Don’t Expect Titanfall 2 To Be A Microsoft Exclusive

Don’t Expect Titanfall 2 To Be A Microsoft Exclusive

Titanfall is a Microsoft exclusive. Like, a proper one, in that it won’t ever be coming to the PlayStation. That’s news for gamers, but until recently it was also news to one of the guys…running the company making the game.

Respawn boss Vince Zampella has posted on Twitter that while Titanfall was always going to be a Microsoft (ie Windows and Xbox) exclusive at launch, it’s only very recently that publishers EA signed on to make that deal a permanent one.

Always MS exclusive at launch, great partner and focus is good for a startup. EA made a deal for the rest, we only found out recently =( — Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) October 29, 2013

Even more interesting is this reply when a fan asks about future Respawn games.

@AdanGarciaG Of course we will, just not the first Titanfall. — Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) October 29, 2013

Now, he could be talking about anything, but let’s get real. This game looks awesome, it’ll sell well, it’ll get a sequel.

Remember Mass Effect? And how confusing and annoying that “exclusive” deal was, when a former Microsoft-exclusive series went multiplatform and had to make up for a missing first game with motion comics?

Looks like it’s about to happen all over again. Only this time the choices you make in said comic will be SHOOT DUDE? SHOOT MORE DUDES? SHOOT DUDES INSIDE GIANT MECH?


  • It is interesting how Zampella left Infinity Ward to have more creative freedom, then goes to EA and get’s an exclusive deal shoved down their throats.

    You should have known Vince, you should have known. Nothing good ever comes from a deal with EA.

    • I am not sure an exclusivity deal equates to creative interference, that seems more on the business side of things than the creative.

    • Until EA hire another developer to create Titansfall 2 so Zampella can go straight to working on Titansfall 3…. you can’t really go badmouthing EA.

      • That’s assuming that the Titanfall IP is owned by EA. Given that control of IP seemed to be a big part of his dispute with Activision, it is entirely possible that the agreement between his studio and EA gives him somewhat more control.

    • lol you don’t “go to EA”.. EA are a publisher.. Unless you’re working on the indie scale, you’re always going to have a publisher.

      This also doesn’t really affect his creative freedom.. Unless his creativity is limited to “I think i’ll play this on Playstation 3 today” heh.

    • Ea has no power over the game as far as im aware they are purely publishing side, as in they own the distribution rights but they don’t own the intellectual property.

      So respawn can do whatever the hell it wants to the series.

      I also have doubts the game (if it lives up to hype) will go multi plat. Mainly because after it becomes a huge success for MS, they will do their damned to keep it that way. There is also the huge cloud aspect of the game which sony can not match as of yet.

      While they do have that streaming service, they don’t have the 100,000’s of dedicated up and running cloud servers for free that are to be expressly used for gaming developers that Microsoft has and until such a time the game would be fundamentally different from the xbox version.

      • This. Respawn Entertainment is an independent studio that is simply using the now defunct EA partners program which allows independent studios to publish under the EA arm while getting access to some of EA’s resources and at the same time have almost complete control over the project.

        • THIS indeed – more game enthusiasts need to realize the difference between a distribution partner and a studio. The gaming industry is quite similar to film (where I work) and its quite similar to the producer/director/distributor relationship. Producer is in charge of the film when the camera isn’t rolling, director when it is – the distributor takes care of getting it to the foaming masses.

      • I’ve seen people repeat this claim about the cloud servers, but has Microsoft actually said anywhere that they’re providing that service for free?

        If it’s not free, then it is just another option for cloud hosting. If you were developing a game for a different platform (or making one with cross platform online features), you could choose a different host. Or you could even use Azure for a non-Xbox game if you wanted.

          • Have you seen any official statements that this is how those services are being paid for? How will Microsoft ensure that developers make efficient use of the cloud infrastructure? If there are limits, what happens if a developer can not fit within them?

            Xbox Live didn’t pay for the online infrastructure specific to particular games in the current generation (if it did, publishers wouldn’t have been taking down game servers after a few years), so if this has changed I’d expect it should be easy to point at such a statement.

          • Well it is part of there online infrastructure right? and most likely they would want it to be used by as many company’s as possible, just like Xbox Live.

            And i don’t think they would be willing to allow users to use it for free, there is money to be made there and if it is locked to live gold members only your going to have to pay to use it.

            Why give away free bandwidth from the cloud, when your not willing to do it for Xbox Live.

          • Nope haven’t found anything, but did find that they are letting devs use the cloud for free, that’s a plus right.

            But in saying that do you really think that they will let the devs and users use the cloud for free, someone has to pay for the bandwidth.

          • @chobi77: it is developers I was asking about. If they are offering free service, it still leaves open the question of how they’ll manage the resources.

            If they aren’t using usage fees to get developers to make efficient use of the resources, presumably they have some resource limits in place. And if a developer needs more resources than they get with that limit, they’re then in the position of evaluating whether Microsoft’s cloud offers value for their money.

        • Yes Microsoft has explicitly stated the service is free and available to all developers to use( xblox live cost covers this i suppose), how much each company gets when it runs out is another story entirely. But i’d wager a game like Titanfall can have everything it wants, where as lesser known ones would have to get the scraps.

    • yep really hit the nail on the head. i’ve been working in the industry for 8 years (in the states for 4) and you are absolutely right. ea have a problem with free creative expression (similar to that of Hollywood). they deliberately make garbage games to force down our throats with terrible sim city-tier launches to set a low standard for “AAA” games so they can churn out as many as possible for the lowest cost (again – this is inside information for you folks – although i’m sure many of you have figured it out on your own by now). they only reason the games sell is because of the $$$ they slip into the pockets of major games journalism sites (not to name names, but eye jee enn and gamedot are some clues for ya). really the state of the modern games industry is what drove me to quit earlier this year and stick to expressing my self directly to the audience through indie games. glad to see folks are starting to come to their senses in regards to big devs like EA exploiting us. kudos folks.

    • ….like Sony?

      Tomb raider, crash bandicoot, spyro should I keep going?
      Metal Gear, Kingdom Hearts???
      You sir are a moron

      Also why the fuck are we talking about Titanfall 2 already the first game hasn’t even been released yet Jesus you guys at kotaku are lame

      • its worthy news to report considering everyone is frothing at the mouth to get their hands on Titanfall, including a lot of PS4 buyers (which includes me). Dont blame Kotaku because you are not interested in this one story. I for one am v. happy that the possibility of future games from the devs wont be xb exclusives.

      • What the hell crawled up your arse princess? Show me on this doll where the bad comment touched you.
        It’s true and in no way a stab at Microsoft who I assume you just started dating judging by your extreme response.

        Microsoft doesn’t hold on to it’s exclusives….not my fault, it’s theirs, get over it

  • I’m really curious as to how much that deal is worth. It would have to be in excess of potential lost sales to make it worth it for EA and I can’t see that being a small number.

    Edit: Not only sales of the game but lost DLC revenue in the future as well.

    • I like how everyone is saying the exact same thing. I’m sure if Sony had the exclusive no one would say they’re worried. Obvious moneyhatting is at place with this deal and it is a smart move on MSs part.

      • It’s more the recent change making it permanently exclusive, as opposed to one year.

        You don’t do that unless you think it’s a major drawcard.

        And yes: if Sony bought out a third party exclusivity deal last minute, I’d say they were spooked by something.

        • You don’t do that unless you think it’s a major drawcard.

          I dunno, if Microsoft have proven anything this generation it’s that they’ll chase exclusivity on a minor DLC pack for an obscure failed indy game. I would imagine Microsoft has been hounding them for complete exclusivity for a long time.
          I wouldn’t be surprised if the change was brought on by something on EA’s end rather than Microsoft. Perhaps Titanfall PS4 development hit a hurdle that suddenly made the money Microsoft was offering for complete exclusivity more tempting, or perhaps Microsoft just upped the offer. I would be surprised however if aiming for total exclusivity wasn’t Microsoft’s goal from the second negotiations opened.

          There may even be more than just money involved. Microsoft will try to finish what they started with the initial reveal of the XBOX One, perhaps EA see enough value in that to throw Microsoft a bone to keep them in the race.

      • But that’s the difference – Sony invest their money in developing their own AAA IP which they own, and as a result they’ve got the strongest lineup of first party development studios of any of the platform holders.

        For the money MS have spent on this they could have easily funded an entire new AAA IP of their own. Instead they’ve spent millions of dollars creating absolutely nothing and instead effectively renting the Titanfall IP from EA / Respawn. And in, say, 2 years when Titanfall 2 comes along MS find themselves owning nothing and instead have spent a whole lot of time and money promoting an IP which then shows up on their competitor’s system.

        So yeah, for the amount MS are spending here, XBox owners could have had Titanfall AND a new exclusive IP from MS, or they could have just Titanfall. As it turns out, they’re getting just Titanfall.

        • But it’s not the IP they care about. It’s the initial sales of the consoles to boost the install base.

        • Can you provide an article or evidence that buying a whole development company is the same price as buying exclusivity of one game… from an start-up development company.

        • HAHAHAHAHA. The idea that MS has money for one thing but not the other. That’s just hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

        • I think Sony do do it right, but to me it looks like the Sony developers don’t quite get the benefits that they deserve. I could be wrong.

          Uncharted and Uncharted 2 didn’t sell that well.

          MAG failed. That Smash Bros clone failed.

          Motorstorm Apocalypse struggled.

          Resistance never hit the heights of Halo.

          If I were a developer, I wouldn’t trust Sony to support me properly.

          • Uncharted 3, Uncharted 2 and Last of Us are the 6th, 7th and 8th highest selling games of the system. To have 3 games in the top 10 I’d say Naughty Dog are pretty happy with their deal.

          • Oh. I remember Gametrailers talking at U2s launch saying that it wasn’t selling that well.

          • I have no idea what the sales curve was so there’s every possibility that it was a slow starter.

          • I wouldn’t trust Sony not to support me. Remember when Lair release and it was a huge deal that it was terrible? A big part of that was Sony putting it up as a AAA mainstream must play title. The game probably wouldn’t have done well anyway, but it really could have done without Sony insisting it was going to be a revolution in gaming.

            Playstation All-Stars and Resistance have similar problems. Sony insists these games are on par with the games they’re being sent out to fight but they’re created in such a high pressure, unnatural process they never come out close to the originals. All-Stars is a good enough game that I don’t want to bash it, but being brutally honest it’s a cheap, transparent imitation of Smash Bros. It doesn’t have the cast, history or charm to do the impossible job Sony wanted it to do.
            It’s a running theme with Sony. If they see something on another console they feel they need to rush to put it on theirs. Maybe it’s brought on by the consumer electronics background where feature matching is technical not artistic?

            It’s funny because the things that make a Playstation worth owning are the things they’re doing the others aren’t. It’s like Japan trying to make American cartoons to export without realising anime is enough to cover that base.

          • It’s a running theme with Sony. If they see something on another console they feel they need to rush to put it on theirs.

            I agree with most of your sentiments, but is it fair to say that Resistance was rushed? There were 3 of them over the course of several years. The Vita version seems to have been rushed. Strangely.

            Maybe they were rushed – Resistance 3 was buggy.

            Maybe it’s brought on by the consumer electronics background where feature matching is technical not artistic?

            I wouldn’t agree with this, even if there is some truth in there. I say that because Sony seem to produce more artistic and immersive and creative titles than Nintendo or Microsoft (in my opinion). Heavy Rain, Beyond, Journey, Unfinished Swan.

          • Yeah Resistance isn’t quite the same as something like All-Stars, although I still think the root problem applies. Rushed probably isn’t the right choice of words. They’ll do something well, I think the SIXAXIS was a good product that never took off, but they sort of jump into a lot of things and skip the ‘why are we doing this? Is it to make a great product we intend to use or are we just doing this because Nintendo did? Do we have any use at all for this addition? What are our plans for this feature?’ conversation.
            Again, the SIXAXIS is a good product, it adds to the controller without hindering anything, but they didn’t make it because they had all these ideas for SIXAXIS games they wanted to make, they made it because the Wii remote was a thing.

            I wouldn’t agree with this, even if there is some truth in there. I say that because Sony seem to produce more artistic and immersive and creative titles than Nintendo or Microsoft (in my opinion). Heavy Rain, Beyond, Journey, Unfinished Swan.

            I’m not saying that applies to all their games. They do good work when it’s their own but when a competitor does something they seem to have a compulsion to keep up in a very one for one way. If a XBOX exclusive does well they try to counter the specific game, where they do better just building their own library of games.
            It’s sort of hung up on the ‘they’ve got surround sound on their sticker? We need it too’ line of thinking where consoles do better with broader thinking. You don’t counter Gears of War with a crappy cover based shooter full of gruff muscle men, you counter it by making your entire library so appealing that you’re willing to choose it over the XBOX 360 exclusives. I think Sony get that they’ve just got a bit of the old TV salesmen instincts leftover.

          • Again, the SIXAXIS is a good product, it adds to the controller without hindering anything, but they didn’t make it because they had all these ideas for SIXAXIS games they wanted to make, they made it because the Wii remote was a thing.

            You have a point, definitely. They do seem to have a lot of projects and seem to abandon them to some extent.

            Move is probably a more transparent example. A great piece of tech, released to massive hype and had the industrys focus for at least 5 minutes. There was a wash of half a dozen release titles, all rubbish, and then that was it. Sure there were the occassional releases some of which might be half decent but overall the Move was not supported.

            Maybe they’re right to throw things out there and see what works. I suppose that’s what everyone does to an extent.

  • Getting mildly frustrated by his anti-MS vibe here considering how can you ‘find out recently’ that it is a timed exclusive… if it wasn’t you would have some form of PS4 build sitting in the background… it’s absurd!

    • They probably DO have a PS4 build sitting somewhere that just won’t see the light of day now that the scope of the exclusivity agreement has been expanded.

    • They probably did but part of a timed exclusivity contract would be to stay silent about it until the times up.

  • What I don’t understand, and it would be great if someone could explain, is why did Zampella / Respawn need to work with a publisher anyway?

    They have hundreds of millions of dollars themselves.

    They’d easily be able to attract private investment, or bank finance should it be required.

    We’ve moved into the digital distribution and self publishing era.

    I don’t see that they need any financial or publishing or marketing assistance from EA or anyone else.

    • The thing about publishers is that they don’t just bankroll.

      I mean, it’s what they’re known for now, but back when games had to bankroll themselves, they were still very well-served hiring someone external to take care of certification testing, marketing, and distribution, which their own teams weren’t equipped to handle, or didn’t have the existing contacts and business relationships to handle. When a game turns up on Steam without going through Greenlight, it’s because a publisher got them there.

      Just because you can fund a project, doesn’t mean you don’t still want someone (such as a publisher) to tee up all those other functions.

      In the age of crowd-sourced funding, folks are trying to rail against publishers and push back against a lot of the (often artistically detrimental) creative meddling they were doing in order to try market-proof the investment they bankrolled… but we still see a lot of studios come crashing down without that whip, and without the extra cash injection that a publisher could (reluctantly) use to save the dev studio.

      • hiring someone external to take care of certification testing, marketing, and distribution

        Yeah, that makes sense – hiring an external organisation that specialises with certain functions etc. But is it enough to hand over control of what will inevitably be a billion dollar franchise? I would say no.

        When a game turns up on Steam without going through Greenlight, it’s because a publisher got them there.

        Yeah, but we’re talking Respawn here. They made CoD.

        Zimpella:- Hey Gabe, remember that franchise that has dominated the gaming industry for the last 8 years or so, well we’re the guys that created it. We’re making a new game. We think it’s rather good. Do you mind allowing us to sell that on Steam so that you can pocket a couple of hundred million dollars or so.

        Gabe:- Yeah, I suppose.

        • Yeah, but they still have to hire a guy to go over all the contracts and negotiations. Letting your Creative Director hire the legal side of things is how companies get swindled.

          Not having to staff the same sized legal department is one of the benefits of a studio sheltering under the umbrella of a publisher. Next time you watch some AAA game’s credits roll, check how many functions fall under the publisher’s heading. It’s pretty long. And distribution is more than just Steam, and there are people you have to hire to maintain and control those relationships.

          Could they have done it themselves? Sure, maybe. But they still would’ve had to hire people to staff those functions, and some options may have been entirely off the table to them. It wasn’t until recent criticism over indie-unfriendliness (and it might even still be the case) that Microsoft simply wasn’t allowing people onto XBL unless they went through a publishing company separate to the developer.

  • Ea is distribution partner for titanfall.
    EA published L4D etc.
    Any chance this game will be on steam?

  • What the hell were Sony doing when Respawn was started up? It would have been very unlikely for a studio with Respawns pedigree to create a bad game.

  • Whoever wrote this article is some sort of massive retard and really should be fired for how stupid he sounds. I’ve read that the deal for Titanfall is exclusive for one year. One year is a REALLY long time in gamer time to be hearing about how sweet something is and not try it out. Waiting for a sequel, assuming Titanfall is the genre redefining game we all hope it is, just makes the author sound disconnected from the realities of the gamer world and quite frankly an idiot. The whole reason I got on the original band wagon was because one of my friends got an XBox and bought Halo. After playing it a few times I said screw it a took the plunge. Now with Titanfall, I get the feeling that I’m going to be doing the same thing because I can’t imagine reading all the positive reviews and watching all the gameplay video and saying to myself, well I can wait a year.

  • I won’t buy titan fall 2 fuck respawns Microsoft loving asses I’ll not buy anything they make fuck shitty ea as well

  • Yes I hate Microsoft that much I will not buy anything that they had a hand in or anything made by ass holes who take money from them Microsoft is a pile of shit that will and currently is fucking up gaming I hope they go under with ea and respawn bunch of fucking tools buying up shit because their system sucks ass

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