There’s been plenty of hate directed towards EA over the years. Gamers have criticized their annual sports games, monetization strategies, Origin servers, treatment of satellite studios, and what they did to Battlefront. However, it seemed like they were on the road to recovery until this latest relapse regarding Titanfall 2.
The first sign of trouble were the immature tweets @InfiniteWarfare, but the biggest mistake was the downright disrespectful release date for Titanfall 2. Sandwiched between two of the biggest games of 2016 was a no-win scenario.
I get the feeling that EA was hoping to deliver a 1-2 knockout punch to their biggest shooter rival, Activision’s Call of Duty. Battlefield 1 could entice those who wanted old-school boots on the ground warfare while Titanfall 2 would hopefully convert those who were intrigued by Infinite Warfare’s futuristic setting. It was a selfish strategy that left Titanfall 2 – the newest of the three franchises – out in the cold.
Fall has been shooter season for years and it would’ve taken a miracle for Respawn to convert the loyal Battlefield/COD fans to their side. Like American politics, the third-party didn’t stand a chance.
The saddest part is that Titanfall 2 killed it with the critics, delivering a strong single-player campaign and exciting multiplayer that makes Infinite Warfare look like it’s stuck in molasses.
Finding an ideal release date can be an impossible challenge. Last year we saw Rise of the Tomb Raider get obliterated by releasing the same day as Fallout 4. Xbox Head of Marketing Aaron Greenberg conceded “there wasn’t a better scenario”. Their other options were to rush development and launch early, or release one or two weeks later and face either Battlefront or Black Ops III respectively. They figured Fallout‘s audience would overlap the least with theirs and rolled the dice, coming up snake-eyes.
The difference for EA is that they controlled both Battlefield and Titanfall! They chose to cannibalize their own potential success in a strategy that boggles the mind.
Now less than a month after release and a full week before Black Friday, EA has slashed the price of Titanfall 2 (although not in Canada!). If you don’t mind using Origin, you can score it for just $33 USD.
A tough part of the gaming industry is that the majority of sales occur within the first few weeks after launch. I’m hoping fans eventually come around to the killer shooter but the odds are long. Respawn’s CEO isn’t sure there’ll be a third Titanfall but all we can hope is that whatever project he works on gets the attention it deserves.
If you’re still on the fence, American Matt told us all about Titanfall 2 on GameThinkTalk.
Here he is getting a “big win”.