Respawn announced today that it will be joining EA. A full statement from Respawn head honcho Vince Zampella can be read here. Up to this point, EA have been publishers for Respawn’s Titanfall series, but the studio has been independent with regards to its ownership.
While it wasn’t necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense. With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn’t interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we’ve always had. We’ve been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first.
I really enjoyed the original Titanfall, although the second one strayed a bit too far from its multiplayer vision to really pull me in. Zampella states that the team will stay working on the Titanfall IP, and also highlights that development of their Star Wars game is going well. EA clearly have more confidence in it than they had in Visceral’s efforts, which led to the recent closure of that particular studio.
Zampella has also stated there will be no layoffs or major organisational changes as part of the merger. It remains to be seen what all this means outside of the current PR speak though. Will Respawn drop their modified Source engine that they have used for Titanfall in favor of Frostbite? Will the their Star Wars game possess the same fun and frantic single player campaign that they pulled off with Titanfall 2?
Quite frankly with EA it is very hard to predict these things. The only real certainty is that studios that are seen to be under performing normally get moved to a nice farm in the country without too much ceremony.