Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall franchise appeared destined for a long history after a mildly successful debut on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC in 2014. The series’ first entry sold 4 million copies, despite skipping PlayStation platforms.
With Titanfall 2 destined for PlayStation 4 along with Xbox One and PC, it seemed a near certainty that the sequel would break new ground. Respawn brought in a fleshed-out campaign — something fans of the original had been clamouring for — and serviced the online community with a refined, deeper multiplayer component.
Then, out of no where, EA announced that the game would be released in the stacked release window of late-October, only a week after Battlefield 1, and a week before Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare and its bundled-in Modern Warfare Remastered. Why they set that release date in stone so early is anyone’s guess, but they probably thought that if Call Of Duty hadn’t hurt Battlefield in the past, Titanfall was equally as invulnerable.
So while the end product has hit the right note with gamers and critics alike — it’s currently sitting at 91 on Metacritic, higher than the first game’s 86 — it seems EA has made a huge error in judgement in its scheduling.
Research firm Cowen & Company has come out swinging, forecasting figures well below initial projections of 9 million units. It may only sell half of that if it’s lucky. A report on Games Industry demonstrates just how out of place Titanfall 2 is among the juggernauts: Battlefield 1 has remained atop the UK charts, followed by Skyrim Special Edition and FIFA 17, with Respawn’s effort coming in fourth and managing “only a quarter” of the first game’s sales over the same period. That’s despite being released on the PS4, which has an active user base of more than 45 million.
While EA will undoubtedly be happy with the performance of Battlefield 1 and the continued dominance of FIFA 17, it looks like Titanfall 2 is on shaky ground.
The harsh reality that EA and diehard Titanfall fans must come to realise is that, unlike Battlefield and Call Of Duty, Titanfall just isn’t a marquee franchise yet, and it may have needed an early-2017 release to establish an identity of its own. I’ll be the first to admit: I didn’t think its release would hurt sales. How wrong I was!
What are your thoughts on Titanfall 2‘s release? Did it stop you from purchasing it?