Titanfall is a bold departure from the standard shooter formula, and presenting it to the public for the first time was a frightening prospect for the Call of Duty veterans at Respawn Entertainment.
Titanfall has been the star of every show its visited so far, but speaking with Ausgamers, Respawn community manager Abbie Heppe said bringing a new IP to market isn’t as easy as the developer made it look.
“I think we have a great window to do new IP right now, the timing is great, but before E3, we were sitting there, and nobody really outside the studio had seen the game – we were a little bit scared,” she said.
“Especially when stuff started leaking out about it, and I remember looking at the early comments, and people going ‘they’re making a mech game? That sounds stupid; I don’t want that.’”
Heppe said many fans expected Respawn to produce a Call of Duty-style game because so many of its staff are Infinity Ward veterans; the studio formed when Jason West and Vince Zampella led a mass exodus.
“I think there were a lot of gamers that were expecting that that’s more or less exactly what we would do, only it would be in space. When stuff leaked and it wasn’t that – and none of those early leaks really covered the sort of parkour stuff, and the wall running, which is one of my favourite parts of it – there were a lot of comments like ‘oh, this is going to be terrible,’” she said.
“To have that going into E3, when you’re trying to be excited and think ‘I sure hope people like this, because honestly we really don’t know’, that was a little scary. So after that, it’s been really rewarding to see how people have grabbed onto it, because it was a little scary before that.”
Titanfall is due on PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in early 2014. Previews have been lavish with praise; take a look at 20 minutes of Titanfall gameplay to see why.