Many industry professionals were certain Respawn Entertainment was working on Titanfall 3, but after the studio released Apex Legends out of nowhere this week, those theories started to crumble a bit. The free-to-play battle royale game garnered a ton of attention and managed to reach one million players within eight hours of it being available. With that success, it’s not uncommon to receive a ton of fan feedback, with cross-play being on the minds of many players. While the game doesn’t have that feature at this time, it looks like it very well could.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson had some noteworthy things to say about this matter during a February 2019 earnings call:
We think cross-play and cross-progress is going to be a very important part of our future, and you should anticipate that we’ll be doing more in that space. What our information would suggest to us is that there isn’t a tremendous amount of play across devices, but that overall liquidity in any gaming community is a good and positive thing, even if it’s only a few people or a small portion of the community that utilizes that.
We absolutely are looking into that in the context of Apex, and we’ll be looking at that across our portfolio over time. We think about franchises with tremendously large communities like FIFA, and we think that they would absolutely benefit from cross-play and cross-progress, as more and more people come into these big communities.
As cross-play becomes more prevalent, it will likely be a more utilized feature. The reality of playing with friends across different platforms is still new, so it should gain more traction as time goes on. Fortnite and Rocket League both have jumped into the cross-play scene and have received much praise for doing so. It’s only a matter of time before a lot of other games follow and it becomes the norm.
At this point, it’s unclear what the future of Titanfall looks like. Head of Respawn Vince Zampella posted a tweet that said, “We are also working on more Titanfall for later in the year.” Based on the wording, it may not be a mainline Titanfall game, like we’d expect.
It’s great that EA and other companies are considering jumping aboard the cross-play train. It’ll be exciting to see how the future of cross-play looks when the next generation roles around.