Today marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Titanfall, one of the first attempts of this generation of consoles to knock Call of Duty off its plinth as the most popular FPS for online multiplayer. While the first entry in the budding franchise didn't quite accomplish that, it seems that publisher EA isn't giving up hope just yet.
In an attempt to reinvigorate the game's player base, all Titanfall DLC is being offered for free to Xbox 360 and Xbox One players. That makes for an extra nine maps, bringing the game's total to a rather healthy 24. You can download all this content at once simply by downloading the season pass from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
While DLC is a hot topic across the video game industry, it's particularly problematic in the FPS genre. Map packs have long been a way for developers to extend a multiplayer-centric game's lifespan, but its increased prevalence in recent years has called into question how sensible a practice it is.
Players buying particular map packs and forgoing others leads to a situation where map selection is limited based on which players own what. At one time, this wasn't too much of a problem — but for a game like Titanfall with matchmaking and up to 50 players in a single match, it can sometimes result in players not getting to play the map they bought as often as they would like.
Releasing all DLC for free should serve to put everyone on a level playing field, and further integrate DLC maps into the run of play. It's difficult for a new IP to gain traction in a genre as competitive as this — we've seen Evolve struggle to hold onto its audience just this past month — but EA will be hoping that this anniversary celebration gives the Titanfall franchise a shot in the arm.
However, the timing of this promotion does seem a little bit strange. It may be the game's first birthday, but it's also less than a week before the launch of Battlefield: Hardline, EA's first big FPS release of the year. Encouraging players to get back into Titanfall may well have the effect of discouraging those same FPS fans from getting into Hardline on day one.
Between Battlefield and Titanfall, last year's Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront, EA have no shortage of big name FPS titles under their umbrella. However, it's not quantity of franchises that will lead EA to genre dominance — it's the quantity of players enjoying those titles.
Titanfall is available now for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.