Some people may have been ultimately disappointed with what Titanfall offered - but Vince Zampella wasn't one of them. Last spring, Respawn Entertainment's mech-oriented shooter launched hot, with glowing reviews and sales to match. While the game didn't redefine the multiplayer shooter, it refined the formula nicely, introducing streamlined controls and an innovative movement system.
Over seven million unique players have tried the game, and thanks to the recently released Titanfall: Deluxe Edition, Respawn's first release is still moving copies. Early in 2014, Titanfall seemed like a surefire Game of the Year contender. It was fun while it lasted - but that's the problem. As Spring turned to Fall and newer games hit store shelves, the buzz around Titanfall faded, and players moved on to titles like Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
A multiplayer-only game lives and dies by its community; Titanfall's foundation is still strong, but its user base has dwindled. Multiplayer lobbies can feel like ghost towns, now that there simply aren't enough people playing. Despite this, Zampella has no regrets.
In an interview with Game Informer, Zampella notes that the Respawn team could've done some things differently to help with long-term engagement, but ultimately thinks that the choices Respawn made were right for the game they wanted to make. Besides, Zampella's less concerned with the past and more with the future - both what's in store for Titanfall, in addition to a second, more mysterious title.
In June, Respawn hired Stig Asmussen, a developer best known for his work on the God of War series at SCE's Santa Monica studio. According to Zampella, Asmussen's heading up Respawn's second, non-Titanfall development team. Exactly what they're working on Zampella won't say, but whatever the game is, it's still very early in the development cycle.
At the moment, the team's small, and Zampella notes that Respawn is still "figuring out what we're doing and really kind of honing in on what the next games will be." He does tease the idea that the game may not be a first-person shooter; when the interviewer asks about Asmussen's background with third-person action titles, Zampella simply says the studio is proceeding "with an open mind."
Titanfall hasn't been forgotten, either. While there won't be any more content (other than bug fixes) for the first title, Zampella remains adamant that the company still want to "make more Titanfall." He also dangles the possibility that, next time, Titanfall won't be an Xbox exclusive: Respawn's deal with Microsoft was limited to the first game, and Respawn, not EA, owns the Titanfall IP.
Whatever Respawn's got up their sleeve, however, don't expect to see it soon, as the studio will be skipping E3 this summer. As Zampella says, after a busy 2014, it's time for the studio to put marketing and public demonstrations aside and "get back to work."
What do you hope to see from Respawn: another try at long-term success with a Titanfall-esque property, or a fresh start in a new genre? Share your hopes in the comments.
Source: Game Informer