Respawn Entertainment, developer of the critically acclaimed Titanfall series and its battle royale spinoff Apex Legends, has more or less confirmed that Titanfall 3 was canceled so that time and resources could be put toward the latter. Of course, Apex Legends is set in the Titanfall universe and looks, feels, and to a certain extent plays like Titanfall games (sans jump jets, wall-running, and, well, Titans), but this news is still a huge blow to those who've been patiently awaiting the third mainline entry into the critically acclaimed series. Hope should not be abandoned just yet, though, as details from EA's most recent fiscal report point to another Titanfall-related project being in the works.
Apex Legends (whose very name is likely a riff on minor Titanfall series antagonist Kuben Blisk's mercenary outfit, the Apex Predators) is an incredibly polished and streamlined iteration on the battle royale formula. Originally leaked a day before its surprise February 3 release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Apex Legends excels in areas where other battle royales tend to falter thanks to developer Respawn's innovative approaches to teamwork, traversal, and spawning. While there's little room to complain about a new AAA competitor that has serious potential to shake things up for Fortnite and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, there's little question of the fact that free-to-play Apex Legends - which wears its market-driven influences like Overwatch on its sleeve - is a far cry from Titanfall despite their passing similarities.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Respawn lead producer Drew McCoy was refreshingly open about how players ended up with Apex Legends instead of Titanfall 3. Matter-of-factly, he acknowledges the perceived oversaturation of the battle royale genre and confirms that Titanfall 3 is not currently in development. Learning from the PR disaster Blizzard brought upon itself by announcing Diablo Immortal for mobile when fans were expecting Diablo 4, McCoy says that the surprise release of Apex Legends was a carefully calculated bid to "let the game speak for itself." And it seems to have paid off spectacularly, with the game's sudden launch stirring an overwhelmingly optimistic response from critics and gamers alike. Almost forlornly, McCoy admits that he and the rest of Respawn were very aware of the kind of game they were working on and the logically negative conclusions that players would draw if given too long to judge the game prior to release, saying:
"We're doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it's not Titanfall 3. It's the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that - let's just ship the game and let players play."
The release of Apex Legends comes just at the end of an exceptionally dismal fiscal quarter for EA, who published both Titanfall entries and acquired Respawn back in late 2017. According to the first page of the report, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel into which EA has dug itself. The statement points to the obvious cash cow of FIFA , the heavily marketed Anthem, and the newly released Apex Legends, but it also promises investors relief in 2019 in the form of another Titanfall-related project that has yet to be formally announced. For now, it's anyone's guess what "related Titanfall experiences" fans have to look forward to this year as it's left intentionally vague. Of course, Titanfall 3 is squarely out of the question, so the end product could take the form of anything from a mobile game to a remake, or, most compellingly, it could be the Oculus VR game that Respawn in rumored to have been working on for a while now.
Overall, fans of Titanfall will have a lot to mull over as EA continues to claw its way out of a difficult start to 2019. Regardless of Respawn's future plans for the Titanfall franchise, fans luckily have the live service-focused Apex Legends to tide them over until any bigger news surfaces. Despite its inability to meet financial expectations, we here at Screen Rant were simply enamored with the stellar campaign, breakneck multiplayer, and fascinating sci-fi universe that the previous Titanfall entry brought to the table, and it would be a massive let-down if a free-to-play battle royale spin-off like Apex Legends ultimately proves to be the final nail in the coffin for a series so beloved.