Much was made over Respawn Entertainment's announcement Wednesday that Titanfall for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC will be limited to 12 players in online matches. That number is offset with the Titans themselves plus AI soldiers. The studio revealed the exact number in a new interview along with some of the reasoning behind the design decision.
Titanfall will support six player controlled characters on each side for a total of 12. Each can call down a Titan after reaching a certain score level and these mechs can be piloted or be made to escort/protect the player for an additional 12 characters on the battlefield. The game will support an additional 12 AI-controlled solders on each side though according to a Polygon interview with Lead Designer Justin Hendry..
In all this means that Titanfall will have 12-player controlled characters and up to 36 AI controlled characters for a total of 48 combatants in the match.
Hendry explained that Respawn Entertainment originally started with 12-player controlled characters on each side but eventually whittled that down to just six.
"It's been this number for months," he said. "We are pretty avid players in the studio. People speak their minds and we listen and make changes. This is the number that felt best.
"The game is essentially built to be six on six."
So what purpose does the AI soldiers serve then? They are there for less skilled players to shoot to build up their score to call in a Titan and they also help provide a campaign narrative to the multiplayer only game.
But why did Respawn not to go with a huge player count like with Battlefield 4?
"It just comes back to what makes the game fun," Hendry said. "If you're making a game and you're making decisions that's not based on fun because you're trying to please someone or trying to match numbers, you're not doing the right thing.
"Why not make Call of Duty 256 players, or Battlefield 256 or 512? Maybe that would be awesome. Maybe that would be awesome for that type of game built around that, but you can't just jam players into a game and say this is what is ordained."
Titanfall is due out March 11 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
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