Electronic Arts may be skipping E3 2016 this summer, alongside several other high profile video game publishers (Activision, Disney, and Wargaming.net) also dropping out of the annual event, but it's not because EA doesn't have much to show. They might even have more to show than any previous year on record.
Instead of participating with their traditionally massive booth at the trade-only game event, EA is instead hosting their own multi-location show called EA Play from June 12 - 14 (the eve of E3) in Los Angeles and London that will open its doors to press and fans alike, allowing everyone to not only see the big new games coming this year and next, but to get hands-on with them as well, keeping all of the attention and media buzz focused square only them. And one of the flagship games to be unveiled and showcased at EA Play 2016 will be Titanfall 2.
The first teaser trailer for Titanfall 2 just released, promising more to come at EA Play, and teasing a new mech (Titan) weapon type (a big-ass sword) alongside a touching story about trying to be the hero but dying first when you do. That sounds about right for players familiar with Titanfall 1.
When the leadership and many key developers from Infinity Ward (Call of Duty developer) left a few years back after a controversially fallout (read: legal battle) with Activision and formed Respawn Entertainment, their first game in partnership with EA was a new type of fast-paced shooter dubbed Titanfall. Its asymmetric gameplay attempted to merge run-and-gun infantry gameplay familiar to Call of Duty players with mech combat with AI-controlled grunts scattered across each map to give players of all types something to do.
Titanfall's innovative mechanics and polished gameplay won critical acclaim, buts the game's shallow offering of content and limited progression systems made it hard to justify its full retail price tag. It didn't have the long life of other triple-A shooters, especially on PC where the community quickly disappeared. It's for that reason Respawn already confirmed in February that Titanfall 2 will include a real single-player story campaign this time around, and we hope the boost in content extends to the game's signature multiplayer offerings as well - something the devs had to rapidly add to and update post-launch on the original game which released March 2014.
We knew Titanfall 2 was coming as soon as the original released exclusive to Xbox One and PC. The followup comes to PS4 this time as well, and was namedropped by EA back in January during an investors call where it was confirmed (alongside Battlefield 5 and Mass Effect: Andromeda) to be releasing this fiscal year (i.e. before March 2017). Expect these games to be at EA Play as well alongside new sports titles, new Battlefront content, and perhaps even some new Star Wars games.
While rumors in February pointed towards a holiday release this year for Titanfall 2, traditionally the core Battlefield games release in October which would see EA cannibalizing their own market - especially since the publisher will also be pushing new DLC for Star Wars: Battlefront. It's more likely Titanfall 2 will follow the release schedule of its predecessor and come early 2017, giving the dev team a full three-year cycle to avoid the rushed nature of the original.
Then again, GameStop already started displaying Titanfall 2 promo boxes a few weeks ago and since EA's already kicking up the marketing campaign leading up to EA Play, maybe Titanfall 2 will be available sooner than we think.
Titanfall 2 releases this fiscal year (by March 2017).