Did Titanfall Totally Rip-off Japanese Manga “Attack on Titan”?

The similarities are quite stunning admittedly.

Posted By | On 12th, Jun. 2013 Under Article, Editorials

Respawn Entertainment debuted Titanfall at the Microsoft E3 press conference today. It went on last, and that usually means it has to steal the show. And steal the show it did, as Respawn finally revealed what they had been up to. Like a next generation Tribes in terms of movement, the game centers on soldiers fighting for the cause of defending their land. Of course, this involves fending off and combating huge, hulking mechs called Titans.

The Titans themselves move incredibly quickly and are suitably powered. But the soldiers aren’t at a disadvantage. Using jetpacks and wall running, they can navigate the terrain to out-manoeuvre the Titans and effectively cut them off from the neck. I mean, shoot the pilot inside the Titan from behind. Through the neck.

In fact, players can enter their own Titans by just sliding through and being sucked right inside. This allows them control of increased firepower. Of course, the Titans have cool-down periods. It’s not like you can just go in and out of the Titan form at a fast pace. I’m sorry, did I say “Titan form”? I meant the Titan mech.

At this point, Titanfall just reminds me too much of something completely different. In fact, it’s something that has only now seen enormous popularity thanks to a recent anime series.
I’m talking about Hajime Isayama’s Shingeki no Kyojin aka Attack on Titan. Note the word “Titan” in the title.
See if this sounds familiar: A young boy, his adopted sister and their best friend join the military in order to force away enormous beings known as Titans.

These Titans are huge hulking beasts which can be outmanoeuvred but out power the humans significantly. The humans fight against the Titans by using powerful equipment to wall run and leap from one obstacle to another seamlessly. Heck, the Titans are even killed by striking at their most vulnerable part: The back of the neck.

Of course, in a surprise twist, it is revealed that some humans, including our young hero, possess the ability to turn into Titans, and utterly wreak havoc on enemy Titans. They can revert in and out of Titan form, although they are easily as subject to targeting at the neck as normal Titans. In fact, they can even eject from their Titan shell and continue fighting on.

Even more hilariously? Titan form has a cool down period. It can be used more and more, but at the risk of the user’s health.

By now, this is just getting awfully too coincidental to even be a coincidence. But while the Attack on Titan manga started in 2009, Respawn Entertainment was founded in 2010. By then, the manga would’ve had sufficient enough chapters released to provide half the ideas currently seen in Titanfall.
Of course, all the conspiracies and plot-twists weren’t showcased in the E3 trailer. Could it be that they somehow made their way into the game as well? Or is it just a case of Respawn using the basic template of Attack on Titan to craft its game?

Or is it all really just one big misunderstanding?

Regardless, these are some burning questions. As impressive as Titanfall looked, it’s impossible to shake the similarities to Attack on Titan, no matter how much more futuristic you make it.

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  • Name

    To be fair I don’t think the idea of slow lumbering giants and faster more maneuverable humans is a new one, just think Jack and the Beanstalk for one example.
    As for the humans piloting the titans / mechs, that’s just a standard anime trope by now. Heck, just look at NGE, humans in mechs made from monsters.

    • Xerxie

      You should watch a few episodes of Attack on Titan. There’s a HUGE resembles in titanfall conceptually. For example, the humans in Attack on Titan use mechanical gear to jump around and travel similar to how in Titanfall the pilots have that jet pack and run in squads. There’s a large resemblance.

    • Jay

      It’s just

      no one cares.

  • Quan

    This seems like a bit of a stretch, and even then you couldn’t call it a total rip-off. Certain elements may have been inspired by Attack on Titan, which probably drew inspiration from something else.

    Would you have drawn the same connection if the mechs were not called Titans?

    • the truth

      Yes I drew the same conclusion and only later did my girlfriend point out thw title. I strongly believe some one should sue them

    • MonkeysxMoo35

      Dude no one will sue Respawn they made a large portion of COD which, although I hate, is one of the most popular games on the market.Also how do you know that they have someone who’s heard of Attack on Titan in the company? The anime wasn’t made until 2013 and the manga wasn’t dubbed until 2013. Sure there’s fansubs but I’m sure that they were to busy designing the game to read a fansub for the manga. Plus how is this a bad thing? Like one of the other guys we have a first person Attack on Titan game! This game just got a whole new look for me! A bright future for gaming it is indeed!

    • NoirSuede

      And besides, the creator of AoT won’t bother/dare sue Respawn because as I had said, FPSes is considered a plague (among Japanese devs) in Japan.

    • Handelo

      First off, why do you think reading a fansub is any different to reading the official release in terms of time?
      Second, do you honestly believe nobody in the concept department is Japanese?
      Regardless of the name, the similarities are too great to be coincidental. Heck, even the jetpack looks like those 3-dimensional movement gear thingies in AoT.
      Not that this a bad thing, mind you. We’re likely to never see an AoT game that’s not a RPG, cause that’s mostly what the Japs turn TV shows into. I wouldn’t mind a third person hack n’ slash, though 😉

  • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

    I prefer to think of this as an homage =D
    Besides, this means I can play Guren no Yumiya during online matches, which is awesome. And it makes the game even better!
    EDIT also why is the article treating this like a bad thing?

  • NoirSuede

    But hey, this is actually a good thing, because if Respawn admits that they did ripped it off, this is the closest thing we have to a FPS adaptation of Attack on Titan (the Japanese have this weird phobia of FPSes, so even if they do make a game adaptation, it’ll be a third person game).

    • MonkeysxMoo35

      FPS AoT is the best thing I’ve heard since all the stuff at E3 and Gamescom!

    • Jandkas

      Maybe its because they realize the FPS it over saturated.

    • Steve

      Not in Japan, they’re scared of it, remember?

  • Not a AOT fan

    Crybaby AOT fan, just cause your show is popular doesn’t make it the end-all-be-all. How about it being a homage to Starship Troopers? With Mechs raining from the sky into combat zones? Oh I dunno, that’s pretty similar too…

    AOT sucks, its derivative of all other animes anyway. Eren’s family is lifted straight from Batman too. Derp

  • ShingekiNoTitanFall

    I love it how people think this game borrowing elements from attack on titan is a bad thing. Attack on Titan Video Game? Yes please give now THANK YOU!

  • lee

    also the fact that they both use a triangle as the A in both the manga and the game

  • Linkkicksu

    No-one would’ve even considered this if the word “Titan” wasn’t in the name.
    Shut up author.

  • Ninjzz

    No they didn’t. the gameplay is more derivative of the mechanized combat of Mech Warrior, the wall running action of GunZ online: The Duel, and the jet pack FPS action Tribes 1, all of which predate Attack on Titan. In fact the only true similarity between Attack on Titan and Titanfall is the name, and the lower back location of the jet pack.

  • Titanium

    This is the silliest thing I have ever read.

  • ElderlyMouse

    First titanfall is about interstellar war between a corporation and the common people, not man eating beast. Secound, there nothing that resembles each other except the word titan. You are arguing on something that is different base on the name. Read AOT and play titanfall they are completely different

  • Simon Nichols

    I personally don’t care if they ripped it off as long as someones mods Titanfall to add 3d gear and AoT textures. That would be the greatest thing



  • Steve

    Kinda grasping at straws there.

    Titanfall is set in Earth’s future out on the frontier planets, they’re big mechs fighting big mechs with guns and rockets and spaceships and all that. Mega corporation v ragtag rebels.

    Attack on Titan is set on some alternate Earth (?) about humans being eaten and attempting to fight back against big human giants.

    The only similarity is big stompy things and acrobatic protagonists, neither of which is a terribly unique trope.

  • .::Taboo::.

    You’re an idiot.


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