Ever since Titanfall was announced at Microsoft's big E3 conference, the meaning of its exclusive status has been the subject of rumors. Although Microsoft billed the game as an exclusive for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC, many gamers simply assumed that this meant it was a timed exclusive, and that it would be coming to PlayStation consoles six months or a year a year after its release.
These assumptions were formed based on Microsoft's reluctance to clarify what exactly "exclusive" meant and the nature of game's publisher, EA. EA is best-known for publishing huge third-party titles that span multiple platforms, such as FIFA and Madden franchises. For EA, known as one of the most aggressive large publishers, to make a title with this much buzz truly exclusive seemed unthinkable.
This week, though, EA announced that Titanfall is definitely exclusive, for good, to Xbox console and PC. During EA's third quarter investor earnings call this week, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen clarified that,"...it's exclusive only for the life of the title on Xbox One and Xbox 360 and PC." Microsoft has jumped on the statement, touting it in a new press release.
Of course, now speculation can begin to surround why Jorgensen found it necessary to include the qualifier "only" in that sentence, or whether "Game of the Year" editions of the game would count as part of the "life of the title." Titanfall's March 11, 2014 release date was recently announced, so gamers will still have months to argue about the game's status before its launch. In the coming years it should be revealed just how much Microsoft paid EA to keep Titanfall, and whether this amount might have been increased for permanent exclusivity when the Xbox One began running into trouble. Lending credence to the rumor that this full exclusivity is a new development, Vince Xampella, co-founder of Titanfall developer Respawn, has tweeted that his studio only just found out about the deal:
Always MS exclusive at launch, great partner and focus is good for a startup. EA made a deal for the rest, we only found out recently =(
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) October 29, 2013