Over the past few years, there have been several big-budget attempts to produce the next great multiplayer shooter — but more often than not, they’ve failed to make as big of an impact as their developers might have anticipated. Many would argue that Titanfall by Respawn Entertainment falls into that category.
Hyped as the debut title from the creative minds behind Call of Duty, for a moment Titanfall seemed poised to make a run for that game’s crown. With its novel focus on player-piloted mechs and some novel traversal options, everything pointed towards it being a huge hit ahead of release
However, the controversial decision to make Titanfall an Xbox exclusive meant that it was never likely to reach the same level of popularity as the multi-platform Call of Duty. The game found an audience, but never cultivated the broad playerbase that Respawn and EA were hoping for.
Despite this, it’s been made very clear that the franchise is far from done — although in the current climate, it’s likely that a follow-up was planned from the earliest stages of development. It was quickly confirmed that the prospective Titanfall 2 would not be a console exclusive like its predecessor.
Now, it seems that EA might have other plans to expand the reach of the budding franchise. A report is circulating today that the company has partnered with Nexon to develop a free-to-play spin on the title for Asian markets, tentatively titled Titanfall Online.
Region-specific spin-offs such as this seem to be becoming increasingly popular, with Microsoft announcing plans for a similar Halo project earlier this year. Moreover, it gives publishers the opportunity to test the waters with a different business model, which could well become the norm in the not-so-distant future.
However, EA has already made it very clear that this is not Titanfall 2. That project is still in development at Respawn, and there are no plans for it to be a free-to-play title at this point. However, it may well be a very different game to the first entry in the series from what we’ve learned so far.
Titanfall may not have lived up to expectations in its first outing, but it’s very clear that the franchise isn’t being given up on just yet. A lot of time and money has already been invested in the project, and you can bet that EA is doing everything possible to make sure that wasn’t an error of judgement.