Titanfall 2 is really good—potentially "one of the best shooters of its time," as we said in our just-posted review. But our man also expressed worry that the game could end up becoming an "underground favorite" rather than a full-on hit, a concern that echoes this recent forecast of underperforming sales. And based on initial numbers out of the UK, those dire predictions seem set to come true.
GfK Chart-Track said Titanfall 2 debuted in the fourth spot in the UK charts, behind Battlefield 1, Skyrim Special Edition, and Fifa 17. The chart only covers physical unit sales, so the picture it paints is obviously incomplete and skewed, but even so, the relative performance it illustrates is alarmingly poor: Battlefield 1's grip on the top spot will be understandably hard to pry loose, but Skyrim SE is a remake of a five-year-old RPG and this is Fifa 17's fifth week on the chart. That is not a good way for a new game to come out of the gate.
Even worse, Titanfall 2 launch sales are "barely a quarter" of the original Titanfall, according to GamesIndustry, despite the addition of a proper single-player campaign and the PlayStation platform, both of which were lacking for the first Titanfall. And EA has been pushing the sequel hard, with trailers up the wazoo and even a "no season pass required" approach to future maps and game modes.
It pulled out all the stops to make the game a success, in other words—but it also chose to drop the release date squarely between Battlefield 1 and the year's guaranteed mega-hit shooter, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Nobody seems to know exactly why that choice was made, but it's effectively impossible at this point to argue that it wasn't a tremendous blunder. Numerous comments on our review remark specifically on the bankbook squeeze caused by the close proximity of these games, not to mention the recent Civilization 6 and upcoming Dishonored 2.
We don't have sales numbers for North America yet, but we'll update when they come in. But it doesn't sound like things are shaping up to be much better: PC Gamer's James Davenport said that the day after launch, there weren't enough players in his region playing games modes like Last Titan Standing to let him get into a game, and Shaun Prescott (who's in Australia) said the same thing about CTF over the weekend.