When Respawn Entertainment began development of Titanfall they hadn’t yet decided to bring the next-generation shooter exclusively to Microsoft, in fact they also approached Sony to bring Titanfall to the PlayStation 4. So why didn’t it happen? Because Sony kept too quiet about the details of the PlayStation 4.
Geoff Keighley’s behind-the-scenes look at Titanfall’s production in, The Final Hours of Titanfall, reveals some really interesting information about the development of the game. One of the most revealing bits of information was that when approached by Respawn Entertainment to get Titanfall on the PlayStation 4, Sony refused to reveal any information about its next generation console, in fact all they had to offer was what the studio needed to get Titanfall on the PS Vita.
Microsoft on the other hand were more than happy to spill the beans on the Xbox One, or what was known back then as ‘Project Durango’ which according to Keighley’s eBook lead to a ”top secret briefing from Microsoft in late January”
“The deal was a complicated one as Respawn wasn’t dealing directly with Xbox,” Keighley wrote. “Instead, terms were negotiated through EA, which signed a larger, overarching partnership deal with Microsoft for the Xbox One. In order to make the economics work and keep Titanfall alive, EA needed a first-party publisher to invest. Xbox was willing to step up and save the project, which turned out to be a wise bet. Xbox now has one of the biggest games of the year as an exclusive to its platforms, although it lays no claim to sequels.”
Did Sony miss a beat by keeping their cards too close to their chest? I’d say so, though the overall process doesn’t exactly seem easy. The Final Hours of Titanfall is a truly interesting read, something which I’d definitely recommend.