Why One of The Year’s Best Games Isn’t Selling
Titanfall 2 isn’t just a great game; it’s a modern video game miracle.
Modest sales aside, the original Titanfall was a disappointment. The game that was supposed to be Xbox One’s killer app ended up serving as a decent shooter that failed to hold people’s attention for long. Titanfall‘s servers became barren wastelands just months after the game’s launch.
The sequel manages to capture the magic that was missing from the first game. It adds a single-player mode that arguably could have been a separate game. It incorporates a level of personality the first game was missing. Most importantly, it tweaks a few little things in the multiplayer mode just enough to help the “fun, but forgettable” matches of the original title become something special.
Titanfall 2 may very well end up becoming the majority consensus game of the year. It’s just a shame that nobody is buying it.
Recent reports reveal that Titanfall 2‘s UK sales figures are far below expectations. The game is not only failing to top sales charts, it’s failing to match the initial figures of its predecessor. Given that this was a multiplatform release and not an Xbox One exclusive like the first game, that’s not good. Neither are the predictions that Titanfall 2 is likely going to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 6 million fewer units than initially predicted.
What went wrong? Everything. Titanfall 2‘s problems started the moment that Titanfall failed to meet expectations. The game wasn’t bad, but it failed to excite enough people in a meaningful way. As such, the reveal of the sequel didn’t yield the hype a franchise follow-up should. The developers did themselves no favors when they released an open beta for the game that was plagued with issues fixed in the final version.
Most importantly, Titanfall 2 was released after Battlefield 1 and before Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. While those are all very different games despite the fact they are all first-person shooters, Call of Duty and Battlefield have loyal followings that treat every release like an instant purchase. Titanfall doesn’t have that. At least it doesn’t have as large of a fanbase. Yet, developer Respawn Entertainment decided to literally insert themselves in the middle of a war they had little chance of winning.
It’s not entirely their fault. They made a great game, after all. The fact is that the video game industry can no longer support this back-end, holiday season influx of major titles. It’s an outdated concept that hearkens back to a time when parents bought the newest game on the shelf just in time for the holidays. For years, it was gamers and their wallets that suffered because of this practice.
Ultimately, one of the best Triple-A games of the year might fail to find its audience because of a matter of timing. Let’s hope that future games benefit from this costly lesson.