The Respawn studio doesn’t want to work on just FPS games – the team wants to prove itself.
They have a point: Respawn Entertainment was co-founded by ex-Infinity Ward employees. Jason West and Vince Zampella broke away from Activision (which happened almost a decade ago now), where they worked on the Call of Duty series. The new studio… stuck with the FPS genre. After the Microsoft-exclusive Titanfall (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC), they worked on the sequel, which came out in 2016 (as a multiplatform title – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC). It was a commercial flop, but Titanfall 2 itself was pretty good. Perhaps Electronic Arts should have not released it so near to the launch of Battlefield 1… Now, they are developing a Medal of Honor VR title aside from supporting Apex Legends (this battle royale is meant to be supported for ten years…), after somewhat breaking free from the FPS genre with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which is the only exception on their list for now. (And admittedly, this game would have needed more development time!)
The team wants more: „It’s about showing that we’re more than just a one-trick pony. Like we’ve done a lot of multiplayer, first-person shooter games; we’re kind of pigeonholed in there. This is about expanding who we are. ‘Cause as game makers, we’re all super unique. We’re all interested in so many different types of games that we play by ourselves, together. So it’s getting that out there that we’re here because we love games. We live, eat, breathe games, and we’re trying to show the breadth of what we can do, so it was super important for me to expand that,” Vince Zampella told USGamer. (He also talked about how Jedi Fallen Order was „undercooked” in the same interview.)
They want new creative challenges – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a good example (which also made their owner/publisher Electronic Arts eat some humble pie; they want to push live service/microtransaction-ridden games, yet this single-player, offline title easily surpassed sales expectations…), and Medal of Honor VR might follow this train of thought as well.
It’s respectable: they could easily kick back and stay in their comfort zone, but they want to do something new. Other studios, such as Infinity Ward, should take notes. Creativity does get stale if there’s nothing new to do.
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