Opinion: EA found its duty killer and made a titanic mistake

To say that EA is obsessed with Call of Duty would be an understatement. The publisher has been desperately trying to remove Activision’s multi-format cash cow ever since Infinity Ward – a studio originally made up of Medal of Honor veterans, we hasten to add – changed the entire first-person arena one at a time, poorly balanced. advantage at the same time. It has poured more money into the problem than a small nation’s military department, even attempting to resurrect the aforementioned brand through now-defunct Los Angeles-based developer Danger Close. However, as rumors perpetuate that Dead Space studio Visceral Games is preparing a police-themed Battlefield spinoff to counter Glen Schofield’s next-gen sequel, it’s hard not to shoot a wry smile at the company’s overall direction. Californian, because he already has the ammunition to take down Captain Price and the crew, only he has missed the target completely.

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Given the overwhelmingly positive press and public hype surrounding Titanfall, it’s clear Respawn Entertainment’s inaugural outing is shaping up to be a colossal success on an even bigger scale than its titular mechs. It’s also not much of a surprise, as this is the first deployment from a developer who single-handedly shaped the state of the shooter as we know it today. For those out of the loop, the Sherman Oaks studio is run by Vince Zampella, the same executive who helped found Infinity Ward and later played a major role in building Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. After being caught goofing off with the antagonist, the series creator was fired from his position at Activision in 2010, and subsequently signed a contract with EA Partners, bringing most of his team along for the ride. .

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Ignore the industry’s almost incestuous game of musical chairs, however, and you’ll eventually get to the heart of the matter: the key players behind Call of Duty’s ascension are hitting for the other team. It may be a corporate seminar cliché, but it takes the best to beat the best, and we dare say Zampella’s signature etched a huge smile on the stony features of then-CEO John Riccitiello. However, given recent events, we’d be surprised if that wide grin of yesteryear hasn’t been replaced by a despondent despondency through the juvenile courts of newly recruited Australian sir Andrew Wilson, as somehow the American publisher has managed to squander his chance to smash Activision’s record mark. Well, at least for the moment.

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An increasingly nervous LarryMayor Nelson Hryb told a pink-haired presenter while wearing an outrageous headdress at E3 last summer. Microsoft used the first-person shooter as a barrier against its abhorrent DRM policies, pointing to the product’s exclusivity as an example of why consumers should put down, shut up, and pick up an Xbox One. However, contrary to what the company wanted Believe it or not, the game wasn’t a true exclusive in the sense of the word at the time – a trait that remained true even when you ignored the version’s overlooked Xbox 360 and PC iterations. “A PS4 version]is definitely not out of the question,” artist Joel Emslie told Eurogamer.net last summer. So-called industry insiders say the port was even in the preliminary stages of production.

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All that changed last October, when a truckload of money from Redmond clearly courted a weak EA. Nonchalantly announced during a boring investor meeting, the publisher obliquely emphasized that Respawn Entertainment’s shooter would remain exclusive to Microsoft’s system for the “life” of the release. Even the aforementioned Vince Zampella seemed surprised, taking to Twitter to comfort furious fans about the nature of the reveal. “Always exclusive at launch,” he stressed. “EA made a deal for the rest, we found out about it recently.” The lawsuit ended that message with a frown pointing to the ground, showing its displeasure with the money-driven decision. Speculation suggests that the original contract was only going to last twelve months at most, meaning the title would end everywhere in 2015.

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While it’s easy to applaud the shrewd business that Xbox executives are doing, it’s impossible to dismiss the idea that EA may have made a mistake. CFO Blake Jorgensen hinted earlier this year that the deal was signed based on his internal projections of the current console war, and that he assumed the Microsoft machine would come out on top. However, statistics show that Sony is moving ahead at an alarming rate with the PlayStation 4, surpassing sales in the region of 5.3 million, with stock shortages still widespread. The NPD data adds that the Japanese manufacturer is even outperforming its closest rival in North America, a nation specifically targeted by its competitor for launch. As a result, Titanfall will miss out on a huge chunk of the next-gen market.

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There’s no question that the publisher was probably handsomely rewarded for the commitment, but this all brings us back to our original point: EA is obsessed with beating Call of Duty. We’ll never know if exclusivity has revved up the hype around Respawn Entertainment’s first-person shooter, but given how much praise has been directed at the parkour-inspired escapade for purely gaming purposes, we suspect the anticipation would still be higher if the title took advantage of the larger install base of the next generation. Of course, the launch is going to continue to perform exceptionally well, of that we have no doubt, but without the breadth of the PlayStation brand to catapult it to cosmic levels of success, it seems certain that Call of Duty is going to remain king of the genre for good. now. The unfortunate news for the cross-platform publisher is that it will have to hold out for at least another two years before it gets a second chance to end the slaughter of its adversary.

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Do you agree that EA has misjudged the market with Titanfall, or do you think the title’s exclusivity has raised the game’s profile? Are you hoping that the inevitable sequel to the shooter will come to PS4, or do you think Microsoft will find a way to lock down the franchise? Burn our card in the comments section below.

Do you think EA made a mistake with the Titanfall exclusivity? (113 votes)

Yeah, the game would be absolutely huge on PS4

73%

hmmm i’m not sure

12%

No, the version will continue to work very well despite everything

14%

Please log in to vote in this poll.

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