Titanfall 2 Timing Tosh: EA Explain Eccentric Intent

Adam’s review of Titanfall 2 [official site] praised Respawn’s mechtastic FPS but he did worry the game might end up overlooked. Titanfall 2 launched at a very busy time for faceshooting, see: one week after Battlefield 1, one week before Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Given that Titanfall has solved some of the issues that stopped the first game from taking off–it has a singleplayer campaign, and all new multiplayer maps and modes will be free–it’d be a shame to see it flop. So what were publishers Electronic Arts thinking here? Turns out, a big load of foolishness.

EA gabbed a bit about Titanfall 2 during an earnings conference call yesterday, as heard by GameSpot and transcribed by Seeking Alpha. EA haven’t announced any sales figures but did talk about how they’re trying to “build a franchise” out of Titanfall with Respawn, a plan they’ll be working on “for many, many years to come.”

It’s not that I’m excited by big numbers or want to cheer for share prices; I simply want more big stompy robot fun. I worry that EA are sabotaging my future robotfun by releasing Titanfall 2 at a silly time. Apparently they’re confident about this, though.

“We believe that Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, while they have some overlap, fulfill very different motivations in what a player is looking for,” CEO Andrew Wilson said when asked about releasing Titanfall 2 so close to games like BF1. “And so we think there are really three types of players: people that really love Battlefield and that type of big strategic game play that will orient in that direction; the player that loves the fast, fluid, kinetic gameplay of Titanfall 2 and really orients in that direction; and the player that just has to play the two greatest shooters this year and will buy both.”

Hey, you big silly! Not only is that reasoning a bit iffy, you forgot to mention Activision’s new Call of Duty! You know, the fast, fluid, kinetic FPS that will be one of the year’s biggest games? The one set in the future with parkour and power armour and stuff? The game that’s surely Titanfall’s biggest rival this year but has an extra decade of history and #brandrecognition behind it, not to mention a ticket price £10 lower? And which is on Steam rather than Origin? You forgetful sausage! What are you like?

I would like many years of stompy robotfun on servers brimming with happy players (and in unexpectedly great singleplayer). Please don’t dick this up for us.

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49 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    AutonomyLost says:

    You had me at forgetful sausage.

    • Rizlar says:

      They lost me at ‘[Battlefield =] strategic game play’.

      • int says:

        They found me in the comments section.

      • headless97 says:

        Same. Anyone that looks at anything related to Battlefield will find more nonsensical silliness and online antics than strategy.

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          But with the added strategy of making walls go away!

          • Ginga121 says:

            Tanks and all things explosive are very, very powerful. Most infantry have very little – no capability of destroying said tanks and run around like a horde of headless chickens so they should hide in buildings etc when tanks come.

            Tanks can basically level every single bit of building cover in the game in 2-4 shots.

            Battlefield strategy: Get in tank, win.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Alice perplexed me by saying that Infinite CoDfare is 10 £ cheaper than Titanfall 2. The newest CoD costs 59,99 euros on Steam and I’ve never seen any game’s base edition cost more than that.

        I could of course look up Titanfall 2 on the Origin site, but Origin doesn’t exist yet in my backlogged gaming world.

  2. Jokerme says:

    I always thought EA executives were just evil, but apparently they are both evil and stupid. That’s greed on another level.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I think this is actually a great example of Hanlon’s razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

  3. Zanchito says:

    Between this and the Sims 4 expansion article, you chaps are kicking it out of the ballpark. Very enjoyable!

  4. crazyd says:

    The different audiences thing is bunk. There’s a good chance I would have picked up Battlefield 1 if I wasn’t stoked for giant robot fights. If Titanfall had, say, a Spring release, I’d probably have gotten both. And I’m sure there’s a bunch of people that went with Battlefield 1 that would have grabbed Titanfall 2 if it came out later as well.

    • inspiredhandle says:

      This is true. I started on BF1942/2 then found modern warfare 1/2, world at war and then BlOPS 1-2. When the PS4 came out I got a copy of both modern warfare 3 and BF4.

      They may have different approaches, but they definitely satiate the same need. Maybe they are hoping that BF1 is different enough, owing to its WW1 setting. They are effectively closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears singing “la la la, not listening” when it comes to infinite warfare, for sure. The £10 discrepancy coupled with their not selling through steam is just gravy.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Unless they are deliberately trying to split the playerbase? Perhaps in an attempt to create more devoted fans or something? I don’t know. Why are you even asking me?

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Typical corporate suit mentality unfortunately. Somewhere in EA’s HQ there’s a Venn diagram showing ‘People who like WW1’ & ‘people who like stompy robots’ with zero overlap because that’s what some market research team came up with.

      ‘Course both these circles are in a much bigger page-filling circle called ‘people who only play FPS because every other genre is dead, but will only buy if there’s a big burly man-dude holding a gun on the cover’

  5. ulix says:

    Thinking about buying it… so how does the server population look like on PC right now, especially compared to BF1?

    • Tektolnes says:

      There’s about 8-10k online GMT evenings. Don’t know if that’s PC only or is cross-platform. Anyway no issue with matchmaking and I’m consistently loaded into new games in about 30 seconds. Thoroughly enjoyable game so far.

    • Ginga121 says:

      It takes longer to get a game than in BF1 for sure but it’s not too long. I think BF1 MP will have more longevity than Titanfall 2’s but I have both and I don’t regret the £40 I spent on Titanfall 2 simply for how good the single player was.

  6. gbrading says:

    If I recall EA have done this before, having their own games compete with each other not to mention having them compete with competitors. EA and business sense don’t really go hand in hand these days.

  7. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    You know, I actually agree with them on the Battlefield 1/Titanfall 2 divide. I’m not a huge FPS fan, and playing the Battlefield 1 beta revealed a gorgeous game that I had no interest in playing. I picked up Titanfall 2 almost on a whim in a buy-two-get-one sale and have found it to be really fun and distanced from the elements of FPS titles I don’t actually like.

    But it does seem enormously stupid to go up against Call of Duty. I think that, in a sane world, Titanfall 2 would do just fine. Reviews and word-of-mouth are strong and, at least on PS4 (yes, I’m a filthy traitor), there are plenty of players. The only reason I’m concerned is that we live in a world where AAA games have absolutely bonkers sales expectations (that, to be fair, might be reasonable in light of the unreasonable budgets that are poured into them).

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      To continue with my wild speculations. Perhaps they are banking on word of mouth to create long term sales. WHO KNOWS!

      • that_guy_strife says:

        The only reason people are buying IW is because they have to in order to play MW RM. IW is no competition to either BF1 or TF2.

  8. Zekiel says:

    I thought the basic explanation was “Christmas pre-release season”… are they not allowed to say that as a reason?

  9. Turkey says:

    He’s not forgetful. He’s just being PR-BOT 3000.

    “OH, YES. CALL OF DUTY. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE COM-PE-TITION. IT HELPS US BECOME BETTER AT MAKING VIDEO GAMES.”

    “TO TELL THE TRUTH: WE ARE ALL AVID GAMERS HERE. WE PLAY PRETTY MUCH EVERY GAME THAT C-C-COMES OUT. WE HAVE A COPY OF CALL OF DUTY RIGHT HERE. IN THE OFFICE. IT IS A TAX DE-DUC-TIBLE. HA-HA-HA. THAT WAS A LITTLE JOKE.”

    • inspiredhandle says:

      I will now remember this as part of the official transcription of the conversation. They’ve certainly said this many times before.

  10. N'Al says:

    Tosh. Heh, too right.

  11. Nymera says:

    The sad part is, between Titanfall 2 and Infinite Warfare, I would be way more interested in Titanfall 2. But I’m more likely to buy the one on my platform of choice. They don’t even need to put it in Steam…put it on GOG, or let it be standalone. But I’m not installing Origin.

    Keep on shooting yourself in the foot EA by arbitrarily alienating a huge chunk of the PC market.

    • renner says:

      Can someone explain what’s so bad about Origin? It seems to me to be totally innocuous, and has had zero impact on my enjoyment of Titanfall (which is absolutely great) and Battlefield (which is good but boy do I die a lot).

      • jezcentral says:

        There’s nothing wrong with Origin. But with everyone already on Steam, you don’t bother filling up your Friends List, wishlist, etc. You don’t bother to fire it up to see who’s online.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        Hating on Origin is a relic from 3-5 years ago, just like hating on uPlay. It’s basically just trying to show off your leet PC gamer creds.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        The bad thing about Origin for me is that it doesn’t seem to have a wishlist type functionality (or it didn’t last time I looked) so although I’m interested in Titanfall 2, I’ll probably never buy it unless someone else specifically tells me it’s on sale.
        Lost yourself a sale there EA.
        (same problem with Forza in the windows store, and anything on GoG or uplay as well)

      • Tigris says:

        The bad thing on Origin is, that it is yet another launcher needed, and it is from a single company not including to many games.
        In the past it was quite bad and restrictive and there is always the fear, that EA can screw over you in some way….

  12. Vandelay says:

    Hopefully I will have my copy waiting for me at home.

    Price is strange too though. I bought my copy from Shopto.net for PS4 (Yeah I know, my PC is old, but I might get it for PC and trade in the PS4 copy when I upgrade,) and it was actually cheaper than the PC version by a few pounds. Certainly not a significant difference, but as it is normally the other way, due to the understandable reason of the cut to Sony/Microsoft, it came as a surprise.

    Judging by reviews, I highly expect this to be the best of the three big shooters. BF1 seems to be more of the same, with WW1 being not much more than a coat of paint over the good, but ancient game. CoD might be pretending to be doing something new, but the on foot bits looked pretty much the same hand holding experience broken up with cover shooter sections. Space battles could be good, but I suspect they will either be very few and far between, all basically identical and/or virtually on rails.

  13. uh20 says:

    And maybe there are individuals who have only $30 to spend, and despite enjoying shooters, has just spent it all on owlboy.

  14. Premium User Badge

    richlamp says:

    I am someone who got Titanfall for £5 once all the DLC had been made free for everyone and absolutely loved the game. I would’ve absolutely bought Titanfall 2 on launch had it not been for the fact that I already splashed out on BF1.

    Now, it’s not just that I don’t to want spend £50 on Titanfall 2, but that if I did that then I wouldn’t be spending time on the multiplayer FPS that I’ve already spent that much money on just a week earlier.

    How anyone approved these release dates absolutely baffles me.

  15. Carra says:

    I could buy both games but where would I find the time to play both?

    • ezelkow1 says:

      This

      Me and alot of my friends probably would have bought titanfall2, but we are avid battlefield players. So this timing immediately made it a no go since we would never get to it for months. By the time we get to it now its quite possible the MP community is completely dead, at which point none of us will touch it until its 5$ just for the SP campaign

  16. Glentoran says:

    After the original, bare-bones Titanfall (which i really enjoyed) was effectively abandoned by EA after they purposely split the community so they wouldn’t have to continue supporting it, i will absolutely not be buying Titanfall 2.

  17. Shelley says:

    It’s not only that. I was considering a purchase. Then I learned that in Poland, the game is available only in Polish and Russian. Because f**k you, kind user. Some community rep at EA’s forums had even the balls to suggest getting it ‘from a market that supports other language versions’

    Thus I went immediately from ‘Could purchase’ to ‘Not in a million years’. Good job EA.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      That’s weird. I don’t understand why a game company wouldn’t just make all languages available everywhere.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        The English version is the base version (everything else is localised, i.e. extra work needed), so I don’t understand why they don’t allow everyone to get the base version. Wouldn’t that be easier, cheaper and better? This kind of messed up nationalism or whatever, forcing e.g. russians to only play the russian version, is absurd.

      • Laurentius says:

        Yeah, it’s Orgin thing, had to deal with DA:I, it was infuriating. I suppose it’s because game is avaliable in boxed version, way cheaper then in US or Westrn Europe so EA want to prevent from people in Poland buying boxed versions and reselling Orgin codes.

  18. Blutsuechtiger says:

    Hold your horses on the price difference!

    Titanfall 2 is a buffet, like an all inclusive trip.
    So please use the “All inclusive” Pricetag
    Call of Duty: IW including everything(Season Pass, DLCs,…) will cost how much?

    Thanks…

  19. Blacki138 says:

    Well… I play TF2 on PC and CodIW/BF1 on Xbox. Problem partially solved? At least I got CoD from sharing and BF1 from Gamestop Trade In. But yeah, this shooterseason is ridicuebonkers.

  20. Tigris says:

    This game sounds really interesting, but being from EA and on Origin is a reason to not buy it.
    Also having a bad timing and most likely not many players after CoD is out is just discouraging…

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