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

Gorillaz

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Jun 13, 2012
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Well you cant look at this completely that way. Early pitches can be very different from the look of the finalized project. Many games change in scope and form over their production, which is exactly what happened with Titanfall.

Recent example of this is Remember Me. Dontnod pitched a early draft of the game to Sony, who refused them. Then they redesigned the game a lot, found Capcom, and managed to get the funding to release pretty nice action/adventure.
It was more of a tongue and cheek thing lol. I remember small parts of Remember Me being pitched.
 

randomwab

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It reads to me like Respawn were so stretched for cash that the platform holders would have had to fund the game. When they tried to 'talk' to Sony I'm betting it was about money to finish the game. Sony said no but MS said yes and here we are. It's interesting stuff for sure.
They were speaking to platform holders to lock down their development at the beginning of 2012. The money issues didn't come up until the end of that year.
 

Into

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Aug 20, 2012
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Yes money was involved but it isn't the type of money hatting people are thinking of when they make those posts, painting microsoft as evil and stealing the game away when in reality, without their funding, this game wouldn't exist.

Anyone who tells you that a company is "evil" because they broke some unwritten, made up "rule" in a industry that has very few rules except the ones FCC pushes on them, you can easily ignore them.

Nothing wrong with funding/money hatting/buying exclusives. Sony inadvertently did it in PSX days when they took less of a cut on software than Nintendo, making third parties richer. It was smart, and deliberate on their part.

EDIT: I didnt even saw that mort post. Its not unrealistic that a meeting between higher ups/execs consisted of talking about "would-be" scenarios, that is quite common. But the part about EA being "so fucking sorry, Sony" is hard believe. I just cannot see that being uttered, in that language or any other. But i have no source on the matter.
 

RamzaIsCool

The Amiga Brotherhood
Jan 2, 2006
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It reads to me like Respawn were so stretched for cash that the platform holders would have had to fund the game. When they tried to 'talk' to Sony I'm betting it was about money to finish the game. Sony said no but MS said yes and here we are. It's interesting stuff for sure.
But that doesn't really explain what happened when the game went full-on Xbox console exlusive. That happened a month or so before the console launches. Is there something about that in the documentary?
 

bigbaldwolf86

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Aug 30, 2012
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They were speaking to platform holders to lock down their development at the beginning of 2012. The money issues didn't come up until the end of that year.
Ok I get it. I don't understand why EA had to find funds though. Surely they have enough money to fund 100 Titanfall games themselves. Unless Respawn declimed direct funds from EA because they would have to give up the IP. I don't know what's going on lol
 
Jun 27, 2010
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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.
Why didn't EA just put up the money? Very strange.

I guess this explains why TF1 will forever be an X1 exclusive.
 

gamechanger87

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Jul 10, 2013
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But that doesn't really explain what happened when the game went full-on Xbox console exlusive. That happened a month or so before the console launches. Is there something about that in the documentary?
EA and MS signed a high-level agreement for exclusivity over a number of things and TF #1 was one of them.

At least that is what I got out of it.
 
Why didn't EA just put up the money? Very strange.

I guess this explains why TF1 will forever be an X1 exclusive.
If I had to guess, they looked at the budget and thought they'd lose money after the original three year sum ran out, especially since the game was somewhat falling apart at the time.

The free chapter here reflects how troubled it was at the time: https://medium.com/p/cfc0fd1be7e
 

Daemul

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Jan 26, 2014
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Ah yes I remember that.
Sony also used it's own metrics in a meeting with EA last week and showed them what they would have sold on the ps3 and ps4. The money EA took from MS doesn't even begin to cover it. The EA guys went over the math and agreed. EA is in full "We're so fucking sorry, Sony" mode currently.


I looked at the original message and that entire post of his reeks of BS.
 

Memorabilia

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Oct 25, 2013
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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.
I'd view it more as a strategic move on Sony's part. Right or wrong, they obviously only trusted 1st party studios to keep PS4 hardware a secret right up to the reveal (no doubt bc those 1st party NDAs have real teeth as in it could cost someone their job). Given how things turned out with the significant difference in horsepower between Xbone and PS4 its difficult to say Sony was wrong to be so secretive. They may have lost the 1st version of a big release like Titanfall, but they prevented even the chance of a leak of the PS4's specs and thereby gained a guranteed generational advantage. MS was kept out of the loop, went into the design phase over-confident, and was unable to make any adjustments. A leak in 2012 would have potentially given MS time to try to match the PS4.

I love Titanfall (despite its major flaws its amazingly fun)...and I think theres evidence it has helped MS sell some consoles...but I'd argue Sony made the right choice. After all, absent an ungodly amount of money thrown at Respawn for the sequel, Titanfall 2 will be on both platforms. And PS4 will still have its generational advantage.
 
Jun 27, 2010
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It also makes a certain banned 'insiders' recent claims in the last NPD thread that Sony showed EA execs how much money they lost our by not bringing the game to PS4. And then had the EA begging forgiveness even more hilarious.
I missed this. Can someone bring me up to speed please.
 
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But that doesn't really explain what happened when the game went full-on Xbox console exlusive. That happened a month or so before the console launches. Is there something about that in the documentary?
My guess is that Microsoft was funding the game's completion so they treated it like any other project they were funding and got exclusive rights for it.
 

Into

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Lack of a PS3 version, a console that ex IW guys have developed games on, suggests that its not just about "lack of PS4 information".

Because they had more than enough information about the 80 million user base of the PS3. And that version does not exist


Hence why MS funding the development makes sense. Why would Microsoft help fund a PS3 version or pay programmers to develop that version, it makes no sense.
 

alatif113

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Nov 11, 2013
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money was involved or else there would be a ps3 version seeing as the specs for that were known at the time of developement...
 

Smokey

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I missed this. Can someone bring me up to speed please.
Sony also used it's own metrics in a meeting with EA last week and showed them what they would have sold on the ps3 and ps4. The money EA took from MS doesn't even begin to cover it. The EA guys went over the math and agreed. EA is in full "We're so fucking sorry, Sony" mode currently.
.
 

Gorillaz

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Jun 13, 2012
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I'd view it more as a strategic move on Sony's part. Right or wrong, they obviously only trusted 1st party studios to keep PS4 hardware a secret right up to the reveal
Did they? I could have sworn some 1st party mentioned the 8GB thing was a surprise to them too.


edit: you also could say that the decision to leave out the PS3 was alot more of a head turner. Why not just make it X1,360 and PS3? And if MS and Sony weren't feeling it then why not just make it a last gen game altogether?
 

Memorabilia

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Ok I get it. I don't understand why EA had to find funds though. Surely they have enough money to fund 100 Titanfall games themselves. Unless Respawn declimed direct funds from EA because they would have to give up the IP. I don't know what's going on lol
Well, I havent looked at EA's financials lately...but I do know they pay the NFL $250 million per year for the exclusive NFL licensing deal. Thats a lot of cash to shovel out annually. The original 5 yr deal was for a billion + and it was renewed at an escalating rate as far as I understand. So, yeah, basically they have a shit-ton of cash.
 

randomwab

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People asking why EA didn't put up the money, it might be because as of fall 2012, the game was kind of a mess by the sounds of it and "people at EA" wanted the plug pulled on it.

At that point, it was still called Titan Wars, and the gameplay involved all pilots starting in titans until they were doomed, then jumping out and running around as a pilot on foot to act as a "second life" in an attempt to fix the insta-death issue of CoD. It was only around March 13 that they changed it around to starting as a pilot and earning the titan and dropping it in, thus the name change. The big unveiling to EA outside of the Partners guys was around Feb 2013, and even that's pretty different looking to the final game.

Essentially, the bulk of Titanfall was arguable designed and developed from January 2013 onward.
 

Saty

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If I had to guess, they looked at the budget and thought they'd lose money after the original three year sum ran out, especially since the game was somewhat falling apart at the time.

The free chapter here reflects how troubled it was at the time: https://medium.com/p/cfc0fd1be7e
Yes, but this is the game from COD creators that they could have pumped like they ended up to. Even if the first title would have it tough sales-wise, the sequel would have been a great possibility for a financial hit. I mean they then went and spent money on stuff like Dead Space 3 or MOH:Warfighter.

What i don't understand: aren't Zampella and West multimillionaires? Couldn't they make up the budget gap themselves?
 

bigbaldwolf86

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Aug 30, 2012
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Well, I havent looked at EA's financials lately...but I do know they pay the NFL $250 million per year for the exclusive NFL licensing deal. Thats a lot of cash to shovel out annually. The original 5 yr deal was for a billion + and it was renewed at an escalating rate as far as I understand. So, yeah, basically they have a shit-ton of cash.
Exactly. That amount of money alone would probably fund a Titanfall Trilogy. We're not getting the full story here
 

TyrantII

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I looked at the original message and that entire post of his reeks of BS.
That EA makes some pretty terrible, short term, bottom line focused decisions?

Seems legit to me. They balked at Risk, MS saved Respawn but for exclusivity, and if EA paid up in the first place they would have sold 4-5 million next gen copies and had a multiform tent-pole IP.

EA decided it was better to make platform concessions than fund it. Without seeing the numbers we really can't say who made out and who didn't, but we do know it's leaving lots of legitimate sales on the table.
 

gamechanger87

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Lack of a PS3 version, a console that ex IW guys have developed games on, suggests that its not just about "lack of PS4 information".

Because they had more than enough information about the 80 million user base of the PS3. And that version does not exist


Hence why MS funding the development makes sense. Why would Microsoft help fund a PS3 version or pay programmers to develop that version, it makes no sense.
It took BluePoint an extra month to get the game to work on the 360, do you really think they could have developed two concurrent ports for a game that was coming in hot? Again, read the story before you comment. Respawn really didn't figure out what to do with the game until 18 months before launch.

The game coming in hot is why it released fairly bare boned.
 

TheOddOne

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People asking why EA didn't put up the money, it might be because as of fall 2012, the game was kind of a mess by the sounds of it. At that point, it was still called Titan Wars, and the gameplay involved all pilots starting in titans until they were doomed, then jumping out and running around as a pilot on foot to act as a "second life" in an attempt to fix the insta-death issue of CoD. It was only around March 13 that they changed it around to starting as a pilot and earning the titan and dropping it in, thus the name change. The big unveiling to EA outside of the Partners guys was around Feb 2013, and even that's pretty different looking to the final game.

Essentially, the bulk of Titanfall was arguable designed and developed from January 2013 onward.
Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
 

Memorabilia

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Did they? I could have sworn some 1st party mentioned the 8GB thing was a surprise to them too.


edit: you also could say that the decision to leave out the PS3 was alot more of a head turner. Why not just make it X1,360 and PS3? And if MS and Sony weren't feeling it then why not just make it a last gen game altogether?
Well, if thats the case I think it only drives my point home more. They pretty much protected PS4's specs like it was the Manhattan Project...and the end result is their primary competitor seems to have had no idea they were going to be outclassed.
 
Did Popcap run out of money, too?
PopCap is fully owned but EA and thus their funding is an operating expense.

EA Partners uses insured bonds to fund EA Partner titles in the same way Hollywood uses them to fund movies, so if they don't finish, they get their money protected.

Anything feature lacking in Garden Warfare (I'm guessing this is what you mean) is probably the result of them turning a $20 downloadable into a $30-$40 retail title game.

Edit: Oh you mean the timed exclusive thing. I'm guessing that was them just signing a risky product off to Microsoft for a while.
 
Jun 27, 2010
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If I had to guess, they looked at the budget and thought they'd lose money after the original three year sum ran out, especially since the game was somewhat falling apart at the time.

The free chapter here reflects how troubled it was at the time: https://medium.com/p/cfc0fd1be7e
Thanks for the link.

Yeah, with that in mind, I can understand why EA wouldn't want to throw good money after bad at the time.
 

RyanPierre

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Nov 1, 2008
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I'm seeing a lot of praise about this good work of gaming journalism, and I'm sure the writing and stories are probably very good. But I have to ask: did Geoff Keighley disclose he was working with Respawn on this while he was overhyping Titanfall during the VGX show last year? It's fine for a journalist to be genuinely excited about something, but it'd be nice to know when the journalist who's excited about that game is working with the developers of that game on a project he's going to be selling. Being a journalist is about more than just writing a good piece.
 

EmptySpace

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Jul 10, 2013
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Lack of a PS3 version, a console that ex IW guys have developed games on, suggests that its not just about "lack of PS4 information".

Because they had more than enough information about the 80 million user base of the PS3. And that version does not exist


Hence why MS funding the development makes sense. Why would Microsoft help fund a PS3 version or pay programmers to develop that version, it makes no sense.
exactly. and why would they pitch it to become a multiplat if they can only afford to make it for one platform? they said they talked to sony but sony declined to give them ps4, which means they were aiming for multiplay dev then again they couldn't afford it afterwards.

so they sought out ea's help and ea sought out for funding and whaddyaknow the platform they're developing on gave them the money they needed.

what it seems like is they were asking for sony to publish their game for exclusivity or else they were going to cut a deal with ms. they didn't want the ps4 devkit, they wanted sony to fund them and sony said "no thanks". it seemed like they gave sony an ultimatum or something. lol.
 

Into

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Aug 20, 2012
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Ok I get it. I don't understand why EA had to find funds though. Surely they have enough money to fund 100 Titanfall games themselves. Unless Respawn declimed direct funds from EA because they would have to give up the IP. I don't know what's going on lol

Perhaps there was a lack of faith in the project to fully fund it, or EA not wanting to throw money at a IP that they did not own, or knowing that John Riccitiello days were coming to a end, perhaps his influence faded to such a extent it became difficult to make any sort of deal with all that turmoil going on.

Could be a million reasons. Its kind of a mess, as these things usually are. With 3 companies all with their fingers in the pie, its bound to be complex. So its a lot of "he said", "she said", timeline of events all over the place etc.

At the end of the day, thank god the game got made, and the boys and girls at Respawn got paid to do their jobs and will continue to get paid. One has to remember the hell they went through with Activision, to once again face problems, layoffs and stress makes one glad not to be working in that industry.
 

EmptySpace

Banned
Jul 10, 2013
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I'm seeing a lot of praise about this good work of gaming journalism, and I'm sure the writing and stories are probably very good. But I have to ask: did Geoff Keighley disclose he was working with Respawn on this while he was overhyping Titanfall during the VGX show last year? It's fine for a journalist to be genuinely excited about something, but it'd be nice to know when the journalist who's excited about that game is working with the developers of that game on a project he's going to be selling. Being a journalist is about more than just writing a good piece.
keighley has been doing this for years. where were you 10 years ago? that's his trademark. instead of talking about games, he talks about the process of making games and the devs.

that's why he needs to go back to doing this stuff instead of his gttv marketing show.
 

Ploid 3.0

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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.
Explains a lot. Titanfall really was a full game with SP cut limited MP features, and sold for full price.
 

Gorillaz

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Jun 13, 2012
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People asking why EA didn't put up the money, it might be because as of fall 2012, the game was kind of a mess by the sounds of it and "people at EA" wanted the plug pulled on it.

At that point, it was still called Titan Wars, and the gameplay involved all pilots starting in titans until they were doomed, then jumping out and running around as a pilot on foot to act as a "second life" in an attempt to fix the insta-death issue of CoD. It was only around March 13 that they changed it around to starting as a pilot and earning the titan and dropping it in, thus the name change. The big unveiling to EA outside of the Partners guys was around Feb 2013, and even that's pretty different looking to the final game.

Essentially, the bulk of Titanfall was arguable designed and developed from January 2013 onward.
Damn...

That starting out as a Titan thing and then going on foot sounds like it might have worked out a little more fun and could have made a different metagame for the series. I guess it's still there in LTS.


Well, if thats the case I think it only drives my point home more. They pretty much protected PS4's specs like it was the Manhattan Project...and the end result is their primary competitor seems to have had no idea they were going to be outclassed.
True, but that's a risk that they were lucky that paid off. Sony last gen wasn't leading the charge and as people like Patcher said, back in 2012 everyone thought MS was going to bury them into another dimension. Sony was lucky that paid off
 

gamechanger87

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Jul 10, 2013
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I'm seeing a lot of praise about this good work of gaming journalism, and I'm sure the writing and stories are probably very good. But I have to ask: did Geoff Keighley disclose he was working with Respawn on this while he was overhyping Titanfall during the VGX show last year? It's fine for a journalist to be genuinely excited about something, but it'd be nice to know when the journalist who's excited about that game is working with the developers of that game on a project he's going to be selling. Being a journalist is about more than just writing a good piece.
I'm sure they knew. The actual piece isn't very flattering for Respawn as there were years of turmoil before they got their feet on the ground.

The amazing part is that the company didn't implode.
 
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Well that's good for them that they was able to make the dream come true.

However I'm not sure how Sony lost this one. They risked not getting a game to keep their system a surprise. When you think about classic Sony, they are never good at keeping secrets so this one was iron clad and I don't think they wanted to run the risk of a small new not proven team to get into the secrets that not even their first parties all knew about. At the end of the day, them being more secretive is what gives them now, the generational advantage. Any Intel of that information going back to corresponding representatives on the other side would have blown the doors wide open. It sound like they weren't ready to take that risk.


Now which bring me over to why they might have mentioned the Vita. It almost sounded like they were giving them the hint that the Vita was somehow going to be a placeholder for the decision. Isn't the Vita easier to get authorization to develop for? If so, then maybe Sony was thinking about it but not ready to talk terms of the PS4 right now.

Then the next theory is, maybe Sony wasn't interested in a 1st person shooter at the time and since having Killzone as a launch title was already set, they probably didn't want to have two shooters filling up the slots.

Then lastly, funding. I think Sony might have no minded funding the deal, but since they aren't proven which is something that they pretty much value, they didn't know if they wanted to put all their cookies in the basket committing to what this game ultimately needs.

Lots of hole still needing to be filled but at least we have a little bit of what happened behind the scene... Or I guess, one side of the story.
 

Prine

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Jun 7, 2004
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It also makes a certain banned 'insiders' recent claims in the last NPD thread that Sony showed EA execs how much money they lost our by not bringing the game to PS4. And then had the EA begging forgiveness even more hilarious.
Amazing, he's been exposed once again. I knew as soon as I read that "insiders" post it was pure bullshit like most internal stories he pulls out if arse. Shameful behaviour.

Finally got the real story from the horses mouth, just goes to show how much we don't know. And holy shit at the cool heads at EA, MS and Respawn with all the BS being flung around.
 

EvB

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It also makes a certain banned 'insiders' recent claims in the last NPD thread that Sony showed EA execs how much money they lost our by not bringing the game to PS4. And then had the EA begging forgiveness even more hilarious.
Maybe it was the wrong way round, EA showed Sony the money they lost and laughed in their face?