After years of struggling to combat hacks and DDoS attacks that at times have rendered Titanfall unplayable, Respawn Entertainment is throwing in the towel. The studio said in a message posted to Twitter that it is halting sales of the game today and will remove it from subscription services on March 1, 2022.
The decision to end Titanfall sales follows a back-and-forth battle with hackers going back to 2019, resulting in a "mostly negative" user review rating for the game on Steam. There were flashes of hope earlier this year—Respawn told players that "help is coming" in April—but by mid-May the situation was as bad as ever, and in mid-July Respawn community coordinator Jason Garza acknowledged that the demands of Apex Legends meant that only "one or two people" were still working on Titanfall support.
A note about Titanfall. pic.twitter.com/Ew232HkUIoDecember 1, 2021
"Rest assured, Titanfall is core to Respawn's DNA and this incredible universe will continue," the studio said. "Today in Titanfall 2 and Apex Legends, and in the future. This franchise is a north star for the calibre of experiences we will continue to create here at Respawn."
Respawn didn't say why exactly the game is being removed from sale, but given the tiny number of people still trying to play—today's peak concurrent player count on Steam is 7, and it's probably safe to assume the Origin numbers are similar—the reasonable guess is that it's just not worth the effort required to keep up the fight against hackers. Game servers will remain online for now, although it's not clear how much value that will be given that the game is effectively unplayable most of the time anyway.
Respawn has made similar comments about the importance of Titanfall in the past—in fact, it said virtually the same thing in September ("Titanfall is the very core of our DNA") when it denied that Titanfall 3 is in development. But the studio's priority is clearly Apex Legends, the ongoing hit battle royale, which also happens to be set in the Titanfall universe and is thus, technically at least, part of the "franchise."
Titanfall is effectively finished, then, but Titanfall 2 will persevere. It also suffers from serious DDoS and hacking problems, but unlike the original Titanfall it also includes an absolutely outstanding campaign and is still worth a pickup as a singleplayer game.