Titanfall 2 struggled out of the gate at retail, but there was a modicum of solace to be found in the fact that the dire sales reports only represented physical copies. Given how many gamers have eschewed the whole "go to a store and pick up a box" routine, it was at least possible that digital sales could help balance things out. According to a Superdata Research report, however, that hasn't happened.
On the bright side, digital doesn't seem to have made the situation any worse. TItanfall 2 launch week sales were "barely a quarter" of the original, and that's about where digital has landed too.
"Electronic Arts made the poor choice to push out the title in between the releases of two larger and more popular FPS franchises. The divided attention of FPS gamers had a negative impact on sales, bringing in total of only $18 million," Superdata wrote. "Compared to Titanfall 1 (which released in March 2014 against no competing titles), Titanfall 2 brought in only 28 percent of its predecessor’s first month revenue."
The ongoing criticism of EA's decision to wedge Titanfall 2 between those "larger and more popular" franchises—Battlefield and Call of Duty—is brought into even sharper relief by the fact that Battlefield 1 apparently did quite well against Infinite Warfare all by itself.
"Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 1 shot to first place in console rankings, becoming the best-selling new release for October with $70 million in revenue on console and $110 million across all platforms," the report says. "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will likely generate more sales than Battlefield 1 on console, but is unlikely to beat Battlefield’s PC performance."
It's actually good news if you're willing to take the long view: Battlefield can finally punch with Call of Duty, and Titanfall 2 stumbled not because of any inherent flaws in the game, but simply due to a really bad (and so far unattributed) scheduling call. The trouble is that the long view is never assured in this business. Battlefield will be fine, but a falloff like this, especially in light of the uncertainty we've already seen, does not bode well for the likelihood of a Titanfall 3 happening.