Respawn Explains Titanfall’s Multiplayer Only Dynamic, Going For ‘Something Different’

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After turning more than a few industry heads at the E3 conference in LA last week, Titanfall has established itself as the one to watch for the Xbox community. While Respawn Entertainment’s first-person shooter is also coming to PC in early 2014, this is a game that lit up the Galen theatre with its bombastic action and relentless gameplay last week. However, without a single player campaign, Titanfall will launch as an exclusively multiplayer title – similarly to 2010’s rather feeble MAG – which is a decision that the developers believe ‘made sense.’

“We make these single-player missions that take up all the focus of the studio, that take a huge team six months to make, and players run through it in 8 minutes,” said Zampella. “And how many people finish the single-player game? It’s a small percentage. It’s like, everyone plays through the first level, but 5 percent of people finish the game.”

“Really, you split the team. They’re two different games. They’re balanced differently, they’re scoped differently. But people spend hundreds of hours in the multiplayer experience versus ‘as little time as possible rushing to the end’ [in single-player]. So why do all the resources go there? To us it made sense to put it here. Now everybody sees all those resources, and multiplayer is better. For us it made sense.”

In truth, dividing a studio’s resources to accommodate a multiplayer component can result in an online experience that feels idly tacked-on – such as Tomb Raider earlier this year. What’s more, given Respawn’s humble size – the studio comprises of sixty developers in total – it seems like a sound decision to concentrate Titanfall’s vision.

Founded in their departure from Infinity Ward almost three years ago, Jason West and Vince Zampella have carved out an independent games development in the form of Respawn. And though the studio may have strands of Call Of Duty within its DNA, Zampella has ensured that Titanfall marks a significant departure from Activison’s franchise.

“Honestly, we’re not shipping the same time as them,” Zampella said. “We’re going for something different. We’re not gunning for Call of Duty. We’re doing our thing. The important thing is to make sure what we’re doing is fun. I’m OK with Call of Duty being big. I helped create it, so I’m proud to see it’s something so big that it goes beyond me.”

With a nebulous release date set for Spring 2014, Respawn have shied away from the late-in-the-year battleground typically occupied by Call of Duty and Battlefield. A commendable decision, no doubt, as it gives Titanfall enough breathing space to manoeuvre its impressive metallic anatomy. And though the game won’t deliver a concrete narrative in a conventional campaign, the studio has confirmed that elements of an overarching plot will be represented during the game’s online play.

Titanfall will deploy for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC sometime in early 2014. In the meantime, give us your early impressions of the game in the comments below.