Respawn’s first-person shooter “Titanfall” is launching March 11 for the PC and Xbox One, and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is hoping the much-anticipated game will be a system seller, allowing the company to catch up with competitor Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The brand’s next-gen Xbox One launched on Nov. 22 in North America and Europe. The console sold 1 million units within 24 hours of its launch, but Sony’s PS4 is currently outdoing Microsoft’s latest system.
Sony’s next-gen PS4 has sold 6 million units globally as of March 2, according to a recent press release by Sony. This also accounts for the 370,000 consoles sold in Japan since the Japanese launch on Feb. 22. As of Feb. 8, 5.3 million PS4s had reached consumers. The console is currently available in 57 countries internationally.
“Titanfall,” which required a development team of 65 people and nearly three years of production, launched a beta in mid-February that closed Feb. 19. The beta drew in more than 2 million players and reviews were largely positive. It’s no surprise Microsoft hopes the title will increase Xbox One sales, since there’s been so much hype surrounding the game’s launch. “Titanfall” will launch on the Xbox 360 on March 25.
"We're making a big bet that 'Titanfall' is going to be a blockbuster launch for Xbox," Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Microsoft, told Reuters. "We don't have a sales forecast for the game to share, but we expect it to be big for us.”
Fizziology, an Indianapolis-based social media company that uses social sites like Twitter and Facebook to track thousands of search queries, compiled seven days’ worth of tweets, ending on March 4, a week before “Titanfall’s” launch. In this timeframe, the company recorded 161,439 mentions of the game on Twitter.
Fizziology also noted that 69 percent of “Titanfall’s” tweets were positive, which means around 50,000 tweets spoke negatively of Respawn’s latest endeavor. Twelve percent of the conversation about “Titanfall” were gamers hoping to play on Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox One. Three percent of Twitter discussions were from people who had already pre-ordered “Titanfall.”
On Feb. 11, during the Stifel Technology, Internet & Media Conference in San Francisco, EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said he sees “Titanfall” as having long-term potential. “As you can imagine, this will be a franchise that’s around for a long, long time. I think people will be very excited,” he said.
Jorgensen also spoke highly of Respawn’s hard work on “Titanfall.” “It is a beautiful game, but I believe that the team has done a great job, and we’re always trying to take lessons learned from previous issues and build them into the new game. You never know exactly what will happen when you start to run through all the gyrations that our consumers always run through, but we’re always there to make sure that it’s getting updated and robust over time and make sure that the consumer experience is fantastic.”
Do you think the Xbox One will catch up with the PS4 in sales now that “Titanfall” is available?” Leave a comment below or Tweet me!