In an interview with Eurogamer, Apex Legends' lead producer Drew McCoy explains that Respawn are definitely not working on Titanfall 3. He also explains how a Titanfall game ended up Titan-less.
McCoy's statements appear in Emma Kent's report on the game on Eurogamer, where he could not confirm that Apex is coming to mobile or Nintendo Switch but it's something the studio would love to do. Cross-play will feature, but cross-purchase between platforms will not be possible because the game was into development before the controversy kicked off last year — therefore, cross-purchase systems weren't in place to make use of.
As for the lack of marketing, McCoy felt that trying to sell an audience on a Titan-less battle royale game over several months would have been worse than dropping Apex suddenly, allowing the game to speak for itself. He mentions explicitly that "the world thinks we're making Titanfall 3 and we're not - this is what we're making." Whether Titanfall 3 is somewhere down the road remains to be seen, but with an online battle royale game to support and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in the works we assume it can't be any time soon.
So why no Titanfall 3? Apparently the early development for the game was already starting to look a little dated on Valve's Source engine. At some point Respawn decided battle royale wasn't going to be a mode in another Titanfall game but its own entity — one which can be supported long-term as a service.
Apex was built directly off the back of Titanfall 2, and as such McCoy explains that there was no conscious decision to strip away some of the franchise's key mechanics like using mechs, wall running and double jumping. The latter two were dropped during play testing. It apparently made combat difficult to read and defend against, with the additional physics making strategic planning impossible. The Titans were a "power fantasy" in the first two games but in Apex early testing the mechs felt like a power-up — as those who enjoy the Battle Royale genre know, one of the allures is that all players have a similar toolset without such buffs. Including powered-up Titans would unbalance the experience, but taking the Titans' power away would deny the power fantasy that makes the mechs so appealing in the first place.
So why is this a Titanfall game at all? McCoy says that Respawn are still interested in developing the game universe beyond the conflicts we've seen in the first two games, and Apex's colourful cast of characters give that opportunity.
Whether you're disappointed with Respawn's change of direction or excited, one thing is for sure — the future of the Titanfall brand seems to be hinging on the success of this new Battle Royale experience.
Apex Legends is available now — you can see our round-up of the reveal here.
We've got the full list of Apex Legends achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
This game was featured in our Best Xbox One Battle Royale Games article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?
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