Contrary to what many believe, the decision to cut the single-player (campaign) portion from Titanfall 1 was one made by Respawn Entertainment; a decision that even surprised EA themselves as they were expecting Respawn’s debut title to ship with a Titanfalll 1 campaign mode.

Speaking in a video interview on the MinnMaxShow, ex-Respawn Executive Producer Drew McCoy spoke about going through EA’s greenlight process and how the developers earned enough respect for EA to allow them to do things their way, including the decision to cut the Titanfall 1 campaign mode entirely.

Ben Hanson of MinnMaxShow: Do you think there was some reluctance from them (EA) because you’ve been keeping them at such a distance? Like, if they were involved in the entire way would they be more on board with it, but there’s a little bit like “Well, after you guys were keeping us at arm’s length so we’ll see how it goes” with the greenlight here?
Drew McCoy: The relationship was actually really solid like they weren’t trying to get in. When you’re part of a bigger organization there’s this sense of open-ness, which I saw a lot once we got purchased by EA and I was more with them. So they’re used to being able to reach out to people’s other studios and get a morsel, and so to have me as a producer on an independent studio title, big deal they’re keeping themselves separate that’s fine. EA always actually had a lot of faith of what we were doing on all three of the games we worked on for them. It was more just it came out of left field, you know, which I think EA got a little used to, like Titanfall 1, y’know, Final Hours that Geoff Keighley did showing off the single-player prototyping we did. I vividly remember a milestone review with our producer at EA when I was like “Oh, yeah by the way single-player’s cut,” and they were, “What?!? That’s not what we expected.” And so I got used to these kinds of hard conversations where we have to lay out why we’re making these choices and then they can see the results of it. Titanfall 2 development was awesome — wild and crazy and lots of twists and turns and so I think through those processes EA got the point “Okay Respawn is insane but the results are worth it,” and so they kind of just put up with it, even though you know it’s maybe a little bit uncomfortable for them but it was ultimately they let us do what we wanted to do.
Back in 2013, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella spoke (via GameIndustry) about the reasoning as to why it was cut in the first place, citing that due to the team being so small at the time, it didn’t make sense to split the resources.
Vince Zampella: Really, you split the team. They’re two different games. They’re balanced differently, they’re scoped differently. But people spend hundreds of hours in the multiplayer experience versus ‘as little time as possible rushing to the end’ [in single-player]. So why do all the resources go there? To us it made sense to put it here. Now everybody sees all those resources, and multiplayer is better. For us it made sense.
While it was a disappointment to see the game ship without a campaign, perhaps it ended well as the studio was able to provide the sequel (Titanfall 2) with possibly one of the best first-person shooter campaigns this generation.