As video game retail continues to gravitate more and more to online/subscription models through Steam and other platforms, Gamestop has hung on as the big dog of brick-and-mortar retailers through its focus on exclusives, pre-orders, and used products. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the company taking pre-orders for games mere moments after the announcement of their (eventual) existence. They have also branched out their used resale inventory to include lucrative markets like classic retro games and NFC-enabled toys like Amiibo and Skylanders.
Case in point: despite being hotly anticipated among gamers, Titanfall 2 is still very much in the “concept” phase of its development. But that’s reportedly not stopping Gamestop from starting the pre-order hype early.
A sequel to the early Xbox One hit, Titanfall was a shooter that featured a novel two-tiered gameplay approach wherein players can switch between conventional run-and-gun gameplay and piloting gigantic humanoid mechs with different mobility but increased strength and firepower. Though praised for its innovative design and interface, the title was hit with wide criticism for its decision to forego a proper single-player campaign — a decision which has already been revised for the sequel, according to the developers:
“So we are doing our best to deliver a vision of grand global colonial warfare retelling the story of the American Revolution and the American Civil War in space. We imagined the next generation of immigrants moving out to the new frontier of an inhabitable planet. Rather than taking a traditional sci-fi approach to that we wanted to look at how that would happen practically, what the ships would look like and with machines that were designed for excavation and construction , demolition and working the land, and what happens when they are turned into instruments of war.”
Gamestop already taking pre-orders for the title potentially represents a strong showing of consumer interest in the title, as the retailer is famous for predicting and following prevailing trends in the rapidly changing field of gaming fandom. While several factors would drive increased awareness of a game this far out from release, the aforementioned inclusion of a full campaign is likely to thank for much of it. Many gamers noted they would have been interested in the original if playability was not limited to online multiplayer. The more likely culprit, though, is the switch to a multi-platform release. While Titanfall was exclusive to the Xbox One console, the sequel is being tipped for simultaneous release to include Sony’s current Playstation 4 as well.
No details are in place as to when Titanfall 2 might launch, in how many versions, or at what price — though a winter 2016 target has been floated. Fans taking advantage of Gamestop’s sight-unseen pre-orders are unlikely to be worried, though, as the retailer has a decent reputation for internal flexibility regarding such matters. The company famously made the decision to honor pre-orders for the long-delayed Duke Nukem Forever when it was finally released after more than a decade of false-starts in 2011 — though whether or not any of the dedicated fans who took them up on the offer were happy about it later is another story entirely.
Screen Rant will have more information for you regarding Titanfall 2 as it is made available.