The worst kept secret in recent history has been officially outed by Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment. Titanfall 2 is now confirmed, and the franchise sheds its Microsoft exclusivity in the process.
Speaking with IGN, Vince Zampella said:
"I guess EA announced a sequel, so I could play coy and pretend I don't know anything about it, or… yeah. So we're working on a sequel. No official name yet, but we're working on that."
It should come as no surprise that Respawn, comprised of the team behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, were able to achieve widespread success with their first game. This came at the cost of hitting multiple platforms. In order to finance the game, Respawn signed a marketing deal with Microsoft and were provided with Windows Azure dedicated servers to run the game's multiplayer components.
When asked what Respawn would've changed about Titanfall's first outing, COO Dusty Welsh wasn't shy to bring up the issue of exclusivity. Zampella clarified that Titanfall may have not existed without Microsoft's backing: "Well, we needed that, though. We couldn't do the game." EA have previously hinted that Titanfall will be multiplatform, and these comments essentially confirm that the sequel will also hit PS4.
IGN pressed the Respawn boss on the potential nature of the Titanfall sequel. Vince essentially said that Respawn missed the mark with the game's story-driven multiplayer mode, which was too frenetic to sink in for many players (myself included).
"Maybe we could have mixed things up a bit better because some people blew right by it and didn't even see it because there was so much action happening around it. It's tough because if you hit people over the head with it it becomes intrusive, and there are people who don't want or care about it."
I think folding the single player into the multiplayer is potentially smart if they can get it right, but as Zampella says, the first iteration was a little too chaotic in practice.
I think having the maps like that in packs, it does split the community, and it makes it harder for matchmaking, it's messy.
Finally, Respawn agreed with criticisms about the game's gated approach to DLC map packs. Many popular multiplayer FPS games offer DLC map packs, it's a staple - but in doing so, they fragment the community in terms of who owns the maps and who doesn't. Zampella said that this won't happen again, and instead, Titanfall 2 would take a cue from Evolve's approach to map packs. "I think having the maps like that in packs, it does split the community, and it makes it harder for matchmaking, it's messy." To that end, all of Titanfall's DLC is now permanently free to anyone who purchased the game, regardless of platform. While the maps still appear in separate playlists, this should serve to put an end to some of the fragmentation.
Going multiplatform will help solidify Titanfall as a FPS staple, and could potentially grow to challenge Call of Duty's dominance of twitch multiplayer FPS. Many saw Advanced Warfare and its exo-suits and pseudo-mechs as a segway into Titanfall's sci-fi leanings. Hopefully the competition between the two franchises would lead to more innovation, something Call of Duty is increasingly criticised for lacking.