Future Imperfect: New Titanfall Game Modes Will Be Free

By Graham Smith on March 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

When the (Titan)fall DLC is all that's left, it matters a great deal.

Despite appearances, Titanfall is rare: a multiplayer shooter you can pop in and instantly have fun with, even if it’s been a while since you last played a multiplayer game. The DLC remains a concern, however. Often the launch of paid-for modes and map packs for multiplayer shooters serves mainly to divide a community, as the majority rush towards what’s new, leaving those late-comers and dabblers with an emptier experience and a feeling of being left-out.

So it’s good news that Respawn Entertainment’s founder Vince Zampella announced via Twitter that Titanfall’s future game modes would be free for all, even if maps would remain the purview of DLC.

Writing on the largest remaining social network not to own a brand of futuristic virtual reality goggles, Zampella wrote that, “Modes we release will be free to all, not part of DLC.”

Which is a brief comment, but I’m able to use it as a springboard to explain that I much prefer a service model funded by microtransactional cosmetic items than I do paying for the actual meat of updates. I know there’s often a lot of cynicism around Team Fortress 2′s hats, for example, but charging for inessential items – even weapons – is less damaging to community coherency than putting paywalls between levels or features.

I can also use this to segue swiftly towards my recurring complaint about FIFA and other EA games. I don’t have a problem with the yearly release schedule because it charges for marginal improvements, but because it feels like it slows down progress. I like the service model because multiplayer games can be quickly tweaked, re-balanced and expanded. With FIFA, Battlefield, Titanfall, I’ll need to wait for either the slight content of a DLC release, or the marketing-fuelled feature list of a new yearly or bi-yearly iteration.

There’s still no release date or concrete details for what the DLC for Titanfall will contain, but there’s a $20 season pass on offer, and each pack will cost $10 individually.

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23 Comments »

  1. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    Surely $10 or £10, whichever is the greater.

  2. Ivory Samoan says:

    Seems they are doing DLC right, this is impressive….most impressive.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Not necessarily; after all, this is also a confirmation that maps are DLC. That still leaves scope to split the community.

      Some small-group-of-friends games, like Sanctum 1, would let all the players play on the new map even if they didn’t have it so long as the host did, to avoid such. But Titanfall AIUI doesn’t have player-hosted servers, so I can’t see how that model could work for them.

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        They use a party system, so they could possibly do the same thing, just substituting “party leader” for “host”. I doubt they will, but it’s a possibility.

        • Bull0 says:

          Which is how Payday 2 handles it, because those guys are cool dudes

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      For DLC done right, see Red Orchestra 2. Massive update adding a whole new theatre of war with new maps, game modes, weapons, assets, etc made freely available to all. Only long term progression stats were turned off if u hadn’t paid, so u could still carry on playing with ur mates when a new map came up on rotation, and if u enjoyed it and hated that u weren’t levelling up then u paid the few quid it cost in the many sales.

  3. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    I think that my favorite DLC model might be that of Rising Storm: you get to play the new maps for free, but only as a rifleman (ie. base class that you’d usually take if you didn’t snag a “special” class) and you couldn’t level up (which offers very marginal benefits). Doesn’t split the community and doesn’t affect balance much because 75% of people are forced into being riflemen anyway.

    I could see something similar working for AAA shooters – you can play on the new maps but can’t use customized classes on them and can’t unlock any new weapons. Use matchmaking to make sure teams are even in terms of f2p players and make playing the maps opt-in, and that should be workable.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I think if they let everyone play on the DLC maps, but you had to buy the map to be able to play as a titan would probably cause far more wailing and gnashing of teeth than just charging for the maps.

    • Moraven says:

      Killzone on PS4 has releasing all maps free and the DLC nets you future Co-Op modes and comestic add ons.

      I was hoping Titanfall would just go the comestic route and release all maps free.

  4. rikvanoostende says:

    Call me a pessimist, but I have the fealing that pretty soon Burn Cards will be for sale on Origin.

    • Premium User Badge

      DarkLiberator says:

      Seems kinda pointless if they do. Burn cards aren’t exactly hard to earn in game.

    • Bull0 says:

      I’ll call you a pessimist who hasn’t been to the titanfall website! Since it literally says

      Players will not be able to trade Burn Cards with other players and they will not be offered for purchase via microtransactions.

      http://www.titanfall.com/uk/burn-cards

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      I would pay money to remove the cap on how many I have. It gives u more per match than u can use, why limit ur stash to 25!? Argh

      • Bull0 says:

        Having a cap there means you have to make decisions about which to keep and which to burn. It also stops you saving up too many of the “extra titan” type cards and totally ruining games.

  5. Low Life says:

    Paid map packs are such an awful thing. In less than four years (Bad Company 2 in 2010 to Battlefield 4 in 2013) they’ve essentially managed to double the price of a Battlefield game.

    I just want to download a dozen different interpretations of Facing Worlds.

    • Bull0 says:

      Somewhat misleading, since Bad Company 2 probably cost about the same as Battlefield 2 did, etc.

  6. Bull0 says:

    The have/have nots split cuts both ways – I’ve bought map packs before and marvelled at how poor the uptake is and how difficult it is to get a match. It’s generally a horrible idea.

  7. Krull says:

    What ? Even most hated, money eating, repetitive and devil CoD gives modes for free. Don’t get me wrong, I think TF is best FPS multiplayer game released since MW1 but this PR speech is just silly ;) Nothing to be excited of, lets just move on ;)

  8. Robslap says:

    This is a great great thing, still, I really hope I don’t get shafted for buying the season pass. I really want a reason to play more Titanfall.

  9. Shezo says:

    Wished they would have go Mass effect 3 mp way — sell some random shit crates for moneyz and make maps and everything else free for all.
    I understand, there could be different production costs and all, but still.

  10. derbefrier says:

    People have been complaining about this for years yet its never been an issue. This whole splitting the community argument is worthless its 20 freaking bucks if you are still playing the game past the first month chances are 10 bucks for a map pack isn’t gonna break the bank. Its never been an issue before and it won’t be now.