Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Poor release timing.
The general narrative is, Battlefield 1 managed to do very well, what with it being a great game and all, and because it gave a lot of jaded players something new and fresh; Titanfall 2 found itself releasing into a crowded window and floundered at first, before word of mouth led to good sales; and while Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare performed well enough in absolute terms, it was still a huge decline relative to the rest of the franchise.
Michael Pachter, well known gaming analyst from Wedbush Securities, however, believes that this could have been handled far better- if Titanfall 2 had not released so close to Battlefield and Call of Duty, all three games could have benefitted from lesser cannibalization of their sales. Speaking on his YouTube show, Pachter said, “I remember when they announced [that Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 would be releasing so close together], I went ‘they’re insane!’ So i think that was pushing the envelope, I think, especially, in the context of Call of Duty coming out. Because I think that the audience for the three games is a similar pool of people. I think that people either play Call of Duty or they play Battlefield, and in a normal year, they’re both kind of similar, they’re both modern warfare. Battlefield went retro, which was actually smart- I questioned it at the time, but it was smart. call of Duty went future, which is kind of dumb, but again, they at least partition where they are, they are far away from one another. So I think those two at least make sense… and then Titanfall 2 smack dab in the middle.
‘I’m not sure why EA did that, I think partly because EA wanted to get 10 million units or more sold of Titanfall, and had they launched at some other time like February, they would have had trouble doing so, because they would have been like six weeks out from the Holiday period. I think that had Respawn been able to get Titanfall 2 done, they would have pushed it forward, and maybe launched it in July, and that would have been good cadence.
‘But yes, I think that launching them a week apart means that the two games are cannibalizing one another, and that Call of Duty will cannibalize both. So I think it’s tough- it’s hard to do it. Very few players are going to do all three.’
He is definitely right- releasing the games this close to one another made no sense, and I still don’t understand what EA were hoping to achieve from that. My only hope is that Titanfall 2 won’t suffer from this in the long run- it’s a great game, and it doesn’t deserve to be sandwiched like this.