If there ever was a price for the most improved shooter or gaming series, it surely would go to Titanfall 2. Improved gameplay elements, improved matchmaking, improved Titans, a more visceral feel to the controls, etc. I can go on and on about how this sequel trounces the original title. None of my praises for Titanfall 2 will matter if you, the reader, don’t give it a chance. It is relatively cheap to purchase used and although the overall player counter is low, finding a match, in whatever mode, is quite easy.
Titanfall 2 was launched amongst three massive titles – Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Call of Duty 4 Remastered. Many saw Battlefield 1 as a palate cleanser – a new take on lolling, old shooter concepts. A Call of Duty” video game will sell regardless of community outcry. And, the total sales for Infinite Warfare were going to be still significant. These significant sales were further guaranteed by the compulsory inclusion of Call of Duty 4 Remastered. With Titanfall 2 being sandwiched, its sales figures were destined to be negatively affected; Titanfall 2 launched a week after Battlefield 1 and a week before Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Prior to the launch of Titanfall 2, EA, especially Andrew Wilson (EA CEO), believed that a significant amount of gamers would pick up both Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
This idea of an individual more likely to purchase an additional product if he or she is already in a buying stance is not always applicable. Especially in an economically challenged financial atmosphere. You could say that this idea contributed to the success of the Assassin’s Creed franchise when its launch window was moved closer to that of early Call of Duty titles. This clearly isn’t the case anymore.
Looking back, you can successfully argue that “Substitution pricing” was prevalent and led to low sales of Titanfall 2. Gamers saw Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as substitutes for one another. And, these gamers only had money to purchase one of titles. To conclude, would Titanfall 2 have succeeded if it launched long before both Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?
I believe it would have, given that there wasn’t any other AAA shooter released within the same launch window.
And, is Titanfall 2 a failed franchise?
The general assumption by gamers is that Titanfall 2 is doing badly in terms of player count and sales. And this assumption started way back during the launch of the original title. During the early days of the original title’s launch, there were a few problems like latency, matchmaking, lack of content/modes, etc. And since most sales happen within the first few weeks, these problems led to a massive drop-off of players. Although the problems were fixed later on down the line, the cumulated negativity was still there. This negativity was also passed on to the sequel.
This cumulated negativity, which affected the title’s perception, combined with EA’s failed launch for it, contributed to Titanfall 2‘s setbacks. Titanfall 2 is a successful game that was and has been hamstrung by bad decisions by Publishing Executives.