Titanfall 2 has only been out one week, but much like a Titan crashing down from the sky, the game has managed to create shockwaves in the gaming landscape. While Titanfall 2 seems universally liked by critics (including our own Henry Gilbert), this week’s headlines were dominated by news of disappointing sales of the new game and criticism of EA’s launch planning, as well as the publisher’s response. There was also a bit of one-upmanship and playful teasing of the competition coming from the game’s official Twitter account. Here is our roundup of the biggest Titanfall 2 news of the week.
Critics Love Titanfall 2
Titanfall currently has a 90 Metascore on Metacritic. This is higher than its closest competitors in the shooter genre, with Battlefield 1 holding at an 88, Gears of War 4 with an 85, and the newly released Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare currently sitting at 81.
Our own Henry Gilbert gave Titanfall 2 high praise, saying it “moves like no other shooter” and recommending it as worth playing for all shooter fans. Check out our full review:
Initial Titanfall 2 Sales Disappoint, but EA Isn’t Backing Down
Research firm Cowen & Company put out a report on Oct. 28 stating that sales of Titanfall 2 would be “substantially disappointing.” They estimate the game will sell between 5 and 6 million copies, revised down from their original estimate of 9 million.
One reason behind the sluggish sales could be the fact that EA chose to release the game right between its two closest competitors. The Cowen & Company report explains, “We think the game got squeezed between Battlefield 1 and [Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare]… We suspect EA believed that by launching two shooters next to Call of Duty it could put a large dent in its biggest competitor, but instead EA appears to have wound up shooting its own foot off.”
The fact that one of these competitors, Battlefield 1, is another EA title left many people scratching their heads. Was this a strategic blunder on behalf of the publishing behemoth? EA originally explained away the fact that they were releasing two huge shooters within a week of each other by stating the games were different enough to cater to different types of shooter fans.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson explained back in May that “[Shooters are] a giant category in our industry, $4.5 billion, there’s a very broad and diverse set of players who are looking to fulfill different gameplay motivations… Some people play very quick play, some people play more strategic, some people want both in different context.”
EA Reaffirms Their Position
Wilson and EA aren’t changing their tune on the release timing. On a Nov. 1 earnings call, Wilson did admit that Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 had “some overlap,” but reiterated his position that the games “fulfill very different motivations in what a player is looking for.” Wilson went on:
“We think there’s really three types of players. People that really love Battlefield and that kind of big strategic gameplay that will orient in that direction; the player that loves the fast, fluid, kinetic gameplay of Titanfall 2 that really orient in that direction; and the player that just has to play the two greatest shooters this year and will buy both.
“And again, we’re very very excited about the quality in both titles. We believe they both will have a long sale cycle, both this quarter through the festive season and deep into the years to come.
“And so as we think about the long game on this, we couldn’t be in a better position for what we think is delivering great games to a very, very big player base.”
More Titanfall Games Are on the Way
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen reaffirmed the company’s intentions to work with developer Respawn Entertainment “for many, many years to come.” According to Jorgensen, “Part of the strategy of building a franchise is you have a long view.”
EA and Respawn can now only wait and hope the game’s positive critical reception will translate to good word of mouth amongst players. That will be key to the game building a strong player base. Game Director Drew McCoy stated as much in an interview with PlayStation Lifestyle:
“At the end of the day, we’re releasing a game that we’re happy with, and we enjoy playing, that we’re proud of. As long as we’re doing that, I think we’re gonna find an audience. It doesn’t really matter when it comes out. A good game gets noticed.”
Titanfall 2 Won’t Have a Season Pass
Unlike almost every other AAA shooter hitting the market this year, an expensive Season Pass won’t be something you will see for Titanfall 2. Developer Respawn Entertainment offered their rationale in a blog post explaining what makes the game different than other shooters:
“No Season Pass required: all maps & modes will be free in Titanfall 2 Multiplayer. This means no splitting up the community and it all starts with the legendary Angel City map, remastered from the original Titanfall. This means once you’ve purchased Titanfall 2, your investment includes a full single player campaign, the full multiplayer maps and modes, and long-term support with no hidden costs.”
They may not be selling maps or modes, but it’s worth mentioning that there are two premium versions of Titanfall 2 for fans who want to spend a bit more. The Deluxe Edition retails for $79.99, and includes skins and other cosmetic items like sound effects and new execution animations. There is also a $249.99 Vanguard SRS Collector’s Edition that includes the Deluxe Edition and several physical collector’s items, including a Vanguard Pilot Helmet Replica.
Respawn succinctly summarized their opinion on Season Passes in a tweet from just before the game’s launch:
— Titanfall (@Titanfallgame) October 26, 2016
We do remember those days, and appreciate that Respawn does, too.
Titanfall 2 Twitter Drama
Speaking of Twitter, earlier this week the official Titanfall account tweeted out the following:
— Titanfall (@Titanfallgame) November 4, 2016
The tweet was a barb directed at competitor Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It contained a link to IGN’s review of that game. The review described Infinite Warfare‘s combat as “mostly slow and plodding.” As noted above, Titanfall 2 is currently enjoying higher review scores than the new Call of Duty game.
While the tweet may have just been the usual Twitter playful teasing and smack talking between game companies, developer Respawn Entertainment wasn’t having any of that. They opted to take the high road and come to the defense of their former colleagues at Infinity Ward in the following tweet:
For the record: @respawn is the official voice of Respawn studio. We have nothing but respect & love for our fellow devs.
— Respawn (@Respawn) November 4, 2016
Respawn was founded by former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. The two played a big part in the creation of the Call of Duty franchise. West and Zampella formed the new studio after Call of Duty publisher Activision fired them for “breaches of contract and insubordination.” Infinity Ward developed Infinite Warfare and is one of three developers working on the annual Call of Duty franchise.
Fans Love BT-7274
The main protagonist of Titanfall 2‘s single player campaign, Jack Cooper, is a bit on the bland side. The same can’t be said about his Titan companion, BT-7274. Fans are smitten with the lovable robot, and who can blame them? Check out five of the best BT moments from the new game below.
Titan Loadouts Guide
BT’s great, but he’s hardly the only giant robot in Titanfall 2. The game’s multiplayer modes are full of a variety of different Titans to tear up the battlefield. If you’re having trouble choosing the best one to suit your playstyle, our helpful video guide should point you in the right direction.
Titanfall 2 Campaign Walkthrough
And finally, if you need help getting through Titanfall 2‘s single player campaign, or just want to see what happens so you can skip right to the plethora of multiplayer modes, our full campaign walkthrough videos will take you through all 13 campaign missions.
That’s all the Titanfall 2 news for now. Check back next week for more. Titanfall 2 is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.