Titanfall has been subject to unprecedented hype. This is in part due to the fact of the lack of exclusives around for the ‘next-gen’ consoles. It’s also due to people getting increasingly tired of the current king of the FPS world (I’ll mention no names). Will Titanfall live up to the hype? What type of sales figures are realistic? I’ll try and answer these questions in this post.
Why all the hype?
Console gamers are suckers for a good FPS game, especially Xbox gamers. The domination started with Halo and now Call of Duty is pretty much untouchable. However, popularity and hatred go hand in hand. When Halo was at its peak it was adored by many, people seem to forget that up until around 2009 Halo was king and Call of Duty was its inferior, forgettable sidekick. Since then it’s been all CoD, regardless of which team your batting for (PS or Xbox) it’s the go-to game. Considering Halo was the dominant force for around 4 years so I assume now is the beginning of the end for Call of Dutys dominance, which paves the way for a new king. Enter King Titanfall?
Well, not quite. The pre-release hype is nothing more than a media frenzy, whipped up due to a quiet few months in gaming. Undoubtedly the game looks adequate but the timing of the release is what may boost sales, rather than content. We don’t know exactly how the game is going to play, we rely on obvious fanboys posting videos online telling us how great it is. With the controversy surrounding Microsoft paying Youtubers to talk positively about their console, I can only assume that as much as possible is being done to create a huge stir around Titanfall.
I almost feel like the public want a game to take over the CoD crown, we are all preying and anxiously waiting for its demise to satisfy our inner elitist. Let’s all fact the facts, it’s an Xbox and PC only game so overall it has little to no chance of being the next ‘CoD killer’. Of course, in terms of quality it has more than a realistic chance, but I’ll stay on topic here. In summary, it is the gaming public’s hatred for Call of Duty, coupled with a dry spell for gaming, along with Xbox pushing Titanfall for system sales which has driven the hype.
What sales numbers are we looking at?
Sales numbers will be undoubtedly reflected on review averages and how well it’s embraced in the competitive scene. Considering that there has been only 3.4 million Xbox One consoles sold thus far don’t expect much from that source. Instead I expect the majority of sales to be on the 360 with a much larger userbase, but don’t expect Microsoft to be too happy about that. PC sales will be hit and miss, the fact there is so much choice on PC and the fact that console games don’t fair too well is worrying.
I think overall we could be looking at around 6-8 million for the 360, 5 million lifetime on the Xbox One and a few million on the PC. This is of course dependent on review scores and the acceptance in the MLG/schoolboy tryhards community. These are big numbers overall but ultimately not enough to knock CoD off its perch.
Longevity and the inevitable sequel
There will be a sequel. Even if the game sucks there will be a sequel, ‘to fix the wrongs we did first time round’. In other words to cash in more moneys! I expect Titanfall to be an Xbox One exclusive after the first game is released. Look at the Xbox upcoming exclusive list this year and you’ll see it to be a sorry state. Microsoft need Titanfall, probably more than they need Gears of War and Halo combined. It won’t be the system seller they hoped this time round, as it will be bizarrely released on the 360 too (haven’t seen much of that version by the way). In short, expect big numbers and Microsoft to lock it down.
Will this be the start of the end for Call of Duty? Possibly, but I don’t think this will be the game that takes over. Not yet anyway.