Jesus, EA, what happened?
How did you fuck up something as simple as a Titanfall 2 release date? Why did you sneak out another FPS in between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare? What were you thinking?
You were doing allright-ish, not being nakedly evil (like all good psychopaths, you can hide it all you want but it’s always there), making the gamers feel like you’re giving them something rather than nakedly nickel-and-diming them. You got a nice line in EA Access, the games streaming subscription, service for sport-fuckers, and some awesome games coming out soon. And then you went and pissed Titanfall 2’s release up the wall.
Sure, after all the apparently unexpected critical acclaim you turned on your sick heels and said you were committed to the series – but I’m with Respawn CEO Vince Zampella; when told about their commitment, he said, ‘Whatever the fuck that means.’
And I know you’re hoping some new Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer and the original series going into the EA Access vault will make us forget. But it won’t. You’ve already lived up down to every games publisher cliché, so why should we expect anything different with the frankly bizarre schedules that studios put out? I blame Christmas. And greed. Which is basically the same thing, as publishers crunch and cram the shelves with their games (will probably contain one of the following: Microtransactions, desolate ‘open’ world, zombies, horde mode, zombie horde mode…).
Poor old Titanfall 2, you deserved better with your bouncy free-running and loveable, monotone mech. I don’t know what EA were playing at either, but these are my three best explanations for this cluster-fuckery of a release date that saw a good game tank.
EA can’t tell their arse from their elbow
It’s tempting to think EA were just plain ignorant, that they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. But you don’t make millions by being completely useless (you do it with day one DLC, obvs). You might earn a few thousand, tops, but I don’t reckon that the release date was down to sheer stupidity – however stupid it looks now.
EA thought that Titanfall 2 could be their COD killer
Let’s imagine an upside-down world where Battlefield 1 really was designed for a completely different player-base. That was EA’s reasoning for bringing two FPS out so close to each other. I buy that they offer two separate experiences, but those vastly different experiences offer precisely what a single shooter wants: A bit of variety with the same mechanics. But all right, let’s play their game, and EA believed their own tall tale – that means taking BF1 out of the equation and pitting Titanfall 2 against Infinite Warfare. Is it possible the studio genuinely thought that, finally, as COD was hits its lowest point yet, Titanfall could sweep in and topple the FPS Goliath?
EA got greedy and thought BF1 and TF2 combined could be a COD killer
But EA didn’t really believe that, did they? They could smell the bullshit the moment it dropped from the PR man’s mouth. We all could. What crashed through their minds and flickered in their cartoonish eyes was this: $.
And then a few million more.
It was a pincer attack designed to damage COD before it was even released. Because by the time gamers have slaughtered their way through both Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, they’d find themselves suffering combat fatigue for a series that’s already feeling tired.
EA had no confidence in Titanfall 2
Probably the saddest option, the truth is EA knew they couldn’t beat Call of Duty. They thought they had a wall-running turkey of a titan on their hands, and rather than do battle with their rival, they sunk all their marketing dosh into Dice’s WWI shooter and snuck out Titanfall 2 when they thought no-one was looking. The incredibly positive reaction to the game seems to have blind-sided them; the stunned suits are rabbits in headlights, headlights that are already smashing into them. Which, given that Titanfall 2 is a solid FPS from solo mode to multiplayer, probably serves then right, to be fair. The EA suits, not the rabbits.
If EA are committed, as they claim (a Mary Poppins pie-crust promise, that one), then I doubt they’ll make the same mistake twice with their release dates, with execs already scrabbling around to kinda-sorta but not quite admit culpability and saying ‘it’s about the long-run’. The release date fuck-ups might not happen with any future Titanfalls; for absolutely any game, from absolutely any studio, all bets are off.
How the games industry works, innit?
Why do you think EA fucked Titanfall 2’s release? Sound off in the comments and let me know your rambling thoughts on Twitter, and throw a like over on the gamespulp Facebook for more idle games talk.