In just a few days, gamers around the world will finally get their hands on one of the most anticipated releases of 2014: Titanfall. Most have likely played the beta — if not watch our preview — and are ready to see the full breadth of Respawn’s multiplayer experience.
Unfortunately, just a few days before the launch of Titanfall we bring bad news for our fellow gamers in South Africa. Titanfall will not be “dropping in” on that region, with inconsistent Internet serving as a primary reason behind the decision.
Official word has come from various sources, the most telling of which is a message from Electronic Arts South Africa. According to the message, recent online tests for Titanfall in South Africa showed that performance was not up to EA or developer Respawn Entertainment‘s standards. There were likely some areas where the multiplayer-only game preformed fine, but as a whole, South Africa wasn’t hitting the expected benchmarks.
This may not be the end for South Africa and Titanfall, though, as the message says EA will keep fans posted on future Titanfall plans for South Africa. If, perhaps, Respawn is able to get the game running smoother in the future then there may yet be hope for South African gamers.
After conducting recent online tests for Titanfall, we found that the performance rates in South Africa were not as high as we need to guarantee a great experience, so we have decided not to release Titanfall in South Africa at this time.
We understand this is a disappointment for local fans and will keep fans posted on any future plans regarding the release of Titanfall in South Africa
While there’s no doubt this news will be hugely disappointing to gamers in the region, the reasoning makes sense. Titanfall represents a huge risk for EA, Respawn, and even Microsoft — who own sole console exclusivity on the release — and any misstep could prove disastrous. Not disastrous in terms of less sales, but disastrous in terms of a potential backlash regarding an always-online game. For EA this is an especially hot button issue, after both SimCity and Battlefield 4 launched with significant problems.
Unfortunately, the potential for backlash was not worth the trouble in EA’s mind. Similarly, this is a freshman effort for Respawn Entertainment, so any knock against their game is equally as detrimental to their reputation. It’s a shame EA couldn’t have come to this conclusion sooner or found a fix in the mean time, but such is the nature of the business sometimes.
Do you think that Titanfall launching in South Africa with less-than-ideal connectivity would have been worse than cancelling the game in the region? How much leeway is there for EA if Titanfall experiences problems at launch?
Titanfall releases March 11, 2014 for the PC and Xbox One, and March 25th for the Xbox 360.