Some Microsoft-run beta servers for the multiplayer-only, always-online game Titanfall have been down (or not working in some way) for at least three hours and counting on this, the first day of widespread access to the beta for the much-anticipated marquee next-gen first-person shooter. This, perhaps, is what betas are for!
We don't know how many servers are down, but Kotaku readers, two editors and many people online are all reporting that attempts to log in to the game are leading to the following screen:
This has put plenty of people excited about playing the much-ballyhooed game on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. They've gone from excitedly redeeming beta codes to staring at screens that aren't letting them play. They might care less if, by many accounts including ours, playing Titanfall wasn't so damn entertaining. The game takes Call of Duty-style first-person shooter combat and adds agile robot suits called Titans, parkour and lots of AI-controlled minions to create an impressive, fun multiplayer experience.
The game's beta worked smoothly on Thursday when access was limited mostly to press and people close to the game's creators. The beta was opened to many more gamers today.
The problem today seems to be that the game can't create new servers to let more players in. "Some of our Beta servers are currently offline and our team is working with Microsoft to resolve," one of the game's community managers wrote online earlier today. "Stay tuned for updates." It's actually unclear if the problem is that servers are down or if it's that the game can't create new servers.
While Titanfall is developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA, it's neither the ex-Call of Duty creators nor the Battlefield company who are responsible for the game's servers. Microsoft, who have Titanfall exclusive to the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC are handling the servers. The company's online infrastructure tends to be pretty good, but something has gone awry today.
The official Titanfall Twitter account and top people at Respawn have been doing their best to keep people updated:
We've asked EA and Microsoft for any more information they can share about the nature of the problem, an estimated time for a fix and whether this will result in an extension of the beta, which is currently planned to end on Wednesday, February 19.
UPDATE: A rep for Xbox directed us to this Tweet from
the head of Xbox support Xbox Live's operations manager:
UPDATE 2, 11:31PM: It sounds like a fix might be close. Presumably referring to Microsoft based on the writing of this Tweet, EA says: "Update: Our team is working to ramp up servers for both Xbox One and PC. While many users will still have server connection issues we're working to get connectivity back to normal ASAP. We will continue to post updates until the service is back to 100%."
It's been popular in recent years for companies to release betas of major games, especially significant shooters, shortly before release. Those betas have, at times, seemed like marketing ploys. But if any beta, including this one, can expose problems in a game's online infrastructure before the game actually comes out, that'll lead to good results. Hopefully that's happening here.
Titanfall will launch on Xbox One and PC on March 11 and will be out two weeks later on Xbox 360. The game is so important to Microsoft that the company is issuing an Xbox One system update in early March toimprove aspects of the console's multiplayer infrastructure.