Apex Legends writer hits back at hate over new trans character Catalyst: ‘Maybe Apex isn’t for you’

Catalyst in Apex Legends.

The lead writer of Apex Legends, Ashley Reed, has hit back at backlash to the game’s first trans character, saying if players don’t like LGBTQ+ representation then “Apex isn’t for you”.

Reed, of Respawn Entertainment, has made it very clear that upcoming legend Catalyst has intentionally been made trans to reflect the diversity of the “future world”. 

She says the character was always intended to be “inescapably trans.”

“If you’re not upfront about it, people are gonna find ways to deny it,” she told The Sun.

“They’re gonna say, ‘That’s not what you meant.’ We have seen that with some of our other characters who identify a certain way.

“We’ve seen people say, ‘Oh, no, that’s not what they meant.’ Even when we come out and say, ‘That is what we meant.'”

In introducing the trans character, whose real name is Tressa Crystal Smith, Respawn Entertainment consulted with LGBTQ+ charity GLAAD.

The company also ensured its trans developers were involved, with trans woman, Meli Grant, being hired to voice the character.

Reed said Grant “put it best: ‘Make her inescapably trans’. So that is what we did”.

Diversity is ‘inescapable’

“We’re surrounded by a bunch of very diverse people in our own lives, so it would only make sense that the future would reflect that, and this cast would reflect that because they’re from all over this future place,” Reed continued.

“So it’s kind of inescapable that if you have a problem with that, Apex isn’t for you,” she explained.

Catalyst is 29 and according to Reed she plays the big sister role to other heroes, while her abilities include a resin shot that allows her to build ramps and other useful structures for herself and other characters. 

Reed added: “She’s very like, ‘I’m very worldly and know what’s going on and I don’t have time for anybody’s bulls**t. Why is everyone so dumb?’

“Very gothy and sardonic. But also like, is she covering up for old wounds like a lot of goth kids are?”

Catalyst was introduced to the world in a clip on 17 October and she will become playable when Apex Legends Season 15 launches on 1 November. 

The November update will also welcome a new map and items for players to enjoy.

Catalyst’s arrival follows a 2021 study which named Apex Legends as one of the most diverse video games currently available.