The big news circulating the gaming industry at the moment is that Electronic Arts has recently purchased Respawn Entertainment. The news was made public via a press release, where the deal was valued at over $455 million.
In a statement on the official Respawn website, co-founder Vince Zampella explained that they’ll have access to new tech, and that they’ll retain their “creative freedom”, and that the games they’re currently working on won’t be affected…
“While it wasn’t necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn’t interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we’ve always had.
“I will still be running things at Respawn and will also be a part of the studio leadership team at EA. There will be no layoffs or major organization changes within Respawn. All games currently in development are continuing as planned.”
Respawn is currently working on a third-person Star Wars game, and it was announced back in May, as reported by IGN.
Kotaku is reporting that Respawn is also working on Titanfall 3, and that both the Star Wars game and Titanfall 3‘s Metacritic success will determine whether or not Respawn gets studio bonuses. So, if either or both games fail… be ready to buy a digital burial box and mourn for the loss.
This news of an acquisition comes right on the heels of Electronic Arts closing down Visceral Games. A lot of gamers are dumbfounded by Respawn’s decision to sign the contract with EA when they’re known for gutting and killing popular studios, but according to Zampella it wasn’t because the studio was in financial straits or because they were desperate. They just wanted the opportunity to work exclusively under EA.
Typically, Titanfall 3 began trending after Zampella mentioned in the Q&A on the site that they are continuing to work on the Titanfall franchise, and gamers have been calling out the likelihood of what will happen with the game and the studio in a few years when it launches.
Titanfall 3 with all gray titans and loot boxes to give them color. And play to win. And 6 dlcs at $20 each
— Red Racer (@iam_redracer) November 9, 2017
Titanfall 3 will fail, calling it now.
— Rokon (@NeroZero2009) November 9, 2017
Next headline: titanfall 3 to offer loot box micro transactions and $120 season pass . Also, hype for titanfall 3 at all time low
— Jared (@JaredHB) November 9, 2017
Titanfall 2 announcer: Pilot, your Titan is almost ready.
Titanfall 3 announcer: Pilot, if you buy a few loot boxes, you could have that Titan right now!
— BeatenDownBrian (@BeatenDownBrian) November 9, 2017
Who’s ready for Titanfall 3 with multiple editions and microtransactions and loot boxes out the ass? 😀 Followed by inevitable closure of the studio, of course.
— Scy Storm (@ScyStorm) November 9, 2017
Wow, so Titanfall 3, Star Wars, the mystery VR game and then closure. EA in for the long haul this time round I see.
— Callum Schofield (@cal92scho) November 10, 2017
The trending hashtag isn’t very positive for the outlook on Titanfall 3 as a game or Respawn’s future as a development studio.
There’s a long list of top-name developers who have been shut down while under EA’s publishing umbrella and the publisher just cleared out BioWare Montreal earlier this year after the failure of Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they just closed down Visceral Games several weeks ago. Those studios join Bullfrog, Westwood Studios, Black Box Games, Maxis and plenty more.
It’s not a matter of “If” with EA, but a matter of “When”.
Let’s not forget that EA sacrificed the sales potential and market bandwidth of Titanfall 2 by attempting to use it to cannibalize the sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The publisher sandwiched it between the release of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, resulting in the game getting lost in the holiday shuffle.
The deal will supposedly see Respawn under EA’s label up until 2022, so we’ll see if they can survive that long but it would be a miracle if they did.