Originally Titanfall wasn’t owned by EA, and Respawn didn’t work directly for EA. Instead the company used an indie inspired program to publish their game through EA, but they were always open to publish under anyone. They also had full rights to Titanfall to do as they please, which was a big reason the studio heads left Activision over a huge Call of Duty fiasco and created Respawn to begin with.
Now all of that changes. EA has purchased Respawn and put them under the EA umbrella, along with rights to Titanfall. With that EA also announced the studio is working on a third Titanfall game. Respawn has noted that the transition is currently not leading to any layoffs in the studio, and the creative heads will remain in charge of their games. They also confirmed that alongside a new Titanfall, the studio is still working on a Star Wars title and an unannounced VR title.
“We’ve seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent and an inspiring creative mindset,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a press release. “Our longtime partnership is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world. Together, we’ve brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more amazing things in the future.”
Respawn also noted that due to the partnership, EA will be providing more resources for their games. This includes $151 million to purchase the studio, and $160 million in capital investment. Hopefully this also means better release timing and advertising, something Titanfall 2 drastically needed. The game was placed between Battlefield One, and rival Call of Duty, and was the first release on PlayStation (as the first was exclusive to Xbox). This made it challenging for the IP to take off.
Personally we loved Titanfall 2 and thought it could be FPS of the year, but it was easily overshadowed by bigger releases in the Fall lineup.