Blizzard has cancelled its long-in-development next MMO title, “Project Titan”. Development began back in 2007, and even after a drastic change of direction in 2013, Blizzard has decided to pull the plug.
In an interview with website Polygon, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime said that the decision to cancel Project Titan was a result of the team failing to make the game fun: “We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs. So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn’t come together. We didn’t find the fun. We didn’t find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that’s the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.”
Naturally, the Internet is loaded with speculation about what Project Titan was going to be like. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier managed to track a number of developers who had been working on Project Titan. Under the promise of anonymity, many of those developers (as well as other people involved in the project in some way) have painted a picture of what Project Titan was going to be about. There are some inconsistencies in the description, which is probably due to the fact that the game saw numerous people joining and departing the team, and numerous revisions during its ill-fated, seven year gestation period. The numerous descriptions do, however, give us a glimpse of what the game might have been about.
Apparently, Project Titan was going to be set on Earth in the not too distant future. Humanity would have just survived an alien invasion, but the resulting war would have resulted in three factions being created that all vie for control of particular areas on the planet. Obviously, players were going to choose a faction to belong to. The game would have been split into two distinct phases: during the day, your player character would have had an ordinary, mundane job like a butcher or a car mechanic. At night, the faction would call on you to run specific missions. The game would switch between third-person and first-person, with an emphasis on a shooting mechanic.
Character classes that were supposedly included in the game were: Titans, Reapers, Rangers, Juggernauts, and Jumpers. All would have had their own skill sets and equipment types.
Players would have been able to balance their playtime between ordinary, everyday jobs, and dangerous faction missions. Alternatively, players would have been able to simply focus on a day job in order to network relationships with other players and NPCs. Apparently the game was going to have extremely complex AI that would have allowed for players being able to marry NPCs and start families with them. Certain NPCs would have reacted to players differently based on the individual player’s previous interactions with that NPC.
Schreier’s article is an interesting one and I recommend giving it a read in its entirety. Elsewhere, industry analyst Michael Pachter estimates that this cancellation probably set Blizzard back something in the region of $70 – $140 million. Other analysts peg the loss significantly lower at about $50 million.