Respawn: Rate of Players Dropping on First Titanfall “Identical” to Every Other Game’s

August 17, 2016 Written by Alex Co

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While the first Titanfall didn’t see a PlayStation release due to EA and Microsoft’s exclusivity deal, the game was still considered a success. Having said that, one problem players had with it was the actual player base, which, to be fair, is a problem every multiplayer shooter encounters not named Call of Duty and Battlefield.

At Respawn’s Titanfall 2 multiplayer event in its studio, PlayStation LifeStyle managed to get some interview time with the developers. One of the questions we asked was exactly that — the player base and how it falls off after a certain point post launch.

PlayStation LifeStyle: You mentioned keeping players active in the game. That brings up a problem that a lot of multiplayer games have, is that the player base tends to fall off a cliff past a certain point after launch. Was that the case with the first Titanfall, and is that what brought about this “Networks” mode?

John Shiring, Lead Engineer: Yeah, in Titanfall 1, we saw a population dropping…This is a hot topic for me, so I apologize, but from talking to a lot of other people, the reality is that the rate of people dropping off, our curve is identical to every other game’s curve. Really, it’s just how many people you have on launch day, that decides where your curve’s going to be, but the shape’s still going to be the same. It obviously changed how we did our matchmaking a lot, because it creates a lot of harder-to-solve problems of low-pop times, and low population playlists, and it’s very regional. So you can have playlists that are certain parts of the day and certain parts of the world, you can’t make a match. So we had to do a lot of adjustments in our matchmaker to try and put matches together, and find the right balance between skill and full matches.

Shiring also touches more on how Titanfall 2’s new matchmaking mechanic will help the shooter have longer legs, seeing as the game will be released on the PlayStation 4, how it’ll be a bigger launch.

Shiring: So, coming from that knowledge, we designed a whole new matchmaking system for Titanfall 2. It has been really valuable to have gained all that data from the last game, and the things we learned from it. In Titanfall 2, even for the same population, we’re going to have a lot better match quality. On top of that, it’s going to be a much bigger launch. So we’re going to have a lot more players online for each point after launch. So it should be pretty smooth, hopefully, and that’s what I spend a lot of my time working on and worrying [about]…

Shiring’s not wrong in his assessment, no? Fortunately for us, Titanfall 2 will have an open test this coming weekend (and next!) which means we’ll have time to actually try the game out. In the meantime, go check out our impressions on the multiplayer, as well as check out a ton of gameplay videos to see what’s in store for you.

Stay tuned to our full interview with Respawn set to hit the site next week!