It seems to me that when the developers who created the Call of Duty franchise, Jason West and Vince Zampella, left Infinity Ward, the studio they created to form a nimble team that would work on the “next big thing” in gaming, the promise was to deliver an experience like none other to gamers around the world, on platforms. That promise has already been compromised.
Out of obscurity and difficult the most amazing experiences and ideas are birthed. Out of hardship and loneliness the most amazing minds bring their work to life — and in Jason West and Vince Zampella’s case, accusations of insubordination — and literally being kicked out of Infinity Ward, gave birth to Titanfall. Oh the irony in that name.
A lot of back and forth, says Respawn Entertainment people, trial and error and frustrating nights birthed the multiplayer shooter that’s currently taking the gaming world by storm. And it was supposed to be for everyone to enjoy — whether you play on PlayStation, Xbox or PC, Titanfall would fall in your hands next spring…
…But something happened along the way and now Titanfall will only be released on Xbox One — not PS4, next year. The game’s also coming to PC and Xbox 360 — but I’m talking about next-gen consoles here. Obviously, Microsoft and EA shook hands — Respawn Entertainment, too, tying the promising shooter to Xbox One for 6 months to a year, before it finally lands on Sony’s next-gen console. A console, by the way, that’s dominating in preorder sales 3:1 at the moment in the U.S. and Europe.
PS4 has strong momentum at the moment, and while Xbox One seems to be finally finding its place, I can’t help but wonder how much of a different story it would be today, if Titanfall was also coming to PS4 in tandem with all other platforms. What would fans of Sony’s console be saying? How much more hype and notoriety would the game receive? And also, wouldn’t it stand a better chance at becoming the next big thing if it was released multiplatform?
I reckon Titanfall will go the way of Mass Effect, which is: become very popular on Xbox, but not so popular on PlayStation because of its late arrival. And it’s a shame, because the promise that is Titanfall could have been met if it weren’t for the almighty dollar. But I guess that what counts, right? Still, somehow I feel Respawn and EA would have fared much better financially in the long run by allowing Titanfall to release on PS4 as well as Xbox One from day one. The momentum would be insatiable and the hype unstoppable.
Now, although coming to PC, Titanfall, even when released on PS4 later, will be forever aligned with Xbox — and that’s not a bad thing by any means, I’m actually happy for Xbox One fans and impressed Microsoft was able to secure such a title as a timed-exclusive. But the promise of the excellent-looking MP shooter has been critically compromised, and that’s a shame.