What the Hell Happened to Titanfall 2?

What the Hell Happened to Titanfall 2?

It has already been a jam-packed season for gaming, from the release of new tech (PlayStation VR and the PS4 Pro) to highly-anticipated titles like Dishonored 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. This is to say nothing of heavy-hitters like The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV slated to arrive in the very near future. One AAA title, however, seems to have been lost in the lurch, despite being set up for success: Titanfall 2 . Despite glowing reviews – all three versions of the game hold an aggregate score of at least 85 on Metacritic at the time of this writing – Titanfall 2’s sales are sluggish when compared to its competitors. In fact, it sold even worse during its first week in the UK than its prequel did. So why aren’t more people picking it up?

It had about the worst release timing imaginable.

Titanfall 2 released during an incredibly busy period for AAA games in general, but that alone shouldn’t have been enough to make it tank. Unfortunately, the day it hit store shelves fell squarely between the release of two other high-profile shooters; it came a week after Battlefield 1 on October 21 and was followed by Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare a week later on November 4. Apparently, a top executive at EA was responsible for the decision. CEO Andrew Wilson made a statement about Titanfall 2 ‘s distinctive appeal, which he believes makes it stand out from its competitors, but to me, it looks like EA cannibalized its own sales by placing all of its bets on Battlefield 1 .

It made a bad impression during its beta.

Developer Respawn Entertainment had the foresight to run a Titanfall 2 multiplayer beta over the summer, which gave players an opportunity to relay feedback about the game’s balance. And relay they did: many players felt the game was too slow, while others criticized its mundane, flat maps. In response, Respawn upped the game’s overall speed, making adjustments to the titans’ movement and survival abilities as well as improving the user interface. Yet the damage may already have been done; disillusioned players unhappy with the beta may never have given the game another try. It’s tough to say.

Its official Twitter account is juvenile as hell.

Much like a self-assured teenager, the person (or people) behind Titanfall 2 ‘s Twitter account doesn’t know when to stop talking. Perhaps because they sensed an opportunity to reclaim the spotlight, the account made overt digs at Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare , calling it “slow & plodding” while boasting that Titanfall 2 ‘s “frantic precision is electrifying.” It also doesn’t help that the account is prone to making eye-rollingly lame attempts to be hip by appending the hashtag #ThatTitanFeel to its tweets. Developer Respawn actually had to make a statement that they do not control the account, and that the tweets are likely coming from someone at EA, which is yet another misstep on the publisher’s part.

What the Hell Happened to Titanfall 2?

Sales expectations were too high.

I recall the time Square Enix expressed disappointment when the Tomb Raider reboot “failed to meet expectations” with over 3.4 million copies sold during its opening month. Titanfall 2 launched under similarly outrageous expectations. Research firm Cowen & Company initially projected that Titanfall 2 would sell about nine million units, but later lowered that estimate to five to six million units, a number they deemed “substantially disappointing.” It’s possible that the game’s development costs far outpace its current sales, which speaks of a mismanaged budget and ineffective marketing campaign.

But it’s not too to late to give the game a second chance.

All of the doom and gloom aside, Titanfall 2 is a relatively fresh release, and still has plenty of active players. For those who are still on the fence, it’s already on sale at a deep discount of $35 through Target’s Black Friday early access program. Best Buy will also be offering the Xbox One version for $35 for the duration of Black Friday weekend. Regardless of whether Titanfall 2 lives up to its publisher’s sales expectations, we had a blast with it and will be continuing to enjoy it for the forseeable future.

To top