World of Warcraft developer Blizzard is probably most popular for their ongoing high standard of content, and for good reason. However, Blizzard has recently stated that they also cancel roughly 50% of the games their team develops–and among its best-known cancellation examples was the MMO known as Titan. Elements of that game were eventually turned into what became Overwatch, but now we’ve have some new insight into why Titan was never released.
Blizzard founder Mike Morhaime, who recently left the company, spoke about the project during the Game lab convention in Barcelona recently, stating that it was planned to be a “next-generation MMO,” but it proved to be too ambitious for the team to execute fully in a reasonable time frame.
“We failed to control scope,” Morhaime said, as reported by Eurogamer. “It was very ambitious. It was a brand new universe, and it was going to be the next generation MMO that did all sorts of different things, it had different modes. We were sort of building two games in parallel, and it really struggled to come together.”
Blizzard’s Overwatch was born out of the ashes of Titan, and Morhaime spoke more about how green-lighting that game was “one of the best decisions that we made.”
“We took something that wasn’t going to ship for a very long time, might never have shipped, and turned it into an awesome game,” he explained.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan, who worked on Titan, remarked, “We failed horrifically in every way … In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating.”
So what exactly was Titan? For starters, according to resources, it would have been a new game that was taken place on a near-future version of Earth, in a science-fiction depiction of the world where mankind has successfully fought off an alien invasion. Players would join one of three factions waging a cold war over control of the planet, and zones planned for the game ranged from the west coast of the United States to Europe, South America, and Australia.
The main concept involved the players creating their own gameplay, where they would maintain a mundane job — with options varying from butchering, engineering, entrepreneurship among more during the day, while waging clandestine warfare against opposing factions at night.
Sources also described the game as an MMO that was split into two parts; the “real world” and the “shadow world” where you’d craft, socialise, and work, and in the shadow world, where you’d shoot down enemies and fight through death-match missions with traditional shooter objectives like capture the flag. Blizzard’s goal was to make both courses fun, interesting, and viable, so players could pick for themselves which way they wanted to go through the game.
Aside from Titan, recently another Game Dev admitted that another Blizzard project that was worked on for the last two years had recently been cancelled.
According to former Blizzard developer David Gibson who left the gaming giant company earlier this week, a project on which he has been working for the past two years has been canceled.
While Gibson did not provide any details, he did send out a few tweets that said that his game was “on the back burner a bit over the past 6 months” before being canceled. “Unfortunately, you’ll never see what we made over the past 2 years – that’s gamedev, but we’ll always have Overwatch,” he wrote.
Speaking to Game Informer, Allen Adham said, “The truth is, behind the curtain, it’s a horror show. Most people outside of Blizzard don’t realize around half of our titles don’t see the light of day.”
While on it surface, this is “bad news” for Blizzard, new Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has said that the company is working on “more games than ever before,” including on at least a couple of projects related to Overwatch.