A moment of silence for those we’ve lost: Titanfall developer Respawn is being bought by gaming mega corporation Electronic Arts, the latest in a long line of studios consumed by EA including Bullfrog, Origin, Westwood, and Pandemic. A press release from EA states that the deal is worth about $315 million with “additional variable cash consideration contingent upon achievement of certain performance milestones” through the end of 2022, which may add up to $140 million on top.
Respawn Entertainment was co-founded by Infinity Ward veterans Vince Zampello and Jason West after their departure from Activision. The company has released two games in their seven-year existence, both of them being Titanfall. Despite positive critical response, Titanfall 2 fell short of projections (probably because it was released right around the same time as Call of Duty and Battlefield, go figure) and the series appeared to have an uncertain future. However, EA’s announcement of its new acquisition confirms that Respawn will continue developing Titanfall 3 under their wing.
The same announcement also confirmed that Respawn is continuing work on their new Star Wars IP, announced back in May of 2016. However, this news came only three weeks after EA canceled another Star Wars project from Visceral Games and then shut down the entire studio. The timing of Respawn’s acquisition has left a lot of gamers scratching their heads.
Kotaku might have some answers for us: Korean game publisher Nexon, the creators behind the mobile spinoff of Respawn’s Titanfall series, reportedly made a bid to purchase the company outright. EA exercised its contractual rights to match the offer and ended up outbidding Nexon.
“We started Respawn with the goal to create a studio with some of the best talent in the industry, and to be a top developer in innovative games,” said Zampella, Respawn’s CEO. “We felt that now was the time to join an industry leader that brings the resources and support we need for long term success.”
Whether the resources and support that Respawn needs for long term success includes forced multiplayer, rehashed intellectual properties for quick money grabs, expiring online passes, or Day One DLC that EA is so (in)famous for remains to be seen. We wish them the best of luck in this new direction and look forward to Titanfall 3.