Titanfall, the game which catapulted Respawn Entertainment to the status of EA’s star studio, is being pulled from digital storefronts and subscription services on March 1, 2022. This, to me? Sucks. However—given the game’s recent brush with some very bad hacking—it isn’t particularly surprising either.
Titanfall, at the time of its release, was an incredibly ambitious experiment. It was a multiplayer-only FPS, including its campaign mode—which attempted to weave story into the game’s matchmaking. The game’s multiplayer-only focus, in addition to its phenomenally fluid movement system and weighty mech combat, made Titanfall a brilliant oddity—one that would lay the foundation for all of Respawn’s future projects.
Titanfall 2 is possibly the best first-person shooter released in the last decade—with its perfectly paced and impeccably designed campaign and stellar multiplayer. Apex Legends is set in the same universe, uses the same weapons, and has a modified version of Titanfall’s movement system. The game all but reignited movement shooters for a short time, before they sadly returned to the shadows.
For the last few years, Titanfall has been plagued with myriad problems—most troubling of which has been widespread hacking throughout the game’s multiplayer. Both Titanfall and Titanfall 2 were hit with multiple DDOS attacks, which crashed the games’ servers, several hacks which would cause players’ games to crash, and even claims that some security flaws could permanently jeopardize the health of your PC (which Respawn disproved). These security risks, in addition to Repsawn’s insistence that they aren’t working on Titanfall 3 right now (but could someday), make the current state of Titanfall anything but cheery. Respawn has said the franchise is at the core of the studio’s identity, but this is all we really have to go on for the future of the series.
Titanfall’s grim fate marks yet another high-profile instance of a game being pulled from sale—with Rockstar’s recent attempt to remove classic GTA games from various storefronts being the most notable example. Jump Force, the Shonen Jump anime-fighter has also met this fate recently. As someone who cares about games preservation, decisions like this are deeply concerning even if they’re not unexpected.
Titanfall helped set the tone for an entire generation of first-person shooters, and its effects on the genre are undeniably present even today. Hell, Halo Infinite’s excellent grappling hook is pure Titanfall. Losing access to this classic is a major blow to anyone with even a passing interest in FPS history.
For those of you who haven’t picked up the game, it will remain on sale until March 1, 2022, and the game’s multiplayer servers will remain online even after the game is taken off stores and subscription services everywhere.
Goodbye Titanfall, rest well my sweet mech-prince.