Apex Legends Reveal Impressions/Recap
I want to do a first impressions/discussion of the Apex Legends reveal, my initial thoughts, and commentary before playing the game. Apex could be awful or amazing, and I plan on playing it tonight. I just have thoughts and questions on the reveal and what it means for EA and gaming.
Quick context, I loved Titanfall 1 and 2 and was avid player of both titles. I also have an above average opinion of EA (something that gets harder and harder with every game) The Titanfall series is made by Respawn Entertainment, a dev that was originally made up of Ex-COD developers, and is now owned by EA Games. Back in the end of 2017, EA announced that it was going to purchase their partners Respawn Entertainment, and it was around that time that it was confirmed that Titanfall 3 was in development (alongside an unrelated star wars title).
Let’s just say EA has not had a good two years, and negative press, poor game releases, controversies, and game cancellations all started to mount. Amongst everything happening with EA, sat off in the corner quietly working was Respawn Entertainment. We all knew what games they are working on, but we saw no trailers, had no gameplay or demos, and yet both games are loosely slated for release in 2019. I had to know something was odd, because in the gaming world many games are announced years in advance if not a yearly franchise, and usually gameplay is shown earlier. We had two secret projects that were hidden behind EA closed doors.
(Apex Legends - Launch Trailer)
Yesterday we learned why. Despite previous information to the contrary, Titanfall 3 isn’t happening. At least it isn’t currently in development. Inside sources claim the possibility that it was in development and EA’s acquisition shifted the game into what is Apex Legends. It is possible this was the plan all along and Titanfall 3 could still happen.
(Producer Drew McCoy tells Eurogamer that Respawn is not working on Titanfall 3)
Apex Legends is a Free to Play Battle Royale Hero Shooter that takes place in the Titanfall universe. Yet it features no titans, and doesn’t contain any of the traditional Titanfall elements that made it unique or special. This is a “cartoony” hero shooter that is a battle royale with Fortnite style battle passes and a huge focus on live service.
I initially was excited for Apex because this stealth release seemed to be an extra game, and I love the Titanfall universe so the more the merrier right? It came out later that day Respawn stating that this game was fully replacing Titanfall 3. They stated “The world thinks we are making Titanfall 3, and we are not” So as amazing as Apex theoretically is, do realize the high cost. This game is at least for the time being costing us a true Titanfall sequel.
Now if this was “Titanfall: Battle Royale” I could totally forgive waiting theoretical extra years for Titanfall 3, but this is NOT “Titanfall: Battle Royale” Not only would that have made more sense from a name branding standpoint, it just isn’t true. Titanfall made it self unique with its gameplay but mostly with TITANS. I just don’t understand the thought process of removing the single most unique (and fun) aspect of that game and reusing the universe. I understanding EA's desire to capitalize on battle royale, but why sacrifice titans and titanfall in the process? Plus, where is Battlefield V's promised battle royale?
I guess my point is, if you abandon titans and abandon the name…then what is even the POINT of using the same lore universe? It’s not like the universe had much following, lore, or establishment as it was? What made Titanfall wasn’t its universe, it was Titans. Whether it’s amazing or not, why can’t Apex Legends be its own IP and have Titanfall 3 still on the table?
There is still one thing I do not understand with EA. They don’t seem to be learning from Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. Naysayers who may downplay Titanfall 2 make the same mistake that Disney is making with star wars. They blamed Solo’s poor sales on the movie and not their own poor timing of release next to two major blockbusters. In the same regard, it seems EA blames Titanfall 2’s poor sales on the game itself and not their poor decision to release is next to Battlfield (and Call of Duty). Titanfall 2 was one of the best games of 2016, and had the best campaign of this console generation! It simply deserved its own launch window.
Yet, here we are seeing EA make the same decision again. You remember that other major online game launching this same month? Am I the only that thinks launching a major online game free is going to hurt the already hurting Anthem? Anthem has had very little marketing, a disastrous “demo”, and don’t forget launches at a full 60$. I don’t want both Anthem and Titanfall 3 to be victims of Apex no matter how great it may end up being.
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