Titanfall, the upcoming Microsoft exclusive FPS, will not include any kind of solo campaign or single-player mode. Respawn Entertainment, a team made up of only 60 developers, decided its resources were better spent focusing on multiplayer. Also the reality is that in many FPS games, the single-player mode is often overshadowed by the multiplayer. Vince Zampella, co-founder of Respawn, acknowledged this in an recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz.
“And how many people finish the single-player game? It’s a small percentage. It’s like, everyone plays through the first level, but 5 percent of people finish the game,” said Zampella.
“Really, you split the team. They’re two different games. They’re balanced differently, they’re scoped differently. But people spend hundreds of hours in the multiplayer experience versus as little time as possible rushing to the end [in single-player]. So why do all the resources go there? To us it made sense to put it here. Now everybody sees all those resources, and multiplayer is better. For us it made sense.”
Zampella makes a lot of sense and it is refreshing to see a development team that knows what it wants to do and focuses on its strengths rather than tacking on a mode to appease a small percentage of fans who want it. On the other hand, the next game in the classic Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein: The New Order, is fittingly focusing entirely on its single-player mode and is nixing multiplayer all together. Perhaps with smaller studios honing in on smaller chunks of the FPS genre instead of trying to do everything in one game, gamers will see major innovation in genre that has been relatively stagnant since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare burst into the scene in 2007.
Speaking of Call of Duty, does Zampella see himself in direct competition with his former studio?
“Honestly, we’re not shipping the same time as them,” Zampella said. “We’re going for something different. We’re not gunning for Call of Duty. We’re doing our thing. The important thing is to make sure what we’re doing is fun. I’m OK with Call of Duty being big. I helped create it, so I’m proud to see it’s something so big that it goes beyond me.”
Too bad, it certainly would have been fun to see Zampella go head to head with the multi-billion monster he helped create. Titanfall is due for release in the spring of 2014.