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What was once Titanfall 3 has become Apex Legends, the free-to-play battle royale game that launched today. In other words, a third Titanfall is not currently in development, despite the critical acclaim for the first two.

At a press event for Apex Legends, Respawn producer Drew McCoy told Eurogamer that Titanfall 3 wasn’t happening. “The world thinks we’re making Titanfall 3 and we’re not - this is what we’re making,” he said. “To try and convince a skeptical audience for months with trailers and hands-on articles, we’re just like, ‘Let the game speak for itself’ - it’s the most powerful antidote to potential problems. We’re doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it’s not Titanfall 3. It’s the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that - let’s just ship the game and let players play.”

It’s one hell of a revelation, as we learned that Titanfall 3 was indeed in development during the fall of 2017, when publisher Electronic Arts purchased Respawn for many millions of dollars. At the time, as I reported this past Saturday, a source told me that the third Titanfall was under way and that the studio was looking to get it out as quickly as possible, for fear of it looking and feeling dated if it came out too much later than 2018 (thanks to its use of the Valve-created Source engine). I speculated that either A) this was a stopgap en route to a proper Titanfall 3 or B) whatever work was done on Titanfall 3 has become Apex Legends.

The answer, it appears, is B, which will come as sad news to anyone who thought Titanfall 2's campaign was as brilliant as Kotaku did.

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