Respawn's Vince Zampella revealed Titanfall would feature a maximum of six players per side in the futuristic shooter's mutliplayer.
Zampella took to his Twitter to answer a fan's question about the player count, and his response was met with some immediate disdain.
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) January 8, 2014
As it stands, some of the most enjoyable multiplayer games we've played in recent years have been capped at six players per side, including Team Fortress 2. There's a larger sense of teamwork on such a small unit compared to the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, which feature much larger player pools.
Elsewhere, after seeing the response Zampella's statement was getting, Respawn's Drew McCoy took to NeoGAF to explain a bit more about how the decision was made. "[We] tried a huge amount of playercounts (all the way down to 1v1 and up quite high) and designed the maps, gameplay mechanics, and entire experience around which played best," McCoy said.
"Remember, you can get out of your Titan and let it roam on AI mode - meaning there can be 12 Pilots wallrunning around, 12 Titans stomping below, and dozens of AI doing their thing," McCoy added. "I keep seeing people thinking we've got 'bots' when we talk about AI. That's not how they are. The AI in Titanfall are not replacements for human players. Our playercount is not 6v6 because of AI - AI play their own role in the game and are a different class of character in the game."
Titanfall is due out in just a few months, so even if the fan backlash was warranted, there's little chance Respawn would adjust its entire multiplayer strategy just to quell the voice of such a small fraction of potential players. With the pedigree of the development team involved, we're inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt when talking about what's best for their game.