Respawn, the unwanted child.
Back in 2013 Microsoft released it’s first version of the Xbox One, with a few titles like Ryse taking full advantage of the next generation console. EA wanted their own game that was for the Xbox One and pushed developer Respawn to release a multiplayer only Titanfall much to the chagrin of shooter fans.
Now don’t get me wrong, Titanfall was a fantastic shooter, the mobility and mechs made multiplayer games enjoyable. In fact Titanfall was the reason Call of Duty moved to a Wall running style shooter, though that was not well received by their community. What bothered most people was there was no single player campaign, the story was ingrained into the multiplayer but since you didn’t play the multiplayer maps in story order a lot of the time, catching the lore was confusing. Now, if I was to tell you a new game was going to be online only multiplayer only, we wouldn’t think much of it, but five years ago that style game was left to the likes of MMORPGs and mobile games. Which i feel like was more a choice by EA wanting to have a Next Gen shooter to compete with the next Call of Duty title.
Two years later, Titanfall 2 was set to release. With promises of the one thing most Titanfall players wanted, a single player campaign. It didn’t fail to impress. The single player campaign was fantastic, and one of the best stories in a modern day shooter to date. The multiplayer grew upon the first titles though taking away the custom mech for a class style mech system. The major failing of Titanfall 2 was consequence of release date. It still baffles me as to why EA released it when it did, they could have waited two to three months and had a hugely successful game release. Yet, it was released right between that years Call of Duty title (Call of Duty Infinite released Nov 2016) and EA’s own Battlefield 1 released just one week before Titanfall 2.
Now, the guys at Respawn have basically just said screw it, and released a free to play battle royal on XBONE, PS4, and PC with no build up, no release trailers, no sneak peeks. Shoot most in the gaming community didn’t learn about it until leaks started coming out on Friday. What makes this even more interesting is that because of the flood of buzz about this game (Apex Legends which I plan on doing some talking about after i get more than my current 4 hours of playtime) over the weekend before it’s release yesterday (Monday Feb. 4th, 2019) it hit 1 million concurrent users in the first day. Even more, Battlefield V’s BR mode is supposed to be released next month. I have a feeling that the guys and gals down at Respawn are just getting tired of EA’s marketing of their games and kind of gone a little rogue. Look I know they still answer to the board, they have to get funding for their games somehow, but this goes to show that not all games need the huge marketing expenditures that some of the other AAA titles get.
A lot of this is speculation on my part, I have no special insight into the situation over at Respawn and EA. I do know that from my point of view, EA continues to push Respawn games to the side while focusing on their main stable Battlefield and sports titles. I also know that if I was Respawn i would just start doing whatever the heck I want making good games and the fans will continue to support.
Until later days,