In 2014 Respawn released Titanfall, a game that combined two of the best things in video games: wall-running and giant mechs. It was great, but also multiplayer-only, so in 2016 they released a sequel, which kept the wall-running and giant mechs but also added another of the best things in video games: a cool and fun singleplayer campaign.
Both were excellent games. The second, especially, is remembered as having one of the most unique first-person storylines (and level gimmicks) in modern shooter history. You’d think, then, that a third Titanfall game would have been a no-brainer, but life hasn’t quite panned out like that.
Respawn went on to develop Apex Legends, a game set in the Titanfall universe only—crucially—without the Titans, and which has been printing money for years. They’ve also made the new Star Wars Jedi games, which have been a successful return to form for a franchise long stuck in licensed adaptation hell.
They’ve been very busy with those, and given their success likely will be for the foreseeable future. You also need to know that, as critically successful as Titanfall 2 was, the game—released alongside a bunch of other blockbuster shooters, including EA’s own Battlefield 1—was seen by publisher Electronic Arts as an enormous commercial failure.
So the likelihood that we ever get a Titanfall 3, especially a Titanfall 3 in the same vein as Titanfall 2, are slim! Actually that’s being generous. The likelihood that Respawn, as busy as they are, will make a Titanfall 3 with backing from EA, a publisher who will throw an under-performing franchise in the trash without a second’s hesitation, is pretty much zero.
Yet that doesn’t stop fans from hoping. Those fans—and I am one of them—have been through the ringer in recent years, teased then shot down, given glimmers only for them to be snatched away. Most hilariously, sometimes it’s even the other way around, like the time I made peace with there never being a new Titanfall before Respawn walked back a seemingly definitive statement with another damn tease.
This week, we’re back in said ringer. Speaking with Barron’s (thanks, PC Gamer), mostly about their new Star Wars game, Respawn boss Vince Zampella was asked about the possibility of there ever being a Titanfall 3, to which he replied
I hate to say yes, then people latch onto that, and then skewer you when it doesn’t come.
But I would love to see it happen is the real answer.
My man, you are one of the handful of people on the planet with the power to make this happen! You don’t need to pine about it in a interview, go call some meetings!
I kid, of course, there are a multitude of planning, resource-related and financial reasons we haven’t seen a Titanfall 3, but refreshingly—and in the only piece of good news to be had here today—that’s partly down to the fact that were such a thing to ever happen, Respawn want to do right by the game, rather than just drop Titanfall Tour on iOS or something.
“It has to be the right thing”, Zampella says. “It’s such a beloved franchise for the fans and also for us. If it is not the right moment in time, the right idea, then it just doesn’t make sense.”
Maybe that time will be soon. Maybe it’ll be never! All I know is that until we reach that right moment in time”, every time I have to type “Titanfall 3" and not follow it up with “Announced” is going to kill me.