When Call of Duty developers Jason West and Vince Zampella jumped ship to create their own game studio (dubbed Respawn Entertainment) and announced that they would be working on a mech-centric game, gamers sat up and took notice. The idea of having two of the brightest minds in the FPS genre helming a futuristic mech game sounded appealing, and the ensuing title, Titanfall, became hotly anticipated. But when it finally released, many thought that the ambitious shooter ended up missing the mark. It’s lack of a single player mode and focus on multiplayer only made gamers lose interest in the title quickly, and its lacklustre post-launch support ensured the following of the game eventually stagnated.
But even with its less-than-stellar reception, Respawn knew that Titanfall wasn’t dead just yet. The futuristic shoot-em-up still had plenty of meat on its bones, and West and Zampella intended to see the title reach greatness. Thus, Titanfall 2 was quickly announced, and now Respawn has revealed that the franchise will be branching from consoles onto the lucrative smartphone and tablet market.
With an anticipated 2016 launch, these new mobile entries in the burgeoning Titanfall series will be co-developed by Respawn in conjunction with Particle City, a new upstart mobile developer coincidentally founded by Respawn CEO Vince Zampella and business partner Larry Pacey. The announcement also revealed that Korean mobile publishing giant Nexon will be taking on publishing duties for the title, with Zampella calling the partnership “momentous,” saying in a statement:
“Nexon’s unrivaled publishing network and free-to-play expertise will allow Titanfall to reach new global audiences.”
The emphasis on Nexon’s standard “free-to-play” model may leave some Titanfall fans nervous, as this method can often lead to lacklustre games that put emphasis on microtransactions over memorable gameplay. But Nexus is well acquainted with the Titanfall franchise, having previously announced a partnership with Respawn back in August to release a free-to-play PC version of Titanfall for the Asian market.
While reception for Titanfall was mixed, the game went on to move over 10 million units, showing that the series has a following. With Respawn hard at work on a proper sequel for Titanfall, these mobile spin-offs will help to expand the rich world of the franchise and could potentially help to expand the fanbase of the game. But it remains to be seen if the robot punching, jetpack boosting, guns blazing gameplay of Titanfall can successfully make the transition to the world of on-the-go gaming.