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

daman824

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Sep 5, 2013
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Well we both don't know for sure either way, so I guess we'll just agree to disagree. I just find it hard to believe that large software companies basically never need to meet and talk with the platform holders since they have all the information already.

Your position, as it sounds to me, is that basically they would only ever need to get together simply to sign the contract since everything is known. No presentations or anything of the sort needed.
They no doubt meet. But I highly, highly, highly doubt it went down like mort said it went down (if it happened at all).
 

TyrantII

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Oct 26, 2013
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That doesn't make sense, to show estimated lost sales on a game they (Sony) chose not to get involved with, and not knowing how much EA pocketed. It's an absurd playground statement.

You're forgetting two things happened, one in 2012 and one in 2014.

The Sony being completely cut out was done in 2014, behind Respawns back if the surprised tweets from Zamp are taken at face value. MS saved it in 2012 for timed exclusivity, then either through a contract option or more funding locked out other consoles in 2014.

I'm sure Sony didn't roll up in and show those fuckers how they b crying. But I'm sure, with Titanfall and other EA IP exclusivity deals in 2013 and early 2014 already done, they pointed out the numbers they were seeing on how that stood to impact EA as a way to dissuade them from making more deals down the road.

EA themselves have probably already run these numbers. Not much controversial there, as EA likes money and leaving money on the table is usually a bad thing in a business.
 

Duxxy3

Member
Nov 30, 2007
22,331
9
795
Does the EA partners program take only a tiny fraction of what a regular publisher would take?

Is it really that much to fund a 70 person team making a multiplayer only game?
 
Jun 27, 2010
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Semantics: the thread. Good grief at the hoops some are jumping through to be right in their own, extremely narrow point of view.

While I haven't read the book yet, it seems pretty clear from the information we have that MS essentially saved the game from being canned.

This is in direct contradiction to what many people thought, not to mention what was claimed by insiders at the time about MS buying exclusivity...which is what people mean when they say 'money hats'.

MS essentially saving the game is just that. There's no spin, no twisting facts to fit narrative. Without MS , it's very likely the game wouldn't exist as even EA were hesitant to throw any more money at the game and Sony were likely more engaged in Destiny.
 

Jomjom

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Nov 26, 2009
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They no doubt meet. But I highly, highly, highly doubt it went down like mort said it went down (if it happened at all).

I don't think it went down exactly like Mort said either, especially the part about EA being in full apology mode or whatever. But other than that he basically just said that Sony went and showed EA sales numbers and whatnot. I don't think that's out of the ordinary.

EA may have access to NPD and what gfk does in the UK, but they wouldn't have access to Sony's hardware and software numbers in all the countries for one. Who knows what other sales info there is to share?

Semantics: the thread. Good grief at the hoops some are jumping through to be right in their own, extremely narrow point of view.

While I haven't read the book yet, it seems pretty clear from the information we have that MS essentially saved the game from being canned.

This is in direct contradiction to what many people thought, not to mention what was claimed by insiders at the time about MS buying exclusivity...which is what people mean when they say 'money hats'.

MS essentially saving the game is just that. There's no spin, no twisting facts to fit narrative. Without MS , it's very likely the game wouldn't exist as even EA were hesitant to throw any more money at the game and Sony were likely more engaged in Destiny.

Well to be completely fair didn't they first save the game, and then later down the road "bought exclusivity," or as many people like to call it moneyhatted it?
 

TyrantII

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I don't think it went down exactly like Mort said either, especially the part about EA being in full apology mode or whatever. But other than that he basically just said that Sony went and showed EA sales numbers and whatnot. I don't think that's out of the ordinary.

EA may have access to NPD and what gfk does in the UK, but they wouldn't have access to Sony's hardware and software numbers in all the countries for one. Who knows what other sales info there is to share?



Well to be completely fair didn't they first save the game, and then later down the road "bought exclusivity," or as many people like to call it moneyhatted it?

For the record Mort tens to write long form what he used to post here, and his post on the subject of what happened in 2012 and then in October aligns pretty damn well with whats now reported here:

http://doddscientifics.wordpress.co...fall-qa-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-gameplay/
They signed with EA Partners which gave them complete ownership of the IP. Being a small studio they decided to focus on one next gen console and the PC. At the time they decided this they instructed EA to sign an one year exclusivity offer with Microsoft. Microsoft was behind the scenes selling publishers on their vision of the Xbox One. I’m talking about 2011/12. Sony was gathering info from third parties as to what they would want but they weren’t sharing their vision yet.

At this point in time the majority of the videogame industry thought the XB1 was going to dominate the next generation. The 360 was already widely popular in North America and Western Europe which is also where the FPS genre is the most successful. Signing a year exclusivity deal was a no brainer at the time.

EA hired Bluepoint to do the xbox 360 port. EA was also in charge of ports to other platforms when the time came. Respawn wanted to focus solely on the xbox one and pc and let EA worry about the ports.

Apology mode / crying back to Sony crap is obviously superfluous fluff, but EA deciding that maybe betting on huge exclusivity deals wasn't as good for their bottom line as they though also seems pretty rational to me, nor Sony pointing that out when their business benefits from a more neutral EA.
 

Into

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Aug 20, 2012
8,459
1
0
Semantics: the thread. Good grief at the hoops some are jumping through to be right in their own, extremely narrow point of view.

While I haven't read the book yet, it seems pretty clear from the information we have that MS essentially saved the game from being canned.

This is in direct contradiction to what many people thought, not to mention what was claimed by insiders at the time about MS buying exclusivity...which is what people mean when they say 'money hats'.

MS essentially saving the game is just that. There's no spin, no twisting facts to fit narrative. Without MS , it's very likely the game wouldn't exist as even EA were hesitant to throw any more money at the game and Sony were likely more engaged in Destiny.


Hey! Whats up!? Unlike what you are doing, ill address you directly. Because i dont do this whole, wish-washy, calling someone out by not really gig.

Changing around semantics to fit a narrative, something that has been done here, does not change the bottom line, and the bottom line is that Microsofts money got this game finished. Next to that bottom line is that these games are exclusive to MS platforms.

So we could sit here and discuss semantics of whatever you or i think "money hat" means, but it is obvious as daylight that money played a role in securing this game's development. Discussing semantics is really not that interesting either, especially because we will struggle to find a lexicon that will outright define what is really meant by "money hat".

You are right about one thing, MS saved this game, kudos to the them, and they rightfully deserve something in return for that.
 

antitrop

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Feb 19, 2011
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I read the Steam Forums.

My faith in humanity has gone below zero.

 

Shrennin

Didn't get the memo regarding the 14th Amendment
Aug 3, 2007
5,882
255
1,420
I don't think it went down exactly like Mort said either, especially the part about EA being in full apology mode or whatever. But other than that he basically just said that Sony went and showed EA sales numbers and whatnot. I don't think that's out of the ordinary.

Sony may have done that but they would basically have no right to show that (in order to try to show what EA "lost") assuming Respawn did in fact go to them twice and Microsoft had to step in to save the game (or it wouldn't have been made at all). A game is better than no game, after all.

Well to be completely fair didn't they first save the game, and then later down the road "bought exclusivity," or as many people like to call it moneyhatted it?

I think it's reasonable for Microsoft to want full exclusivity if they stepped in to save the game with their own money though.

Also, to note: Microsoft obviously didn't save the game out of the kindness of their hearts - they believed in Respawn's ability to produce a game that would ultimately have great results and be a game that could define their system. They were essentially willing to take the risk at the time whereas Sony was not so willing.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
27,115
0
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On chapter 7 right now. This is some great stuff, and Im really not into Titanfall at all. Really, really great insight into the turmoil at Respawn during the lawsuit days.
 

Rayme

Member
Apr 21, 2007
1,010
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Holy shit, what.

CORRECT REACTION.

That would be great to see one day

And congrats on a great game

The videos are all in the article, but they can be easy to miss if you're not tapping/clicking on the stuff in the margins. Seeing our old builds like this (the Ratchet & Clank engine stuff especially) reminds me of that old Halo prototype footage. Fun to see where things went along the way to the end result.

Really must watch this over Easter. Rayme you guys must feel so proud when you look at what you've overcome to get a game out, one that everyone uses one word to describe: FUN

That's really kind of you, thank-you. =)
 

Jomjom

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Nov 26, 2009
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Sony may have done that but they would basically have no right to show that (in order to try to show what EA "lost") assuming Respawn did in fact go to them twice and Microsoft had to step in to save the game (or it wouldn't have been made at all). A game is better than no game, after all.



I think it's reasonable for Microsoft to want full exclusivity if they stepped in to save the game with their own money though.

Also, to note: Microsoft obviously didn't save the game out of the kindness of their hearts - they believed in Respawn's ability to produce a game that would ultimately have great results and be a game that could define their system. They were essentially willing to take the risk at the time whereas Sony was not so willing.

Well at least in 2012, they seemed to only want a year of exclusivity for their money (or the amount of money given at the time was only enough for one year of exclusivity). MS gets 100% credit for saving the game for this, because if EA really was going to dispose of this game and not fund it, then but for MS's involvement, this game would not exist.

I would assume that this initial influx of cash was enough to finish the game, or else they wouldn't be talking about one year exclusivity periods already.

In 2014 or whenever MS locked it up for eternity, that would be moneyhatting (note that at this time the game was essentially completed) because the game had gotten the funding to get made and MS had gotten the benefit for its money (1 year exclusivity), but wanted more. At this time, either MS saw TF as a bigger hit than it originally predicted, or given the Xbone's failure to outsell PS4, they decided to give something else for permanent exclusivity.

Which is why I said before, they saved it first, then moneyhatted it. In this case though, the moneyhat is not as bad as other moneyhats as they were responsible for getting the game made in the first place, but it's a moneyhat nevertheless.
 

Shrennin

Didn't get the memo regarding the 14th Amendment
Aug 3, 2007
5,882
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Well at least in 2012, they seemed to only want a year of exclusivity for their money (or the amount of money given at the time was only enough for one year of exclusivity). MS gets 100% credit for saving the game for this, because if EA really was going to dispose of this game and not fund it, then but for MS's involvement, this game would not exist.

I would assume that this initial influx of cash was enough to finish the game, or else they wouldn't be talking about one year exclusivity periods already.

In 2014 or whenever MS locked it up for eternity, that would be moneyhatting (in this case paying to keep it off competitor consoles forever) because the game had gotten the funding to get made and MS had gotten the benefit for its money (1 year exclusivity). At this time, either MS saw TF as a bigger hit than it originally predicted, or given the Xbone's failure to outsell PS4, they decided to give something else for permanent exclusivity.

Regardless, even if that did happen, you don't think it's reasonable for Microsoft to want that or for Microsoft to go for full exclusivity? Remember, the game supposedly may not have been made at all without Microsoft's initial investment. It's not like this game was going to be made regardless of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo support and one of the big three just paid to keep it off competitors' consoles permanently -- it's not quite the same situation. They also only locked up TF1, which is the game they helped to fund. I don't think they will have much say as far as TF2 (at least keeping it fully exclusive) but since they had such involvement with it from the start, it makes sense that Microsoft was eventually able to secure full exclusivity.
 

jamiept

Banned
Oct 3, 2013
183
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The truth of this story - now it is out - is more fascinating than "guess what I just heard" insider *cough* rumors
 

Jomjom

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Nov 26, 2009
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Regardless, even if that did happen, you don't think it's reasonable for Microsoft to want that or for Microsoft to go for full exclusivity? Remember, the game supposedly may not have been made at all without Microsoft's initial investment. It's not like this game was going to be made regardless of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo support and one of the big three just paid to keep it off competitors' consoles permanently -- it's not quite the same situation.

Oh no I think it's reasonable. I'm actually confused why they didn't get permanent exclusivity to begin with, thereby not needing the moneyhat in 2014. I mean they surely were entitled to it back in 2012. If I'm whoever is negotiating from MS's side, I would have said either you give us full exclusivity or this game goes in the trash and you waste all of the resources already spent. I don't see how EA could have said no to that and stuck to 1 year.

I'm just saying it's not as some people seem to be painting it which is MS saved it and that was that. Even given the huge amount of involvement they had from the beginning, they undoubtedly had to give something additional in 2014 to get full exclusivity.
 

antitrop

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Feb 19, 2011
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Man, some of this stuff is downright heartbreaking.

"This isn't how our story is supposed to end," Kristin Christopher said to Community Manager Abbie Heppe as they shared an elevator ride up to the office one morning in August 2012. "It's supposed to end triumphant, not with a whimper."

Am I ever glad that Titanfall is out, good, and hopefully successful. So damn close to just never happening.
 

JayEH

Junior Member
Dec 3, 2013
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I'm still reading through this but this has been fantastic so far! Really good work overall. And man the gun they used in the first prototype looks almost identical to what the standard assault rifle they have now.
 

funkystudent

Member
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
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This sounds about right.

Sony played their cards pretty close to the chest for the PS4 where was MS was out showing that thing for years and years. Its why we had leaks about the next xbox for years but only started to hear PS4 stuff a year before its reveal.

Although I still say EA going balls deep with MS over the DRM stuff played a big part but that wouldnt exactly be something the devs would want to be talking about after seeing how that whole thing went down with the public.
 

Shrennin

Didn't get the memo regarding the 14th Amendment
Aug 3, 2007
5,882
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Oh no I think it's reasonable. I'm actually confused why they didn't get permanent exclusivity to begin with, thereby not needing the moneyhat in 2014. I mean they surely were entitled to it back in 2012.

I'm just saying it's not as some people seem to be painting it which is MS saved it and that was that.

I think Microsoft saving it allowed Microsoft to go for full exclusivity. We really don't know the exact details of the contract -- it could have allowed Microsoft to go for full exclusivity eventually or to pass it up. Or they may have known they would always have the option one the initial investment was made. While Microsoft saving it may not have ended there, initial complaints that Microsoft simply money hatted it to keep it off other platforms were unfounded.

It makes perfect sense as far as Microsoft being able to secure a game which had distribution rights controlled by EA anyway. A simple "money hat" wouldn't have been enough. Although, with that said, I agree that it's weird that Microsoft didn't just go for full exclusivity from the beginning (they may have even been able to secure exclusive franchise rights to XB1 during that point), but I guess Microsoft thought it may have been too much of a risk without having full control over it since it would have still been a deal with Respawn and EA instead of Respawn and Microsoft.
 

Jagernaut

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Jun 9, 2004
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CORRECT REACTION.



The videos are all in the article, but they can be easy to miss if you're not tapping/clicking on the stuff in the margins. Seeing our old builds like this (the Ratchet & Clank engine stuff especially) reminds me of that old Halo prototype footage. Fun to see where things went along the way to the end result.



That's really kind of you, thank-you. =)

I'm surprised that someone other than Sony/Insomniac would work with the Ratchet &. Clank engine, do they license it to other developers?
 

THRILLH0

Banned
Feb 15, 2010
4,133
0
0
Changing around semantics to fit a narrative, something that has been done here, does not change the bottom line, and the bottom line is that Microsofts money got this game finished. Next to that bottom line is that these games are exclusive to MS platforms.

So we could sit here and discuss semantics of whatever you or i think "money hat" means, but it is obvious as daylight that money played a role in securing this game's development. Discussing semantics is really not that interesting either, especially because we will struggle to find a lexicon that will outright define what is really meant by "money hat".

You are right about one thing, MS saved this game, kudos to the them, and they rightfully deserve something in return for that.

Who are you arguing with mate because nobody is saying otherwise.

What people are saying is that the article makes it clear that MS did not throw money at EA to keep the game off Sony platforms which runs contrary to what a whole bunch of people were saying when the exclusivity was announced.

Your comprehension is failing you badly.
 

border

Member
Jun 7, 2004
31,947
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I can't believe that none of this was mentioned or brought up during the PAX East panel.

Geoff Keighley just lobbed them a bunch of dumb softball questions instead.
 
Oct 17, 2005
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Holy shit. For all the bluster about Polygon was going to change games journalism and what not, this kind of format seems like the real future of games journalism. I loved every moment I spent with the piece and don't even care about Titanfall.
 

Navy Bean

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Nov 18, 2013
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Holy shit. For all the bluster about Polygon was going to change games journalism and what not, this kind of format seems like the real future of games journalism. I loved every moment I spent with the piece and don't even care about Titanfall.
Yeah, I must say that I am very impressed with the work Geoff did here. Love him or hate him, this is a pretty damn good piece of reporting, writing, design, etc. I might check out the pervious entries.
 
Oct 17, 2005
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- Portal 2
- Half-Life 2
- Mass Effect 3
- Tomb Raider
- Titanfall

He also said that he was working on a Final Hours of Bioshock Infinite that never came to fruition.

I think the Mass Effect 3 one will be next for me. Bummer about Bioshock Infinite. That game seemed to have such a troubled development that a long form piece about it would be incredible to read.
 
Mar 1, 2012
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just a heads up to anyone on a newer iPad thinking of going back and picking up the one for Portal 2, it never got a retina update which is too bad. still works totally fine, but it doesn't look as nice.
 

TyrantII

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Oct 26, 2013
6,920
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0
Boston
This sounds about right.

Sony played their cards pretty close to the chest for the PS4 where was MS was out showing that thing for years and years. Its why we had leaks about the next xbox for years but only started to hear PS4 stuff a year before its reveal.

Although I still say EA going balls deep with MS over the DRM stuff played a big part but that wouldnt exactly be something the devs would want to be talking about after seeing how that whole thing went down with the public.

Really though, wheres that story?

I want it and I want names.

Instead, crickets.
 

jschreier

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Jan 6, 2011
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Holy shit. For all the bluster about Polygon was going to change games journalism and what not, this kind of format seems like the real future of games journalism. I loved every moment I spent with the piece and don't even care about Titanfall.
It really is a great story, but the real future of games journalism is (hopefully) a wide variety of awesome content both free and paid. This type of longform work is fantastic, and I'd love to see more of it, but it supplements the stuff we have already. It won't replace anything.