Skip to main content

Amid rumours of Titanfall 2 for PS4, EA and Respawn reflect on a successful launch

"No decisions have been made. That'll be next week!"

Respawn at E3 2013, ahead of the launch of Xbox One and the game.

The word on the E3 street last week was that developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA had already done a deal for a sequel to Titanfall - and that it would release on PlayStation platforms as well as Xbox consoles and PC.

Last month EA boss Andrew Wilson confirmed that EA and Respawn had signed a new publishing agreement and would "bring new Titanfall experiences to players worldwide". While his comment didn't explicitly state a Titanfall 2 was in the works, it was implied.

At E3 I had a chance to chat with both Wilson and Respawn boss Vince Zampella to ask them about the future of the franchise, and while both refused to confirm that Titanfall 2 was already in the works, it sounds like more games in the series will be released.

"We have nothing to announce at this particular point in time," Wilson told me when I asked him about a sequel.

"We have announced that we have extended our relationship with Respawn. I'm very happy about that. Vince and the team there are amazing. We look forward to doing stuff with them for a long time to come. But right now we're focused on the current Titanfall property."

Zampella was equally coy. "Don't know yet!" he said when I asked him what Respawn's next game would be. "No decisions have been made. That'll be next week!"

But would you like to make more Titanfall games?

"The Titanfall universe is rich for exploration," Zampella said. "I definitely wouldn't discount it."

EA raised eyebrows by not announcing sales of Titanfall - a decision some took to indicate it had performed poorly. But Wilson told me the game beat sales expectations.

"Yeah!" he said enthusiastically. "Our expectations were high and it beat them."

An exact sales figure is unknown. EA COO Peter Moore told investors in a May 2014 financial call that Titanfall had sold 925,000 retail copies in the United States during its launch month - a number that didn't include digital sales. EA confirmed to Eurogamer this week that Titanfall is the best-selling game on Xbox One lifetime to date, based on its own data, with a high attach rate.

"I think it went really well," Wilson said of the launch. "The demand, the anticipation was huge. People came out in droves to play that game.

"The timing of the game was really good. You'd played through the early launch set of titles. So it came at exactly the right time for me as a gamer. It was super fun. It was super innovative in terms of how you'd played it. The team at Respawn did a fantastic on the product and continue to layer in new maps and new content that is extending and enhancing the experience.

"So, I think it's going to be another great IP in our industry in the future."

Zampella also expressed satisfaction at the launch. "I think it went pretty well," he said. "I'm pretty happy."

So, all smiles. Might EA consider buying Respawn, then? Doing so would give the company complete control over the Titanfall intellectual property.

"There has been no conversation or thought gone into that at this particular point in time," is all Wilson would say.

"I think it's going to be another great IP in our industry in the future."

EA boss Andrew Wilson
Watch on YouTube

Key to the Titanfall's future is the strength of its community, the number of people playing the game online in the months after launch.

"On console it's been fantastic," Zampella said of the online activity. "On PC it started off really strong and it's starting to dip a little bit now more than we expected. We're looking at that. What are the reasons? Is it something we're doing wrong? Is it the matchmaking? So we'll pay attention to that and figure out what that is. We want to see it go up."

In an effort to fuel the community, Respawn will soon release a free Titanfall update for the Xbox One and PC versions of the game, and soon afterwards for the Xbox 360 version, that adds two new game modes, Marked for Death and Wingman LTS, various customisation and user interface improvements and tweaks to the matchmaking. The update includes features Respawn didn't have ready in time for launch, as well as improvements sparked by feedback from players.

Zampella said Respawn has been working hard since the game launched to get this update ready for release, and once it's out the door staff will be given the opportunity to recuperate from what's been a gruelling year.

"We're going to try to balance after this one," he said. "There was a lot of stuff we felt we really needed to get there as soon as possible. After this goes we'll try to slow down. There are some people who are reaching the burnout point."

So, how long will Respawn continue to update the game? "Indefinitely doesn't work," Zampella explained. "It depends somewhat on how well the game does. If there are people there supporting it you can justify putting people and resources on it.

"If there's not that many people, or the engagement goes down, there's a point where those resources are better spent on whatever our next game would be and making that game better. I hope it lasts a really long time and we can do more stuff."

Read this next