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Why Titanfall 2 Was A Complete Flop Despite Being A Great Game

Titanfall 2 was a legitimately good game that received positive notices from critics upon release. The mech-based shooter from Respawn and Electronic Arts has a fun single-player campaign, offers free DLC content without the need for a Season Pass, and (following in the footsteps of its predecessor) refreshes a cliched genre with parkour and even time travel elements. 


Titanfall 2 is good enough that, over the past few years, it has experienced several recent surges of popularity — once when spin-off title Apex Legends released, later in 2019 after being made available on PS Plus, and again in 2020, when it was released as part of a collection from the Steam library. 

However, when it was first released in 2016, Titanfall 2 didn't do as well as expected. In fact, it started selling at a discount less than a month after release. It's a shame, because this game was deserving of more, and it's still a travesty that fans never got a Titanfall 3.

Here's the main reason it failed, even though it should not have.

The release timing was awful

Titanfall 2 was released on Oct. 28, 2016. The date fell right between the releases of EA's Battlefield 1 on Oct. 21 and Activision's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on Nov. 4. At the time, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that the two EA games would cater to different types of fans, strengthening the company's position in the shooter genre, and even predicted that Titanfall 2 would do better than the original Titanfall. Unfortunately, he was wrong.


Despite its name, Battlefield 1 from EA Dice was the 15th installment of a long-running shooter series, and Call of Duty, of course, continues to be a juggernaut. Both were established franchises, and Titanfall 2 simply couldn't compete with the two bigger names. EA did not release numbers, but financial firm Morgan Stanley estimated in January 2017 (as reported by VentureBeat) that Battlefield 1 had sold 15 million units, just behind Infinite Warfare, while Titanfall 2 lagged at 4 million copies sold. 

There are other factors that contributed: Forbes, for example, speculated that, as Titanfall was an Xbox and PC exclusive, people didn't realize that the sequel wasn't. Ultimately, though, EA's timing miscalculation was a big problem. In trying to knock out its competition with two shooter releases in a single month, it instead hurt its own bottom line.