EA: Titanfall is a ‘Franchise That Will Be Around for a Long, Long Time’
Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said Tuesday that Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall is a franchise the publisher sees as having long-term appeal.
“I can’t yet tell you about the extension or digital strategies, but more to come on that,” Jorgensen told an audience at the Stifel Technology, Internet & Media Conference in San Francisco, responding to a question about digital content strategy for Titanfall after its launch. “As you can imagine, this will be a franchise that’s around for a long, long time. I think people will be very excited.”
The comment and others suggests that EA sees Titanfall potentially to be a tent pole shooter franchise, and Jorgensen spoke about Titanfall, Battlefield and the newly acquired Star Wars: Battlefront as being “core franchises” for the publisher.
He also mentioned that despite all technically falling into the same genre, Titanfall, Battlefield and Battlefront all are significantly different from one another in scope and approach; Battlefield centers on realistic, military based 64-player battles, while Titanfall’s smaller 12-player battles and futuristic aesthetic occupy another niche, and Battlefront will heavily leverage the Star Wars franchise.
“All three of those are different, all three of those can coexist in any one year, and we feel like they’re pillars for us going forward in an area where the consumer really wants to have that kind of excitement in a video game,” Jorgensen said.
The CFO also responded to questions about how EA and Respawn intend to avoid problems with Titanfall’s launch after the largely broken launch of Battlefield 4 last year. He said part of the problem was Battlefield developer DICE’s adjustment to the newly released Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
“I think the one thing to remember on Battlefield, Battlefield is an extremely complicated, very big, large, expansive game — 64 players, 60 frames per second, built on a new console that was essentially just coming out,” Jorgensen said. “You tend to have very challenging development on games like that, and we’ve been very focused on making sure that any issues that we’ve had have been patched or repaired, or provided updates.”
Meanwhile, Titanfall is, in many ways, a less complex game, partially because it’s only launching on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. That will help with launch issues, he said.
“I’d say Titanfall has had more time on that platform,” Jorgensen said. “The team’s very experienced — they’re very experience on building a game and it’s only a single platform game, so it makes it less complicated. Doesn’t have as much multiplayer, it’s 12 multiplayer. It is 60 frames per second, so it is a beautiful game, but I believe that the team has done a great job, and we’re always trying to take lessons learned from previous issues and build them into the new game. You never know exactly what will happen when you start to run through all the gyrations that our consumers alwayss run through, but we’re always there to make sure that it’s getting updated and robust over time and make sure that the consumer experience is fantastic.”
Titanfall is set to launch on March 11 for PC and Xbox One, and on March 25 on Xbox 360.