The one game that’s generated the most talk on the build up to the release of the next generation of consoles has been Titanfall. Despite not arriving until 4 months after the Xbox One hits living rooms around the globe, Respawn Entertainment’s debut game is regularly described as a ‘system seller’ of Microsoft’s new console and has left people who’ve had early access to the title speaking in glowing terms. Even the Midlife Gamer community hasn’t been immune to it’s charms, with all attendees of Eurogamer I spoke to enthusiastically singing it’s praises.
When Titanfall was first shown at E3 it was announced that it would be hitting three platforms; PC and, crucially, console exclusive on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Microsoft obviously handed over several briefcases full of large bills to EA and Respawn but a question has long lingered over the terms of the deal; Is it a lifetime exclusive or just timed?
This subject raised its head again in a Reddit thread where the exclusivity was being discussed. After being directly questioned Major Nelson responded with a somewhat non-committal “that’s really a question for Titanfall – I’m not worried about it though”. How should we read into that answer? Is he not worried because there isn’t a PS4 version on the way, or is it because it’ll launch after the Xbox versions?
After mentioning this on Twitter I was pointed towards a couple of statements by Community Member Ancient Gamer that have been made in the past months by by both Respawn Entertainment and EA. Both parties respond in similarly vague statements when the question of exclusivity is raised. Let’s take a look at a few of these statements.
Back in June Joel Emsie, Titanfall’s lead artist, openly stated they’d like to see Titanfall on other platforms. ““When you boil it down, we would love to be everywhere, but we’re just starting out. We of course would want to go further in the future with stuff, but we’re just starting out. It’s pretty frustrating. We want to be everywhere. We want to put Titanfall everywhere, but that’s where we’re at. We’re starting there.”
When directly asked if a Playstation 4 release might occur further down the line, Joel responded, “definitely not out of the question. We have a huge appreciation for the fans. We love all our fans, whatever console they support. So yeah. We want to make everybody happy, but this is where we’re at right now”.
EA Games Label boss Patrick Söderlund threw his own vague answer into the mix, saying, ““We haven’t communicated anything on that, and I can’t comment on that right now. We’re proud to be exclusive to Xbox”, an answer that sounds like it’s come straight out of the “I’m Legally Not Allowed To Speak About This” handbook.
The CEO of Respawn Entertainment added further fuel to the rumours later on in June in an interview with Gametrailer TV’s Geoff Keighley. When asked if Playstation users would have to wait for Titanfall, Zampella responded, “That’s right”, and when pressed further offered only a smile and a complete non-answer, “the studio is focusing to make the game the most fun it can be at launch.”
Fundamentally, Titanfall is going to be a huge investment in terms of both development and marketing for Respawn and EA so it’d make a great deal of sense to take a timed exclusivity deal for a chunk of cash, focus on getting the game out and then looking later at other platforms when they’ve started to recoup expenditure with the surely huge amount of sales.
What do you think? Has Microsoft tied up Titanfall for life or is it just a matter of time until it turns up on the Playstation 4?