Titanfall Beta Had Around 2 Million Players

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Titanfall Beta Had Around 2 Million Players

Titanfall Mech

Titanfall's servers only broke for a single seven hour period during the game's beta.

The Titanfall beta, which was first closed, then open, then sort-of-closed-but-still-kind-of-open, was a wildly successful operation for developer Respawn Entertainment. Community manager Abbie Heppe and server engineer Jon 'Slothy' Shiring spoke on just how successful the game was, boasting that around 2 million unique players tried out the beta.

Server concerns are understandably a hot-button issue for EA published games, considering the rather poor job they did of ensuring both SimCity and Battlefield 4's launch day experiences were smooth. So, you could imagine that a red flag went up when the beta's servers broke - admittedly, only for seven hours - under the strain of just the beta players.

"[the seven hour downtime] was sort of a human error thing, while they were trying to scale up for our game," explained Shiring. "That caused a series of failures where each one was a separate bug that needed to be found and fixed. So it was really stressful, and I know people were disappointed that it didn't work for seven and a half hours straight, but by the end of it we were ready to scale up much higher. That's what we went in expecting. Let's see what breaks, fix it, and then once we get to the concurrency we're looking for, let's push it as far as it'll go and see what breaks on the high end too."

"The most important thing for us on launch day is making sure that Microsoft's Xbox Live compute platform can scale up as high as we need it to," added Shiring. "We had the alpha, but that was fairly small. Alpha proved that the tech works. Beta, the thing we wanted to test was what happens when you scale it really high, see what breaks and then fix that so we don't have to find out on launch day."

Heppe added that "You never want to say that everything is going to be perfect. Obviously there are things that can change. But you don't want to say, 'oh, no, there will still be problems,' because you don't want to give people a lack of confidence in what you're doing. I think that this beta was really about giving people confidence that not only will we be communicative with them, but we're actively trying to work out any bugs now."

The sheer transparency that Respawn is offering us in regards to the Titanfall launch, gets a huge thumbs up from me. At least they are trying to solve server issues now, instead of waiting for them to break during the launch period.

Source: Polygon

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It aint just the Xbox you need to worry about, or NA over EU, make sure its good for the other platform that MS dont pay you for as well, and dont forget there are a few players across the Atlantic as well who pay money... yes actual cash here.

The beta was fun except for the stupid manner to enter the damn thing, I had to beg a help desk at EA for one and got one practically on the last day...dont play the fave game of opening up the one platform and making the other fight for a handful of keys like beggars after a handful of change, respect all the platforms you support... not just the bloody bone.

Well, it's nice to see an EA studio visibly co-ordinating and preparing for an online game launch for once...

I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

Wasn't that the point of the beta, though? To stress test the servers, so that it won't break down day one?

Huh, whaddya know. Maybe Titanfall will be the Xbone's savior after all.

Unless a decent chunk of those two million people had a negative opinion of the game, that is.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

The more Respawn speaks, the more admiration and respect I have for them. Seriously, these people are showing they not only have a love for gaming and game design, but also an incredible amount of respect for gaming community and their fans.

I sorely wish we had more studios that thought and spoke as they do.

Kmadden2004:
Well, it's nice to see an EA studio visibly co-ordinating and preparing for an online game launch for once...

Just wanted to say that Respawn isn't actually an EA studio. EA is only distributing the game, they don't own Respawn nor the Titanfall IP.

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

You....you DO realize the beta was a stress test of the servers, right? That it was designed to show them any issues that might arise on launch so that they can fix them before launch?

Did you even read the article?

Brian Tams:

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

Wasn't that the point of the beta, though? To stress test the servers, so that it won't break down day one?

We will see.

I'd love to see a project that has EA anywhere near it that relies on the internet and doesn't break on day one. You're right, but I'm still skeptical.

CriticKitten:
Huh, whaddya know. Maybe Titanfall will be the Xbone's savior after all.

Unless a decent chunk of those two million people had a negative opinion of the game, that is.

I have my serious doubts that all two million of those players were Xbone owners. Considering the huge rush for PC codes, I'd say a good chunk were those.

CriticKitten:
Huh, whaddya know. Maybe Titanfall will be the Xbone's savior after all.

What makes you think that? The game is available on 360 and PC as well, and I can't see anyone going out to buy a console for a cross-platform game...

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

Because that's what a beta is, right? Day one?

Don't be silly. The beta served its purpose beautifully: Find and eliminate bugs as they happen.

I still discourage people from pre-ordering Titanfall, no matter how good the beta was.

As a golden example, Battlefield 4's beta was approximately 50x less crash-prone and buggy than the released version. Tons of people pre-ordered based on the beta and look what they were given. It was only after release did we find out the true depth of BF4's issues and just how FUCKED it is from the very foundations (I still play BF4, lots of netcode/technical issues still rampant).

Respawn themselves have said not to throw 100% faith into Titanfall being problem-free. Just don't pre-order games, get out of the habit.

2 million people? that's a lot of bribes to pay!
*rimshot*

Oh My God.... It's learning... EA is actually learning from it's previous mistakes... THE END IS NIGH!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

Personally, I never had connection issues or problems with servers (PC), I only had problems with lag. Which, to be honest, is more annoying to me than being thrown out of a lobby. The only other problem I had with this game was the fact that its taught me that I need to upgrade my non-console. And looking at the price of new graphics cards makes me want to cry, especially with the beer festival just around the corner.

Will be looking forward to Titanfall next month, this is the most fun I've had in an FPS for a looooong time. Plus, despite its problems, it was still the best beta I took part in so far this year. That Elder Scrolls Online beta...........made me want to go out and eat live pandas.

CriticKitten:
Huh, whaddya know. Maybe Titanfall will be the Xbone's savior after all.

Unless a decent chunk of those two million people had a negative opinion of the game, that is.

Well, considering the PC version was part of the beta, and they ran out of keys for that but not for the Xbox One version, it's likely that a decent chunk of that 2 Million were PC users.

CriticKitten:
Huh, whaddya know. Maybe Titanfall will be the Xbone's savior after all.

Unless a decent chunk of those two million people had a negative opinion of the game, that is.

I dunno, most feedback I've heard was great (didn't have time to get on the beta) but my main concern now would be that they EA this thing. Y'know, only 4 maps then the rest as DLC, that kind of thing. If they don't EA it, it looks like it'll be great.

As a PC gamer... I tried it out for about an hour after work last saturday, might be that I just wasn't in the mood for it, but it failed to keep my interest. It is competently done though.

I think one problem is map related, the more open the map is, the less you can actually use the parkour features, and those parkour features while nice to see, still didn't feel as good as they do in Warframe, which I played to death. Maybe I've been spoiled.

Likewise the infantry gunplay felt a bit too generic modern military shooter. More interesting, higher skill ceiling guns would've helped. There's also a sense that it's too much free for all and too little structure and goals, I've never really been a fan of team deathmatch pubbing. Counter-strike was good because you had objectives, which introduced a sense of strategy, teamwork, deception, and subterfuge. Me and the teammates I spoke to figured that this game doesn't even really need its voicechat.

The best part is the titan combat, which IMO is far better than in HAWKEN.

Vigormortis:

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

You....you DO realize the beta was a stress test of the servers, right? That it was designed to show them any issues that might arise on launch so that they can fix them before launch?

Did you even read the article?

That's the exact thing they said about the Bad Company 2 beta. And the BF3 beta. And the BF4 beta. Granted, those have been the only games from EA that I was interested in enough to follow, but the precedence remains. Those games were supposed to be EA's killer app at the time, and when people complained about issues that they witnessed, they were told that they were "objectively wrong," and that the issues had already been addressed; the beta was an "old build" simply for "stress testing" purposes. Yet each of those games suffered server issues (as well as others) at launch.

Don't drink the kool-aid.

lacktheknack:

Alpha Maeko:
I find it hilarious how they'll spend literally millions on everything else, but still fail to put even a fraction of that into a more prepared server system.

Always and forever a "don't fix it until after it breaks on day one" system.

Because that's what a beta is, right? Day one?

Don't be silly. The beta served its purpose beautifully: Find and eliminate bugs as they happen.

In this day and age, calling a game a "beta" usually means "a demo that we don't have to keep online indefinitely." For example, I download the new Madden DEMO every year. I play it every once in a while, but there's not enough there to get me to buy the full game. Companies know this. They know there are people like me that will get all of their satisfaction out of the DEMO, and never buy the full game. But what can they do? They have to release a demo in order to drum up interest, but they can't leave it up and lose sales to the folks that are happy to keep playing it. I think they figured out that if they call is a BETA instead of a DEMO, they can then be "justified" in taking it offline. Hey, it was just for beta testing purposes, right? Not like it was an actual demo or anything.

Cerebrawl:
There's also a sense that it's too much free for all and too little structure and goals, I've never really been a fan of team deathmatch pubbing. Counter-strike was good because you had objectives, which introduced a sense of strategy, teamwork, deception, and subterfuge. Me and the teammates I spoke to figured that this game doesn't even really need its voicechat.

I got the impression that the game took a lot of cues from Brink, and will likely have some "objectives" similar to the way they were implemented in Brink. I didn't play the beta, but the reading that I had done on the game made me think of Brink from the very beginning.

Sheesh, all these replies! ._.

TheRealCJ:
I have my serious doubts that all two million of those players were Xbone owners. Considering the huge rush for PC codes, I'd say a good chunk were those.

Mothhive:
Well, considering the PC version was part of the beta, and they ran out of keys for that but not for the Xbox One version, it's likely that a decent chunk of that 2 Million were PC users.

That honestly wouldn't surprise me. Though I don't know why a PC player would bother pining after Titanfall when they've got more options, unless it's really a solid game.

Adam Locking:
What makes you think that? The game is available on 360 and PC as well, and I can't see anyone going out to buy a console for a cross-platform game...

At this point, they don't WANT to sell more consoles. They want to sell more games.

Selling a ton of consoles has put them in a billion-dollar net loss for 2013 alone. The only way they'll recoup those losses is with a solid performance selling exclusive titles. Thus, Titanfall may be their best....maybe even their ONLY....shot at recouping their losses to date. If Titanfall sells mostly on the PC or 360, the Xbone is in big, big trouble.

JimmyPage666:
I dunno, most feedback I've heard was great (didn't have time to get on the beta) but my main concern now would be that they EA this thing. Y'know, only 4 maps then the rest as DLC, that kind of thing. If they don't EA it, it looks like it'll be great.

It's all too likely that they will, unfortunately. EA has rarely demonstrated the ability to learn from its previous errors.

lets hope that the pc sales outshine the xbox one sales so developers and publishers might take a second look on the plattform they started to neglect.

still, these 2 million are just the top of the iceberg. i am sure they will have some server overloads for the beginning week.

tdylan:

That's the exact thing they said about the Bad Company 2 beta. And the BF3 beta. And the BF4 beta. Granted, those have been the only games from EA that I was interested in enough to follow, but the precedence remains. Those games were supposed to be EA's killer app at the time, and when people complained about issues that they witnessed, they were told that they were "objectively wrong," and that the issues had already been addressed; the beta was an "old build" simply for "stress testing" purposes. Yet each of those games suffered server issues (as well as others) at launch.

You seem to be ignoring; whether purposefully or unintentionally; quite a few rather important details.

Most of those betas weren't designed as stress tests for the servers. EA claimed some were after the fact, but most simply weren't. And even those that were weren't very useful for the stress tests as they had very limited testing pools.

The Titanfall beta was purposefully pushed well beyond it's intended scope. Respawn made a point of attempting to break the Azure servers and testing how well they scale. This was not done with the betas you listed.

Speaking of the Azure servers, these are owned and operated by Microsoft, not EA. I could explain what they are but I imagine you have the wherewithal to find out yourself.

Another key difference is this: DICE, and subsequently Battlefield, are owned in whole by EA. EA had almost complete control over the creative process and the creation of the infrastructure designed to support those games. This is not the case with Titanfall. Respawn has, along with Microsoft, assumed total control over the building of the infrastructure around the game. EA's role in this venture is simply distribution.

Now, this does by no means indicate the Titanfall launch will be faultless. There's every possibility that something could still go wrong.

However, the fault won't lay with EA. And, despite your rather tenuous comparisons to other betas, Respawn is taking extraordinary measures in an attempt to make the launch as smooth as possible. Certainly far more than most do.

Don't drink the kool-aid.

Funny, I was going to say the same thing.

CriticKitten:

Selling a ton of consoles has put them in a billion-dollar net loss for 2013 alone. The only way they'll recoup those losses is with a solid performance selling exclusive titles. Thus, Titanfall may be their best....maybe even their ONLY....shot at recouping their losses to date. If Titanfall sells mostly on the PC or 360, the Xbone is in big, big trouble.

To be fair, none of the consoles are not doing much better. Sony will post a $1 billion this quarter, even with selling off the TV division, they're selling the PS4 at a loss, and it took five years for them to get a profit even with higher demand of PS3's. I don't think I need to say anything about Nintendo currently.

The truth is consoles just aren't that profitable no matter which way you look at it. It's one of the reasons so many doomsayers out there shout "Consoles are going to die!!!!!!"

Saucycarpdog:
To be fair, none of the consoles are not doing much better. Sony will post a $1 billion this quarter, even with selling off the TV division, they're selling the PS4 at a loss, and it took five years for them to get a profit even with higher demand of PS3's.

To be fair, that's a $1 billion loss *after* all of their divisions are considered. Most of their actual losses are coming from TV and PC sales, not the Playstation division. By comparison, Xbox has been nothing but a money sink for Microsoft for its entire lifespan, across multiple consoles.

But yes, Sony's in bad shape too.

I don't think I need to say anything about Nintendo currently.

I still think it's hilarious that people are predicting doom and gloom for Nintendo when they're arguably the best off. Even with their console doing terrible, 3DS sales being down, etc, they're still only suffering losses at a third of the rate of their competitors. And given the massive stash of cash the Wii netted them, they're the only company right now that can really afford those losses.

No, they're still not in a good situation, but relatively speaking they're not as bad off as Sony or MS right now.

So yeah, they're all doing bad. However, there's no question that there's a hierarchy here. Microsoft's in the worst shape by far financially (with the XBox division being a giant money pit), Sony's second (due to overall corporate losses), and Nintendo is third (with declining sales on both of their major consoles). Granted, "winning" this contest is sort of like being the best loser, but there it is.

ASnogarD:
dont play the fave game of opening up the one platform and making the other fight for a handful of keys like beggars after a handful of change, respect all the platforms you support... not just the bloody bone.

Microsoft's contribution to the development budget says that Xbone gets priority on everything, EVERYTHING!

Of course, this could end up being the most damaging thing to the Titanfall brand, there's seventy million 360's and fourty odd million Origin accounts that are about to get treated like dirt, roll on Titanfall 2.

CriticKitten:

Saucycarpdog:
To be fair, none of the consoles are not doing much better. Sony will post a $1 billion this quarter, even with selling off the TV division, they're selling the PS4 at a loss, and it took five years for them to get a profit even with higher demand of PS3's.

To be fair, that's a $1 billion loss *after* all of their divisions are considered. Most of their actual losses are coming from TV and PC sales, not the Playstation division. By comparison, Xbox has been nothing but a money sink for Microsoft for its entire lifespan, across multiple consoles.

But yes, Sony's in bad shape too.

I don't think I need to say anything about Nintendo currently.

I still think it's hilarious that people are predicting doom and gloom for Nintendo when they're arguably the best off. Even with their console doing terrible, 3DS sales being down, etc, they're still only suffering losses at a third of the rate of their competitors. And given the massive stash of cash the Wii netted them, they're the only company right now that can really afford those losses.

No, they're still not in a good situation, but relatively speaking they're not as bad off as Sony or MS right now.

So yeah, they're all doing bad. However, there's no question that there's a hierarchy here. Microsoft's in the worst shape by far financially (with the XBox division being a giant money pit), Sony's second (due to overall corporate losses), and Nintendo is third (with declining sales on both of their major consoles). Granted, "winning" this contest is sort of like being the best loser, but there it is.

I never thought Nintendo was doom and gloom. I just said they're not doing well "currently", which is true. They're the only ones with cash reserves right now, so I know they can whether it for some time.

Also, Microsoft has posted a profit this year when you consider all their other divisions, which we're doing right now. Like Nintendo, they also can whether through this.

Vigormortis:
The Titanfall beta was purposefully pushed well beyond it's intended scope. Respawn made a point of attempting to break the Azure servers and testing how well they scale. This was not done with the betas you listed.

Now, this does by no means indicate the Titanfall launch will be faultless. There's every possibility that something could still go wrong.... Respawn is taking extraordinary measures in an attempt to make the launch as smooth as possible. Certainly far more than most do.

So your argument is, "they've tested them thoroughly, but there will probably be issues in spite of that testing?"

tdylan:

So your argument is, "they've tested them thoroughly, but there will probably be issues in spite of that testing?"

Not even remotely what I said. What the hell are you talking about? Seriously...

I said Respawn was far more thorough than most companies in testing the servers in preparation of launch day. But, all the prep in the world can't help you anticipate unknown variables or circumstances.

Looking at most of your posts I'm starting to wonder if you even read the posts you quote. Seems all you want to do is argue by using baseless accusations and false associations.

But please, go right ahead and continue your nonsensical hate train and dismiss all of my counter-points by attempting to throw a straw-man my way. Really gives credence to your claims.

Vigormortis:
Snips

Thank you for actually doing research and being logical about this, not many people seem to understand the whole EA/Respawn thing and just assume the worst.

Respawn at least appear to be going about this the right way, would certainly be nice to see no serious issues on day one.

---

I liked the Beta more than I expected, didn't get much time in but the feel was pretty solid. Just curious to see how the game pans out with regards to volume of content before I buy it. Not surprised by the numbers, seemed everyone was trying to get in.

Math time!

Beta lasted from Feb 15 through Feb 19.

That's around 120 hours.

They were down 7 hours.

That's a downtime of around 6%.

Update
This just in: $500 XBox One/Titanfall bundle

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/02/24/microsoft-unveils-500-titanfall-xbox-one-bundle/

Also from Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/02/23/on-xbox-one-and-ps4-hard-drive-space-is-already-shrinking-fast/

TheEvilCheese:

Thank you for actually doing research and being logical about this, not many people seem to understand the whole EA/Respawn thing and just assume the worst.

Respawn at least appear to be going about this the right way, would certainly be nice to see no serious issues on day one.

It still amazes me how much irrational hatred is being levied against Titanfall[1]. I honestly believe it is the most polarizing game to come along in years. Over the past three weeks I've been called a "shill", a "mindless consumer sheep", and a "loser who throws out my ethics in the interest of instant gratification" more times than I can count; all because I've shown interest in the game or because I said I enjoyed the beta.

Seems most criticisms; of which are usually from people who actually haven't tried the game nor even really looked into what it really is or what's behind it; stem from one of two positions:

The first is the utterly hyperbolic reaction of "I see an EA logo, therefore this game is the epitome of evil and will be inundated by DLC and microtransactions". No matter how tenuous the connection between EA and Respawn. (there are far too many people who actually think Respawn is an EA 1st party dev, like Bioware or DICE)

The second is "This game will suck and will be aimed solely at dude-bro casuals because it's being made by those 'COD guys'".

Sad part is, this is the kind of game many of these same people have been screaming to see for some time. As in, a game whose entire design philosophy is controlled by the developer, with no influence from the publishers. A game whose designers are repulsed by the ideas of microtransactions and over-priced DLC. A game with a clear design goal that sees it's designers foregoing crow-barring in superfluous modes and features in the interest of broadening the games appeal. A game with a design team that's being open, honest, and upfront with it's community about everything.

And many gamers' reactions? Disgust and revulsion.

Ugh, and people ask me why I don't like being called a "gamer" nowadays...

[1] And, for the matter, anyone who dares say they want to play it. Especially on this forum.

Vigormortis:

Just wanted to say that Respawn isn't actually an EA studio. EA is only distributing the game, they don't own Respawn nor the Titanfall IP.

I believe EA may also be providing some of the servers and the server space for the game, because I don't think Respawn would have enough money to set up the servers and maintain them at the same time on their own. But other than that Respawn is responsible entirely for the games coding and they are more than likely responsible for patches and everything else so if there are patches that go out I say expect them way faster than any other division that's for sure. *glares at Maxis and DICE for terrible launches of SimCity and Battlefield 4*

Neronium:

I believe EA may also be providing some of the servers and the server space for the game, because I don't think Respawn would have enough money to set up the servers and maintain them at the same time on their own. But other than that Respawn is responsible entirely for the games coding and they are more than likely responsible for patches and everything else so if there are patches that go out I say expect them way faster than any other division that's for sure. *glares at Maxis and DICE for terrible launches of SimCity and Battlefield 4*

Actually, most (or all, really) server duties are being handled by Respawn and Microsoft.

Respawn, from the outset, was looking for a way to handle the traffic load and AI iterations they were expecting in the final product; and a cost effective way to do so.

Microsoft gave them the best solution with the Azure servers. https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/

Now, one could argue that matchmaking might be affected by EA's infrastructure in Origin, at least in regards to the PC build of Titanfall. However, almost all server responsibilities rest squarely on Respawn and Microsoft this time around.

In which case, if there are server issues at some point, those two will be to blame. Respawn if an error in the game code causes an issue; Microsoft if server loads or instability cause the issues.

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