Apex Legends Conquistador Skin Backlash Leads to Rework
A Conquistador skin was on the way to Apex Legends, but the backlash for such an idea has since led to a rework. Wattson was going to receive a “Charged Conquistador” skin, but that term has connotations to the aggressive, violent colonization of America. We can definitely understand why this would lead to fan backlash, that’s for sure. It’s not a thought that fills a great many people with joy. Literally meaning “Conqueror”, the Conquistadors of Spain and Portugal killed vast numbers of people in the Americas in the name of colonizing. We understand why this name might have filled some players with discomfort.
“One Of Those Things That Slip Through The Cracks” – Jason McCord
It was more than just an unfortunate name though. The Charged Conquistador skin for Wattson in Apex Legends, he wore the Morion helmet and armor that the traditional Conquistadors of Spain and Portugal. This led to a bevy of complaints from the Apex Legends community, not wanting to see a depiction of horror and violence being glorified in the game. That’s exactly how it would likely be portrayed. However, Jason McCord, Design Director said:
“I believe this will be changed before it goes live. If not, immediately afterwards. We don’t have a lot of approval process around skins names, since we release so many. Definitely no ill intention, it’s one of those things that slip through the cracks.”
Admittedly, that helmet and armor style were later used in other countries, at least. This was made clear by a user on Twitter:
“The skin is really good, I LIKE it! The helmet, a “Morrión” is tied to La Conquista because it was the Helmet most commonly used by the spanish/portuguese soldiers, but wasn’t exclusive to them. We don’t need to name Wattson’s skin “Conquistador” We can use literally any other name, because the Helmet and uniform got so popular other countries adopted it.”
Simply changing the name to just about anything else would probably be sufficient. Honestly, after looking at the skin, it does look awesome. But that name is not a good look, with the Charged Conquistador Wattson skin in Apex Legends.
This isn’t the first time Apex Legends has had some backlash thanks to some facet of the game. Hopefully, this moment in time (along with all the others) teaches Respawn that they do in fact need some kind of process to approving skin names and dialogue interactions, to make sure there isn’t something that winds up terribly offensive. The Charged Conquistador skin looked awesome in Apex Legends, but the name could simply have been called “Charged Wattson” or something else similar.