Several years ago, prior to Respawn Entertainment moving on to its most recent ventures in Apex Legends and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it was innovating the first-person shooter. At the time of release, many believed that Titanfall and Titanfall 2 were genuinely a next-step for modern first-person shooters, emphasizing skill-based movement and futuristic/unconventional equipment. Titanfall did have a tangible impact on Call of Duty, among other shooters, and Titanfall 2 helped solidfy its legacy with an acclaimed campaign alongside its excellent multiplayer. However, that legacy is unfortunately marred with what’s been happening to Titanfall/Titanfall 2 this year.
According to several fan communities of Titanfall, both the original game and its sequel were victims of several DDOS attacks as early as 2018. Multiplayer services were constantly being taken offline, prompting groups of Titanfall fans to petition EA and Respawn Entertainment for more proactive countermeasures. Groups of fans, including those who formed SaveTitanfall.com, were allegedly attempting to “save” the game until an investigation discovered that wasn’t entirely true. From there, fans found out that once-respected members of the community were not who they same, while any desires to actually stop the DDOS attacks to Titanfall and Titanfall 2 were evidently fraudulent.
The Titanfall Online Hacker Conspiracy
Starting from the beginning, the controversy began when Titanfall and Titanfall 2‘s multiplayer servers were quickly becoming more unstable, to the point of entire servers shutting down. Hackers were apparently initiating DDOS/ransomware attacks, overloading the servers to the point where multiplayer would become unplayable or “playable” at severely high ping. It didn’t help that comments from Respawn Entertainments community coordinator mentioned that only “one or two people” were working on Titanfall/Titanfall 2 at this point, citing the ongoing support of Apex Legends requiring most of Respawn Entertainment’s resources and manpower.
This led to a subsect of frustrated Titanfall fans organizing another separate hack against Apex Legends, all in an attempt to get public attention on the issues with Titanfall‘s servers. Or so most thought, until a far more disturbing story unfolded. As it turned out, pivotal members of the SaveTitanfall.com community (identified as usernames P0358 and Redshield) were solely responsible for the Titanfall hack, not the majority of the community behind that website. SaveTitanfall.com published a 40-pages-long document detailing a community investigation into the hacking incident, evidently absolving the community at large, whilst also highlighting a strange scheme.
Titanfall 2’s Supposed Security Flaw
Several members of the Titanfall 2 community incl. @DirectXeon are reporting that Titanfall 2 is currently massively compromised.— Wicked Good Gaming (@WickedGoodGames) September 8, 2021
If you own Titanfall 2 on PC, *DO NOT* launch the game. Uninstall it for now until a fix is released. pic.twitter.com/lNZGbufOL1
Apparently, according to the report, this was all a ploy in an attempt to actually break Titanfall and Titanfall 2. Evidently the plan was for the hackers to gain access to Titanfall‘s source code via breaking the game, and offering ways to repair the game to Respawn Entertainment, all in service to getting a connection with the developer. The ultimate goal of P0358, Redshield, and any other hackers associated with them, was to ultimately port the Asian exclusive Titanfall Online worldwide. These hackers went to great lengths attempting to get Titanfall and Titanfall 2 ultimately shut down, with the hopes of either accessing Titanfall source code, or reverse engineering it.
More recently, a month after the details of this community investigation were brought to light, Titanfall 2‘s community began reporting an even greater potential threat from hackers. Members of the community started circulating a Discord message sent by DirectXeon that noted a potentially major security flaw, related to a temporary file that manages player invites. Long story short: the temporary file manages a size cap of a player name, and if a name exceeds that cap, this temporary file is read as an executable. Respawn conducted its own investigation of the Titanfall 2 security flaw, and determined players did not need to ultimately uninstall the game.
While the situation is still ongoing, Respawn Entertainment has since concluded that the only vulnerability in Titanfall 2 currently is hackers could potentially cause the game to crash. Other than that, this widespread security flaw seems to be less severe than Titanfall‘s community members expected. However, it’s just another example of the rollercoaster of issues Titanfall and Titanfall 2 have had to go through, with limited assistance from the developer available to help fans. Unfortunately for Titanfall fans, it’s unclear what the long-term solution will be at this time. Hopefully Titanfall fans can catch a break at some point this year, especially after all that’s happened.
Titanfall 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.