks.
It’s not like Respawn is unaware of all of this either. After years of reports, Respawn finally addressed the problem on Twitter. Back in April, Respawn wrote, “we're aware of ongoing DDOS attacks affecting @Titanfallgame. To the Titanfall community: Help is coming ASAP.”
Three months later, help has still not arrived.
The Apex Legends Community's Reaction To The Hack
The Apex Legends community was obviously not happy with the attack on their favourite game. For many, the weekend serves as their one opportunity a week to get some games in. Being locked out of matchmaking for nearly 24 hours left many players outraged.
One Reddit user writes, “Apex is the best game on the market, but it never f**king works.” Outside of this incident, Apex has been plagued with constant server issues, cheaters, and DDoSers. Not to mention, all of the problems with Ranked Mode, legend balance, and skill-based matchmaking. This hacking incident isn’t the first problem with Apex. It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.
What really has the community irritated is that it’s even possible for a Triple-A game like Apex Legends to get hacked. This isn’t some indie game with just a couple of members on the team. Apex Legends is published by EA. Apex Legends is projected to net over $500 million in profits by the end of 2021. Skins in Apex Legends typically cost a minimum of $20 and acquiring an Heirloom can cost a whopping $500. How can a game that’s raking in so much money be doing so little to address the plethora of issues that it’s facing?
What This Hack Means For The Future Of Apex Legends
The only saving grace of this whole ordeal is that it may finally force EA and Respawn to fix their games. Before this, it was easy to ignore the problems with Apex Legends and the Titanfall series. The vocal outcry was relatively minor, and EA and Respawn were set to make millions regardless.
Now, EA and Respawn have been embarrassed on a grand stage. One of the most popular games in the world was hacked and taken over by an assumed amateur hacker. And it wasn’t for a brief time, either. Apex Legends was completely unplayable for nearly 24 hours.
One of Apex’s most famous pros/content creators, Mac "Albralelie" Beckwith, hopes that this incident will be a wake-up call for Respawn and EA. If something like this doesn't force change, what will?
Executing an illegal cyberattack such as the hack on Apex should never be encouraged, regardless of the motive or cause the hacker is hoping to bring attention to. There are alternative ways to get your point across and in a safer and more productive manner. But the fact of the matter is, Titanfall, and Apex to an extent, do need saving. The hope is that all this trouble will encourage some much-needed change in the way EA and Respawn handle their flagship titles.
Images via Respawn Entertainment