Electronic Arts is one of those publishers that people love to hate. And it’s understandable why, with their propensity for shuttering beloved developers after buying them out and all.
Several days ago, the trend looked like it might continue as Electronic Arts made a massive $400 million+ acquisition of Respawn Entertainment, the developers of the Titanfall series. While the news should have been positive, the recent closure of Visceral Games had many Titanfall fans concerned that Electronic Arts would eventually do the same to Respawn. But Respawn Entertianment CEO Vince Zampella wants to assure fans that this is not heading towards disaster.
Speaking to Venture Beat alongside his new boss Patrick Soderlund, Zampella stated that he wasn’t concerned about Respawn Entertainment being shut down by EA at all, and reiterated that there are plenty of benefits to joining the EA family of studios. It was also made clear that development and support for Respawn titles would not be compromised by this deal.
It doesn’t change the future of Titanfall. Except maybe we get more resources and better alignment. There are only positives to come from it. We are not going to drastically change the game because of it. But we may get resources to make the game slightly better. We see the need for bigger resources to make bigger games that are at the right level of competitiveness. EA has great knowledge for live services stuff that we are looking at and the game industry is transitioning to that. Ultimately, my message is we are still Respawn and we are going to make the same games we did before, and hopefully better. Anyone who is a fan of Respawn should trust us that what we are doing what we think is best for the future of Respawn and our games. We intend to deliver to our fans everything and more than we did in the past.
Building on the success of the first game, Titanfall 2 looked like it might have landed in a trap of its own making. According to a SuperData research report on digital and physical sales in October 2016:
“Electronic Arts made the poor choice to push out the title in between the releases of two larger and more popular FPS franchises. The divided attention of FPS gamers had a negative impact on sales, bringing in total of only $18 million,” Superdata wrote. “Compared to Titanfall 1 (which released in March 2014 against no competing titles), Titanfall 2 brought in only 28 percent of its predecessor’s first month revenue.”
Despite these poor sales figures, it’s important to remember that there weren’t inherent flaws in Titanfall 2 that caused the slump, it looks more like a case of extremely poor planning. And with Respawn allegedly working on Titanfall 3, it will be interesting to see how they can make the series even better with a greater breadth of resources and expertise behind them.
Titanfall 2 is currently available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.