Rumor: Respawn's first game exclusive to Xbox 720, always-online requirement
It looks like the next Xbox will get some exclusives after all, if a new rumor from Kotaku is to be trusted. Sources have said that the first game from Respawn Entertainment, the studio formed by former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, will be exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox consoles. While the majority of the focus was on the game's release for the next-generation Xbox, it was briefly mentioned that it would also be available on Xbox 360. The key thing to take away from this, however, is that it won't be on PlayStation or Nintendo consoles -- at least not at first; we still aren't sure if it's a timed exclusive, though early indications point to an Xbox-only release.
Respawn is currently under the EA umbrella and given the third-party publisher's tendency to maximize profits, it's a little odd they would opt for an Xbox-only release. However, the publisher's no show at the Sony event could indicate they are, in fact, waiting to reveal the new game at Microsoft's next-gen Xbox unveiling event set for May 21st.
The new Respawn game is said to be a "futuristic multiplayer-centric online shooter," featuring giant mechanical walkers called Titans. One of the sources said the game is always-online, requiring constant internet connection to play. Always-online is a rumor that has been linked to the next-Xbox in numerous reports. While this doesn't solidify it, it certainly adds to the growing speculation. The clear focus seems to be on multiplayer online gameplay, and it remains unclear if the new game will offer any sort of offline, single-player gameplay.
If the rumors are true, this could be a big win for Microsoft who seems to be in great need of exclusives. Both Sony and Nintendo have made it an emphasis to bolster the catalog of games offered on their next-gen consoles. Sony has already inked deals with several developers and publishers to bring additional game content and full exclusives to PlayStation consoles, like the recently confirmed 60 minutes of bonus Watch Dogs gameplay. At the PS4 unveiling event, it was revealed that downloadable content for Activision's Destiny would first be released on the PlayStation 4. Let's not forget, both Sony and Nintendo also have an abundance of in-house studios -- considerably more than Microsoft -- working specifically on exclusives.
Presumably in response to the rumor, Respawn Entertainment's official account tweeted: "Wow! Lots of speculation tonight. Great to see excitement about our project but you'll all have to wait for E3 for details."