Schreier + others regarding Titanfall 2: Respawn chose their own release date

Nov 8, 2017
2,349
#1
This is something that got buried in the recent Titanfall BR stuff, but it's common knowledge that Titanfall 2's release date was a disastrous one, sandwiched between much larger games. What is not common knowledge, but what I've heard vague rumblings of before, is that it was Respawn's leadership that chose to launch where it did. As per this Twitter exchange, I now have somebody reputable backing this up.

(Context tweet)

(Jason's reply)

EA as a publisher catches shit for this in a lot of threads, but it seems that Respawn's higher ups were very confident in it's product. It was a great game and reviewed well so I could see how that would happen. Something not mentioned in this exchange, but which I heard before (very very very) indirectly was that West and Zampella (the founders) have fairly sizeable egos, which considering their role in the creation of Call of Duty and the MW subseries is at least partly justified.

Please note I'm not an insider or anything close to it, it's just shit I hear around and that came from the same folks who are themselves also not insiders and who might have just heard it from Jason on a podcast at some other point in time or something.

Edit:

Straight from the horse's mouth

My understanding is that Respawn wanted that late October/early November slot to go up against Call of Duty.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to come out in the same month. I believe it was originally planned for earlier but had to be delayed, and by then it was too late for Titanall to move.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
3,299
the Netherlands
#4
EA should have told Respawn that they're crazy and moved it themselves. No matter how good the game is, releasing 1 week after Battlefield 1 and 1 week before Infinite Warfare was pure insanity.
 
OP
OP
ThereAreFourNaan
Nov 8, 2017
2,349
#6
But why would they do that then?! O_o
The theory that I heard floating around was basically that the founders have egos and were very confident in their (admittedly very good) game. They thought they could stand strong as a result. Not like, destroy CoD and Battlefield or anything, but at least avoid being crushed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,121
#13
Titanfall 2 was better than both games too... Its a Shame more ppl didn't play it.

But yeah.. They should of waited 2 months later for ppl to realize BF and CoD was more of the same and maybe grab folks looking for something different.
 
Oct 27, 2017
643
#16
Idk I feel like in that case EA should of sat them down and been like "If you release this game here it's not gonna do so hot".

Maybe they thought with the game going multiplat the game would take off in sales but that obviously didn't happen.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,506
'straya
#18
Well it's better to think Respawn were overly confident in their game (which they had all the right to) than thinking EA are so evil to sabotage a studio like that. This is one of the few instances where I am willing to blame "gamers" for this situation. Fucking gamers.
 

TheDanimal

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Member
Oct 25, 2017
324
#20
I’ll always regret buying battlefield 1 on launch over Titanfall 2. Titanfall is superior in every way
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,752
The Netherlands
#21
Huh, Zampella suggested Respawn was taken by surprise that they were releasing on top of Battlefield 1 in a Glixel interview (PC Gamer link, original article seems to be removed.)

Glixel said:
Zampella is then asked how he felt about Titanfall 2 releasing a week after EA’s WW1 shooter, Battlefield 1. “If the question was, ‘Would I rather have this window to myself?’ Well, of course,” he says. “I’m not foolish. I’m not foolish that way, anyway. In other ways, probably.”

The release window was known by Respawn in advance, but “the exact timing”, they didn’t know that, he reveals.

Glixel also ask whether Respawn were worried, going up against Battlefield 1, if EA could show them enough publishing support while also marketing their own shooter. “It’s always a concern,” Zampella says in response. “That’s what I’ll say. Especially when you have two games on top of each other.”
So yeah, they may have chosen the date but still got buried in the market by their publisher so something is still off.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,199
#22
So the narrative that EA sent this game out to die is now dead, huh?
Oh people will keep pushing that till the sun explodes.

Fuck, EA genuinely out more effort into marketing this game than most other titles this gen. They had branded partnerships with Mountain Dew, Doritos, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Target, consistent online advertising, and all the expected press. Lack of awareness isn't why the game flopped - it just put itself out there into a too-crowded shooter market.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,736
#24
A good example of why most game developers shouldn't be doing things like choosing release dates, or handling practically anything when it comes to PR or marketing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,118
#25
Talk about an inflated ego. Don't get me wrong TF2 was my GOTY, but to think that your precious little miracle stood a shot in between those two behemoths is just silly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
932
#27
I don’t get it. This decision would never make sense. Even if TF2 was a 10/10 game and considered the best FPS ever, it was still the new player going out against the two biggest FPS franchises of the time. That would always lead to the loss of potential sales
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,736
#28
Talk about an inflated ego. Don't get me wrong TF2 was my GOTY, but to think that your precious little miracle stood a shot in between those two behemoths is just silly.
I wonder if going up against Call of Duty was something they specifically really wanted to do.

Especially since it was a game made by Infinity Ward.
 
OP
OP
ThereAreFourNaan
Nov 8, 2017
2,349
#30
So yeah, they may have chosen the date but still got buried in the market by their publisher so something is still off.
The release dates for both Battlefield and Call of Duty are fairly consistent, so by choosing that date they knew they would be within a month of CoD and probably within 2 weeks of Battlefield at most, even if they did not know precisely how close. Titanfall 1 launched in April by comparison, so they undoubtedly intended to "compete" with these games, even if they did not intend to launch within 5 days of Battlefield necessarily.
 

HotHamBoy

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,734
#34
EA should have told Respawn that they're crazy and moved it themselves. No matter how good the game is, releasing 1 week after Battlefield 1 and 1 week before Infinite Warfare was pure insanity.
Sounds more like hubris to me

Respawn picked it? Then I hope the person who picked it is fired by now, because that was f'n stupid and he had no idea what or why he did it.
Came for the big dogs and expected to eat their lunch, got left on the curb with the dumpster scraps
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,653
#36
Like activating nuclear self destruct on your titan and only catching yourself in the blast while the other titans just walk away.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,752
The Netherlands
#37
The release dates for both Battlefield and Call of Duty are fairly consistent, so by choosing that date they knew they would be within a month of CoD and probably within 2 weeks of Battlefield at most, even if they did not know precisely how close. Titanfall 1 launched in April by comparison, so they undoubtedly intended to "compete" with these games, even if they did not intend to launch within 5 days of Battlefield necessarily.
That's a fair point. We also also have a quote from Respawn producer Drew McCoy talking to Playstation Lifestyle that the date was locked in for a long time before release:

PSLS: How satisfied are you with Titanfall 2’s release date? Was EA the decision maker with that, or did you guys have a say in that?

Drew: I actually don’t know where the decision came from. I just know it was locked in a long time ago and there was no changing it. I’m not really worried about it. We tried not to [worry] really…When you care about what other games are doing, when they’re releasing [, you worry]. At the end of the day, we’re releasing a game that we’re happy with, and we enjoy playing, that we’re proud of. As long as we’re doing that, I think we’re gonna find an audience. It doesn’t really matter when it comes out. A good game gets noticed.
 
Feb 10, 2018
7,408
#38
Maybe Respawn wanted to beat cod and Battlefield.
Which although I think revenge or competitiveness is a silly reason, if Respawn where compelled to go down that path, there product was up to the task, but the brand and marketing was not.
 

jschreier

Press Sneak Fuck
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
442
#43
My understanding is that Respawn wanted that late October/early November slot to go up against Call of Duty.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to come out in the same month. I believe it was originally planned for earlier but had to be delayed, and by then it was too late for Titanall to move.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,891
Charlotte NC
#45
I’m continually surprised that given all the intelligence present in a Dev studio that stupid ass decisions like this make it through. Why the fuck would EA even let them do this to themselves?
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,758
Nothing
#47
That’s actually not the first time I heard that. Don’t remember if it was an insider or Jason himself. But back on Gaf I remember someone in the know talking about how Titanfall 2’s date was entirely a Respawn decision. And that they didn’t want to change it due to problems with marketing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,299
the Netherlands
#48
My understanding is that Respawn wanted that late October/early November slot to go up against Call of Duty.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to come out in the same month. I believe it was originally planned for earlier but had to be delayed, and by then it was too late for Titanall to move.
Zampella really has a thing for (attempting) to kill his old franchises huh?
 
Oct 25, 2017
134
#49
My understanding is that Respawn wanted that late October/early November slot to go up against Call of Duty.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to come out in the same month. I believe it was originally planned for earlier but had to be delayed, and by then it was too late for Titanall to move.
So BF was the last date to be locked-in and EA decided to Titanfall would be the game to be sandwiched rather than COD.
 
Oct 27, 2017
9,736
#50
The theory that I heard floating around was basically that the founders have egos and were very confident in their (admittedly very good) game. They thought they could stand strong as a result. Not like, destroy CoD and Battlefield or anything, but at least avoid being crushed.
Zampella and West would have had massive egos, I imagine.