A Titanfall 3 game was apparently in the works at Respawn Entertainment for a total of ten months before the project was scrapped, according to an interview with a former Titanfall dev.
Mohammad Alavi, a former game designer for Titanfall, revealed what went on during the development of Titanfall 3 and what eventually led to the creation of Apex Legends, the free-to-play battle royale spinoff title based on the Titanfall universe. Here’s an excerpt of the interview via The Burnnetwork:
Titanfall 2, y’know, came out, did what it did, and we were like, “Okay, we’re gonna make Titanfall 3,” and we worked on Titanfall 3 for… ten months, right? In earnest, right? I mean, we had, like, new tech for it, we had multiple missions going, we had a first playable, which was like, on par to be just as good if not better than whatever we had before, right? But I’ll make this clear—incrementally better, it wasn’t revolutionary. And that’s the kicker, right? And we were, like, feeling pretty decent about it, but not the same feeling as Titanfall 2 where we were making something revolutionary, y’know what I mean? And then the multiplayer team was having a hell of a time trying to fix the multiplayer because a lot of people love the multiplayer.
People love Titanfall 2 multiplayer. But people who love Titanfall 2 multiplayer is a very small number of people. And most people play Titanfall 2 multiplayer and think it’s really good, but it’s just too much. It’s cranked up to 11, and they burn out a bit fast. And they’re like, “That was a great multiplayer, that’s not something I continually play for, like, a year, two years,” right? So we were like, trying to fix that, we were trying to fix that from Titanfall 1 to 2, trying to fix it from Titanfall 2 to 3, the multiplayer team was like, just dying. And then PUBG came out. *laughs* And I don’t know if you remember Alex Roycewicz but Alex Roycewicz was starting to play PUBG. And then Geoff started playing PUBG. And then they made a battle royale map with, y’know, Titanfall 3 classes.
Alavi went on to reveal that after positive reception from staff members testing the game, he and the rest of the team decided to pivot to develop Apex Legends, seeing the potential in the new mode.
And at the time, I had just literally become [the] narrative lead designer on Titanfall 3, I had just pitched the… story, the whole game, that me and Manny had come up with, made this big presentation and then we went off a break and went back from break, and we talked about it, and we were like, “Yeah, we need to pivot. And we need to go make this game.” ‘Cause we literally canceled Titanfall 3 ourselves ’cause we were like, “We can make this game, and it’s going to be Titanfall 2 plus a little bit better, or we can make this thing, which is clearly amazing.” And don’t get me wrong, I will always miss having another Titanfall, y’know what I mean? I love that game, Titanfall 2, like I said, is my most crowing achievement, but it was the right call. That is a crazy cut. Such a crazy cut that EA didn’t even know about it for another six months!
Based on Alavi’s telling of the story, Titanfall 3’s development was hindered by the difficulty and complexity of its multiplayer mode, and with the rising popularity of battle royale games, Respawn Entertainment decided to instead shift its focus to Apex Legends instead. This led to Titanfall 3’s effective cancellation, and while Respawn Entertainment’s CEO isn’t against the idea of the sequel making a return, it “has to be the right thing,” according to a recent statement.