Titanfall will do nothing for the Xbox One

For many online outlets, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall was the biggest and best game of the show at this year’s E3. Amidst the (now resolved) whirlwind of concerns regarding Microsoft’s and Sony’s DRM plans for their future consoles, Titanfall still managed to impress a lot of gamers. The acrobatics, the sleek graphics, and the intense combat brought on the drool, and Titanfall’s exclusivity was touted as a definite advantage in the next-gen console race.

Looking back, however, I find that hanging the Xbox One’s hopes on Titanfall was a terrible mistake on Microsoft’s behalf. Let’s first examine the issue of exclusivity. Titanfall is not – strictly speaking – exclusive. It will have simultaneous releases on the 360 and the PC, with a future Playstation 4 release “not out of the question” according to Respawn’s own Joel Emslie. Why bet the Xbox One’s future on a game that is not even exclusive, on a game that may also go to your competitor in the future? The PC release is a non-issue. The PC version of a multiplatform game rarely cuts into the sales of the console version, even if the PC version is technically superior as was the case with games like Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3. The 360 version is a different story.

Titanfall is a multiplayer-only game. Respawn has confirmed that no single-player mode will be included with Titanfall with the explanation of “how many people finish the single-player game? It’s a small percentage”. That being the case, where do you think gamers will go? Will they go where the larger, more established online community is on the 360, a system they already own? Or, will they spend $499 on a system that their friends may or may not also purchase? This same argument applies to the next installments of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises which will also be available on the 360. Why upgrade? Granted, the 360 version is being handled by a separate team than Respawn, but when the advertisements go up and gamers see it is available on 360 as well, the urge to upgrade will take a huge hit.

Another issue: Titanfall’s appeal is being overstated by a large degree. Yes, Respawn Entertainment was made by the former Infinity Ward guys. Yes, they have a proven track record. Yet, does the public know that? Consider a game like Destiny (which is being heavily advertised right now). At the end of every Destiny commercial, the Bungie logo flashes and the commercial closes with the statement “From the Creators of Halo and the Company that Brought You Call of Duty”. Boom! Everyone recognizes “Bungie”, “Halo” and “Call of Duty”. What is Titanfall’s claim-to-fame? It’s not like they can use the titles “Call of Duty”, “Modern Warfare”, or “Infinity Ward” or “From the Team that Sued Activision for Unpaid Royalties” in their own advertisement, so the fact that this is being made by a few of the ex-Infinity Ward guys is going to be lost on the general public. Few will know. Even fewer will care.

Lastly, new IPs do not fare well during a system’s first year of launch, historically speaking. Sure, some do become huge hits, but typically the games released within a console’s first year are meant to tide gamers over until the bigger franchises start showing up. Titanfall certainly has the potential to be a huge hit. It also has the potential to be a Perfect Dark Zero or a Kameo, you know, a new game made by a proven developer that ends up selling okay and ultimately goes nowhere? Yeah. For the sake of Respawn Entertainment, I sincerely hope Titanfall does well, but it does not need the Xbox One to do well. It can do just fine on the 360 and the PC.

As a game, Titanfall seems like a vibrant departure from the corridor shooters we’ve come to expect over the last several years. As a headliner for the Xbox One, I fear that Titanfall will do very little to convince gamers to “Jump In” to a brand-new $500 console, but only time will tell.

the author

Brian has been writing freelance for a variety of gaming websites since 2009. Once per year, he gets it in his head to replay Ghosts 'n Goblins, and it never ends well. During the rest of the year, he can usually be spotted playing the latest RPG or rocking out Wii Sports Resort for some inexplicable reason.

  • http://twitter.com/clanMOH {MOH} Regulators

    Actually considering Respawn hasn’t even worked on PS4, and it looks like this deal was made years ago, I highly doubt Titanfall goes to a competing console. Also, it looks like Cloud will play a huge role in the physics, lighting and A.I, which is obviously giving the Xbox One an advantage.

    I don’t think Microsoft hung hopes on this to save the Xbox One, if you watched their E3 presser, they had the most exclusives to show, and the most variety. Sure Titanfall is a game I’ll get on Xbox One (Xbox 360 version is made by a different developer altogether).

    I was more interested in Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Project Spark, Forza 5, Dead Rising 3 and some other games shown, Titanfall was icing on the cake for me, and it really kind of stole the show at the end.

    • gareth griffiths

      lol you stink

    • extermin8or2

      The CLOUD physically CANNOT play a ‘Huge role’ in physics, lighting and AI those are 3 dynamic things that will change as you play-my god do you know how much lag there would be if you were waiting on the cloud to send you that data, it to be produced on screen and sent to another player-the game is multiplayer only. Things that barely change throughout a match might be possible but realistically unless you have 100GB/s internet.. which a very very very small minority of people in the USA might have thanks to Google fibre but is non existent in other countries and the rest of the USA the cloud really cannot do what they are claiming… it’s total PR twisting and bullshit… it’s like when Sony promised 120fps for the ps3… yeah that happened didn’t it? :p

      • aWOOT!

        Screw consoles and PC’s. Even Cliff Bleszinski has it wrong in betting on tablets and phones for gaming. This next gen, I’m going Cloud!

      • datdude

        Thank you. I’m getting tired of these dopes suggesting the cloud as giving the Xbox One some great technological advantage. It’s complete nonsense. Microsoft themselves said in an article that only minor processes that were not “latency dependant” could be offloaded to the cloud. In other words, lag is a huge problem for this type of cloud processing. You still need the consoles internals to do the vast majority of the grunt work. People really need to stop referencing this tech as something that is going to bridge the gap between the PS4′s 7gb of available gddr5 and the xbox one’s 5gb of ddr3. It will not.

        • Hussain Naseem

          :) i think the picture that most xbox fans get is press a button, cloud renders and displays on TV. processor/gpu in the xb one is only for the UI :D

      • Hussain Naseem

        but the global scene lighting calculations that MS proposed is doable via the magic cloud. but the uses will be limited, specially if the game is going to have any kind of day/night cycle

        • extermin8or2

          Yeah but is that REALLY something that’s going to drastically effect how the game plays or functions? Also seems like something they could do on hardware say for ps4 as its slightly more powerful- my issue is with certain Deva claiming they couldn’t do it on ps4/Wii u because they don’t have the cloud features set up… What about PC and 360 anyway? The PC version will just use their own servers I’m sure nothing stopping them doing that .. I mean just be honest admit you were paid to keep it exclusive and I’m fine with it-its the lying that pisses me off…

          • Hussain Naseem

            they were paid a boat load of money not to admit that they were paid off :D

    • sweendog

      The cloud? Awesome. My consoles is a hollow plastic shell that is
      powered by the un imaginable power of pixies. Any hardware facts you
      throw at me i can beat with the pixie. I get 2.5 pixies/second but that
      doesnt matter because 1 pixie is more powerfull than any real physical
      hardware that you can ever possibly create. Therefore i always win the
      argument. To be honest i am amazed i even gave you a moment of my time

  • Deadpool

    Titanfall is exclusive to Microsoft that’s what they mean. Titanfall wont be released on Macs or PS4 windows is owned by Microsoft as well as Xbox one DUH !!!

    • the_espresso_kid

      Mass Effect was supposedly exclusive to Microsoft too, it was even published by Microsoft and wound up being released on PS3 when the timed exclusivity ran out.

    • extermin8or2

      ummm EA are publishing it and when asked if the exclusivity was just timed for a year from announcement-they said “we can’t comment on that at this time” implying they’ll discuss it in the future I expect it’ll be released 6 months to a year before a ps4 version. Especially if sony continue as they are and the ps4 user base is equal to or bigger than the xbox one’s after all… EA go where the money is. So unless MS want to keep paying them enough to ignore the other instal base-which will become more costly as the install base grows…

    • Hussain Naseem

      it’s EA how many exclusive games have they made in their history ?

  • ruefrak

    I think these are all very good points. Personally the fact that there is no single player campaign is a huge turn off for me. I enjoy the multiplayer thing once in awhile, but I enjoy the single player story a lot more. I come for the single player but stay for the multiplayer. Skip the first, and it’s just not something I’d want to spend money on. But hey, apparently a lot of people like this sort of thing so maybe it will work out for them. I’m not really looking forward to any game that is only multiplayer.

  • Jason Andrew Hahn

    Hater Mode activated, TitanFall has already moved some consoles due to my friends wanting to play this “exclusive”. They consider themselves average gamers so I’m sure their not the only ones….. Thanks for the misleading title

  • KingNitemare

    why upgrade? because most of the 360 versions of these games will be gimped ports of how they should be played.. next gen versions all run at 60 fps.the question really is.. who wants to play a crappy version of these games? i sure as hell dont.

  • John

    Sony fan boy any one?

    • Froztken

      You do realize the article is about betting on Titanfall to sell Xbox One and not at all about PS4. In fact, “Playstation 4″ is mentioned only once…

  • mike

    This game will sell 47.2 million xbox 1. thanks to the 300000 servers working simultaneously, players will be able to play it at 3840*2160 pixels, 480 fps.
    65000 vs 65000 players matches will only require 1mb internet lines, thanks to the patented ultrabit compression technology.
    Maps will be 32000 square miles long, thanks to terapixel technology, which only works on ddr3. We’ve waited so long, but now, we can finally load the entire Google earth texture pack, on less than 4 GB of ddr3, which become 1’200’000 GB, once the azure cloud unleashes 1/100 of its power. This is only possible on Xbox one and azure cloud, of course.
    The first dlc , totally free, will bring some new vehicles, and the new 9mm Tiger UpperColt , which, when used with kinect, and thanks to the system’s amazing draw distance of 786 miles, will let you make incredible headshots, from a distance of 600 miles, just by saying to kinekt ‘ pew pew’. This will revolutionize the fps genre, forever.
    And because our company cares about your emotions, we will let you choose, not one, but 2 animals, that will obey you like your real chicken would do. Yes, after the end of our poll, we decided to give you the opportunity to control 1 couple of bears. Bearetta and Bearber will execute all your commands in less than 30 picoseconds: as a result, when you say to kinekt ‘bear bite’, when you pull the trigger and the bullet hits your ennemi, on the other side of the map, your bear will already have bitten and immobilised your ennemi. Amazing.

    For sure, game of the century. Thanks to the Xbox one and azure cloud.
    Attention: if you experience a frame drop, from 480 to 464 fps, on your PC, please download the latest drivers for your Nvidia Titan graphic card.

    Thanks for trusting Respawn Entertainment

    • medman

      Thank you. That is hilarious.

      • mike

        Thanks. I tried to write something less serious than the classic comments… but 4 disagrees, just prove some fanboys are the saddest guys in the whole milky way. they really should pause their game, leave their little bedroom, and go out and breath some fresh air :)
        Maybe that would tame and enlight the dark and sad halo around them.

        If the comment was about naughty dog or guerrilla games, I would have had 15 agrees and my comment quoted on other forums.

        Peace ;)

    • Hussain Naseem

      you just made my day :D

  • lt.dan

    BF4 is a different story. You are essentally paying $60 for an expansion pack with bf4 on the ps3 and 360.

  • Da Geez

    Wow… what a poor sonyfanboy ‘hit’ piece.

    Feeling a little bit butt-hurt for not getting the best exclusives and the best games on the ps4 are you :)

    XBOX WON … has the best games coming into the next gen… FACT

    On games alone…. Xbox WON.

    Have fun playing the multiplayer games on the second rate Lagstation4, that are obviously better on XBOX WON !

    • datdude

      I’m busy playing The Last of Us while you’re busy fumbling with your balls. Case closed. Enjoy your imaginary exclusives buddy.

    • Sylnt Chamber

      That’s why the PS4 outsold the Xbox One 2:1 huh. Your ignorant fanboy fantasies are laughable at best.

  • BJK

    This article is embarrassing, I dread to think what the rest of the website is like.

  • samson

    Im glad this is coming to the 360 that means ill be able to rent the game and buy a PS4, best of both worlds

  • Android is ButterSmooth

    We wouldn’t want Titanfall on the PS4 anyway!
    PS4 has 50-75% more processing power for better games than this.
    Go Sony!

  • Mysteryb

    My brother, and 3 of my friends all bought Xbox Ones for the SOLE purpose of Titanfall. I have 8 games for my Xbox one, they have a combined 4 between them, because it is just tiding them over until Titanfall. The 360 version will suck, and if the game is as great as EVERYONE who has played it says it is than console sales will sky-rocket, than Halo will further boost console sales and the One will lead sales by spring 2015.

  • klarax

    these commenters need to get a life, just cos someone talks bad about a game, dont mean you have to insult the writter. If your that insecure, you need to get a grip.

  • Falcon D. Stormvoice

    Did Starhawk move PlayStation 3s?

    So how will a stripped down Starhawk sell a much more expensive system.

    It’s all hype, and EA tells us to “believe the hype”. Obviously, a lot of people do. Especially desperate fanboys who need to justify their 500 dollar purchase.