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The Final Hours of Titanfall Out Now - Titanfall Almost Never Happened

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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Free Chapter: https://medium.com/p/cfc0fd1be7e (covers dev issues)

http://www.appstore.com/thefinalhoursoftitanfall

Of the same vein as The Final Hours of Portal 2, Geoff Keighley released The Final Hours of Titanfall today on the app store.

A Kotaku article by Jason Schreier has a good re-cap of it
http://kotaku.com/titanfall-was-almost-destroyed-by-lawsuits-1563797787?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

Here's a few quick quotes:
Kotaku said:
"On certain days almost half the company would crowd into the conference room for multi-hour meetings with lawyers. Often those discussions would spill over into the afternoon with debates about the latest legal maneuver. The rest of the company was supposed to be heads-down working on the game, but one Google Alert about the lawsuit sent development into a tailspin for the rest of the afternoon."
Keighley describes one particularly harrowing meeting in July of 2012. Not long after the lawsuit was settled, Respawn employees got a meeting invitation titled "Come to Jesus." The purpose:p

"What West hoped would be a constructive dialectic turned into an all-out lynching," Keighley writes. "Pent-up feelings burst into the open. Employee after employee complained about the rushed way the lawsuit had been settled. Many attacked West directly and complained that he hadn't properly balanced his time between the lawsuit and the game, which he had largely ignored for the better part of a year."P

In early 2013, Kotaku broke news that West had left Respawn. We'd heard that he left for family issues—namely, that he was moving to be closer to his mom, who had come down with a respiratory illness—but there's more to the story: the lawsuits and difficulty at Respawn drove West away from the company he helped found.
Note on lack of PS4 development via Randomwab:

A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
 

JayEH

Junior Member
Dec 3, 2013
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Interesting.People may not like Geoff but he puts out good stuff like this. I'll probably go ahead and pick this up.

That West story is really sad. Guess he probably has enough money that he doesn't need to work anymore though.
 

iMax

Member
Dec 5, 2012
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I've never bought one of these, but am thinking about this. is it basically a long article?
It's fantastic. It's basically a big interactive eBook in the guise of an app, historically stuffed full of anecdotes, artwork, videos, and other content documenting the development of a game right up until its "final hours". Portal 2 was awesome.
 

Cess007

Member
Nov 22, 2012
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Interesting read. Tho my interest on Titanfall is not enough to buy a XBO (or upgrade my PC to play it on it) it's good to know that after all they went through, they still could finish their game and make some good profit.

Also, i love reading this kind of stuff, i wish there were more "behind the curtains"-kind of articles for other games.
 

Baconmonk

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Oct 28, 2007
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Why is this an iTunes exclusive? I understand charging for this, but why keep a large chunk of the gaming community away from this?
 

solarus

Member
Oct 24, 2009
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Why is this an iTunes exclusive? I understand charging for this, but why keep a large chunk of the gaming community away from this?
Umm
"You can get the book on iOS, PC, Mac, Kindle, Android, and Surface" according to kotaku
I just checked myself and can confirm that it is on kindle.
 
Oct 17, 2005
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It's fantastic. It's basically a big interactive eBook in the guise of an app, historically stuffed full of anecdotes, artwork, videos, and other content documenting the development of a game right up until its "final hours". Portal 2 was awesome.
So I should buy this for my tablet and not my e-ink ereader? The Kindle store has it listed already, and I may just buy it on there and read it on an android tablet.
 

iMax

Member
Dec 5, 2012
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So I should buy this for my tablet and not my e-ink ereader? The Kindle store has it listed already, and I may just buy it on there and read it on an android tablet.
I don't use a kindle but these things are usually very interactive with lots of rich content, so I'd probably be averse to reading it on an eReader.
 

Jito

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Jul 10, 2013
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I bought it for the art work and behind the scenes look at the game but it also covers a lot of the IW vs Activision trial and early days at Respawn. Really good read!
 

randomwab

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Mar 2, 2007
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Just finished reading it. One of the most frank behind the scenes I've seen of a "troubled development" since the Halo 2 making of DVD. It's speaks volumes of Respawn that it turned out so well in the end, and also some interesting explanations as to why it didn't hit the PS4 and why single player was eventually cut.
 

Salvor.Hardin

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Apr 6, 2010
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Just finished reading it. One of the most frank behind the scenes I've seen of a "troubled development" since the Halo 2 making of DVD. It's speaks volumes of Respawn that it turned out so well in the end, and also some interesting explanations as to why it didn't hit the PS4 and why single player was eventually cut.
Could you share some details on why it didn't hit the PS4?
 

randomwab

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Mar 2, 2007
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Could you share some details on why it didn't hit the PS4?
A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
 

Salvor.Hardin

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Apr 6, 2010
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A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
Woah. I wasn't expecting that. Especially after the shit that was flung at Zampella following the exclusive announcement. He was essentially painted as a money grubbing fiend on message boards everywhere.
 

wrowa

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Jul 26, 2006
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I've got no interest in Titanfall at all, but I think I'll pick this up regardless. The "Final Hours" usually make for a great read.
 

ethomaz

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A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
I can see why Sony didn't wanted to talk about the next PlayStation too soon... they almost surprised everybody (even developer partners) with the console hardware reveal.

I think only first-party studios like Santa Monica, Naught Dogs, etc are really opened to know about the PS4 before the reveal.
 
Jul 22, 2007
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Yeah, they definitely cut out the single player. What's in there now is just a bunch of multiplayer matches loosely tied together by some radioplay gibberish. Hopefully, Titanfall 2 is more of a fleshed out experience.
 

Gorillaz

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Jun 13, 2012
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A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
That's actually pretty interesting. Sounds like a Sony being Sony and not actually being aware of anything.

Which pretty much described them during a large amount of last gen.
 

RPGamer92

Banned
Apr 25, 2011
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Man imagine if Sony had picked this up and announced it as PS exclusive last E3 in addition to no DRM and $399.
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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A couple different reasons. Essentially, Microsoft was talking with them about Durango very early on and courting them to move Titanfall over to that. They asked Sony if they could talk to them about the next Playstation, but Sony constantly said they weren't ready to discuss. It even mentions Sony were willing to help Respawn to get a Vita version of the game. It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.

It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
Added to OP, that's pretty crazy. People blame EA and MS for buying an exclusive but in reality Sony declined to meet about the game and MS essentially saved it from being canned.
 

Gorillaz

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I'm actually wondering if behind the scenes at Sony, that this was one of the reasons they started to heavily push this whole "arms wide open" mentality and trying to get everybody and everything on board with them. Could have been a wake up call.
 

Salvor.Hardin

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Added to OP, that's pretty crazy. People blame EA and MS for buying an exclusive but in reality Sony declined to meet about the game and MS essentially saved it from being canned.
Weren't there some notable 'insiders' on this very board claiming that MS money hatted exclusivity? Embarrassing stuff.
 

The Albatross

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Apr 15, 2010
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Wow, sounds like a really interesting read.

How do you get this? Why is it on the App store? Is it... an app?

Hoping it's released on Google Play / Kindle / etc.
 

Goodacre0081

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It also mentions that at a point later in development, Zampella and West sat down with Riccitiello to tell him that they didn't have enough manpower to develop for any consoles other than Xbone and, maybe, PC, and that Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
isn't it EAs responsibility to fund game development in the first place? i find it hard to believe the biggest game publisher in the world had to go and "Find" money.
 

Neuromancer

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They cut single player huh? But I was told by top internet men that there was never going to be a single player campaign and that I was a bad person for asking about it because it wasn't Respawn's vision and it was going to be terrible anyway. =(

Edit: and only 5% of players finish single player too
 

Wereroku

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Weren't there some notable 'insiders' on this very board claiming that MS money hatted exclusivity? Embarrassing stuff.
Technically Microsoft did pay money for exclusivity so that would be a correct statement. The fact that it was needed for continued development was the same as with Dead Rising 3. It is really strange that they were so quiet with Respawn when they consulted with other studios so much.
 

Into

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Aug 20, 2012
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Added to OP, that's pretty crazy. People blame EA and MS for buying an exclusive but in reality Sony declined to meet about the game and MS essentially saved it from being canned.

The details of this "discussion" are so scarce that you can make up just about anything up to suit your narrative, which you so eloquently did. For all we know Respawn wanted Sony to help them fund the game, which actually at least fits with the narrative in the post you quoted that they "almost ran out of money". Sony apparently said no.

MS was willing to throw around cash, which contradicts what you are trying to even disprove here with your theory. Hence they paid money, aka buying.

Pachter's theory was that the deal was made when John Riccitiello was still in charge at EA, and reason they made the deal was because John Riccitiello was certain MS was going to kick Sony's ass, this is almost word-for-word what Pachter said. While Pachters predictions can be off, i see no reason why he would outright lie about this, and if he did lie, i imagine EA would be livid.

The Pach Episode this was discussed: http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/f82fvz/pach-attack--will-titanfall-2-be-xbox-exclusive-
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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Wow, sounds like a really interesting read.

How do you get this? Why is it on the App store? Is it... an app?

Hoping it's released on Google Play / Kindle / etc.
It's on all the stores I just don't have links for them. It's an interactive article. Has images and a ton of content along with the text. Pretty cool. There's one for Portal 2 and Tomb Raider (I think?) that Keighley has done.
 

Tunesmith

formerly "chigiri"
Oct 16, 2004
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isn't it EAs responsibility to fund game development in the first place? i find it hard to believe the biggest game publisher in the world had to go and "Find" money.
If Respawn was an EA studio, then yes. The EA Partners program, which Respawn is part of doesn't involve EA fronting all the funds to develop.
 

justsomeguy

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Respawn was essentially out of money and the game would need to be delayed and that they'd cut single player. EA ended up having to find the funding for the project with a first party, and Microsoft were willing to put up the money to actually finish the game.
Interesting perspective on the usual "destructive Microsoft moneyhat" angle. Also: more fool Sony for not talking to them, what a mistake.
 

Chairhome

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It mentions that they essentially pleaded with Sony, saying "Listen, things are about to be locked in behind the scenes. If you want this, please talk to us", which Sony again declined.
But internet told me moneyhats
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Apr 24, 2008
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The details of this "discussion" are so scarce that you can just about anything up to suit your narrative, which you so eloquently did. For all we know Respawn wanted Sony to help them fund the game, which actually at least fits with the narrative in the post you quoted that they "almost ran out of money".

MS was willing to throw around cash, which contradicts what you are trying to even disprove here with your theory.

Pachter's theory was that the deal was made when John Riccitiello was still in charge at EA, and reason they made the deal was because John Riccitiello was certain MS was going to kick Sony's ass, this is almost word-for-word what Pachter said. While Pachters predictions can be off, i see no reason why he would outright lie about this, and if he did lie, i imagine EA would be livid.
I'm just going based on the info we were given. Respawn went to Sony, got turned away, went again right before they had to lock down development and specify systems and Sony declined again. That's true.

It also reads like EA didn't put up cash and MS came and said they would, as they needed the game to be finished because it was to be their big game on Xbox One. It sounds like without MS' money it would have not gotten done.
 

Dabanton

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May 25, 2007
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Weren't there some notable 'insiders' on this very board claiming that MS money hatted exclusivity? Embarrassing stuff.
It also makes a certain banned 'insiders' recent claims in the last NPD thread that Sony showed EA execs how much money they lost out on by not bringing the game to PS4. And then had the EA execs begging for forgiveness even more hilarious.