We don’t know what Respawn Entertainment is working on, but we know the world is interested. Led by the minds behind Modern Warfare, Jason West and Vince Zampell– actually, make that just Vince Zampella, the studio has been working in secret on Electronic Arts’ answer to the runaway Call of Duty series.
Now rumors are circling of just how big a project Respawn may be constructing in the shadows; with so much experience working in the heart of industry competition and rivalries, it only seems right that the studio’s first product – possibly named Titan – will be coming exclusively to Microsoft’s next Xbox console. Could the news be confirmed at the official reveal event this May?
The report comes courtesy of Kotaku‘s Stephen Totillo, citing two separate sources for the notion of console exclusivity. While acknowledging that the game may only have a timed release – first on Microsoft’s console, then Nintendo and Sony’s – neither source would confirm that, but did claim that the game will be always-on. The most recent reliable sources confirmed that the next Xbox would be structured around an “always-on” internet connection, so who better to take on skeptics than two of the most successful FPS designers in history?
The only image of Respawn’s title released thus far.
Luckily for gamers, the same sources also describe the core gameplay of Titan: a multiplayer-focused online shooter pitting teams of futuristic soldiers against one another, aided by the presence of enormous mechs, named ‘Titans’ in this fictional universe. Where the line is drawn between ‘a singleplayer game with multiplayer that requires an internet connection’ and ‘a strictly online multiplayer game’ is just one of our questions for Respawn, but only time will provide answers.
The sources even go on to claim that Respawn is only building the version of the game for the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, while another studio is being tasked with the Xbox 360 version. It’s a wise move to keep the best talent working with the more powerful and advanced hardware, but even with Respawn’s pedigree, there are claims that Titan isn’t quite as graphically stunning as Battlefield 4 – both games we expect to hear more about on May 21.
There’s no way to corroborate the reports at the moment, but if true, a console-exclusive from EA and Microsoft is surprising for a number of reasons. First of all, it proves that Sony’s efforts to make the PS4’s architecture friendlier to developers doesn’t mean Microsoft is giving up the fight for console supremacy. But aside from that, it also means EA won’t be using the series as CoD-killer as many assumed (and others hoped), since the sales numbers will automatically be lower than Call of Duty‘s multiplatform launches.
Could this be a sign that EA is leaving Activision to their devices, and focusing less on imitating, and more on simply appealing to a different audience? The latest rumors concerning Call of Duty: Ghosts imply that the series will also be jumping into the future (along with the Black Ops series), so a fight may result regardless of which direction Battlefield, Call of Duty and Respawn’s series take in the next generation.
Expect to hear more about Titan as early as the new Xbox event held May 21, 2013, with even more information on its way when the studio comes to E3 2013. Be sure to head over to Kotaku for the full report.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.