"Titanfall," a new game from the creators of the "Call of Duty" juggernaut, hits shelves on Tuesday. It's expected to be one of the biggest games of 2014. And it's exclusive to Microsoft systems.
In many ways, "Titanfall" is as important to the Xbox One as "Halo" was to the original gaming console. It's hoped to be a system seller—a new franchise that becomes a tentpole for players to rally around—and one that keeps Microsoft at the top of the console hill.
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"Titanfall" is perhaps even more important to publisher Electronic Arts, which bet big on the developers when they left Activision in a 2010 dispute. EA shares have been rising in anticipation of the game's release, climbing 29 percent this year. Eric Handler of MKM Partners expects the game to sell 3 million copies before the end of the month.
Microsoft has bundled "Titanfall" with the Xbox One at retail, essentially offering a free copy to people who buy the console. Analysts say that likely subsidizes the cost itself. The potential short term losses that come with that bundle will be regained over time as the Xbox One matures and owners begin to purchase other games and buy subscriptions to Xbox Live and other services.