Titan (Blizzard Entertainment project)
Titan was the project name for a cancelled Blizzard Entertainment massively multiplayer online game. With speculation regarding the game beginning in 2007, Blizzard revealed little information besides that it would be completely new and not be based on the company's three main franchises. In May 2013 the development process was rebooted as Blizzard decided to take the project in a different direction. After seven years of development, the game was reported to have been cancelled in September 2014. Some of the maps and concepts developed for Titan are used in the first person shooter Overwatch.
In 2007, users on a Blizzard Internet forum speculated that the game was in development after the company published job listings for character and environment artists to work on a "Next-Gen MMO" that was "Top Secret." A Blizzard community representative confirmed that the postings were for an unannounced game that was not an expansion for World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, Blizzard COO Paul Sams, and Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime all verified that it was a new game in 2008. A confidential project schedule was released without the company's consent in November 2010. It showed a project titled "Titan" with a release date in the fourth quarter of 2013. Blizzard China's general manager either resigned or was terminated after the leak.
At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce told gaming blog Destructoid that the studio had begun talking about the title as a recruitment tool. Morhaime spoke of the game in broad terms during a panel discussion at the 2011 D.I.C.E. Summit. He said that the company had its most experienced MMO developers working on the project. He explained that they were using lessons from the years of working on World of Warcraft, and he also emphasized the significance of players gaming with people they know as opposed to strangers. Morhaime believed that World of Warcraft and Titan, upon its release, would be able to co-exist on the market. He had made a similar statement in 2008 when he told Wired magazine that the game would be so different that it would not compete.
In an interview with Gamasutra in March 2011, Sams revealed that the game was playable and laid out a vision for the project to "still be growing strong" in ten, fifteen or twenty years, having "set a new mark in the industry." By September 2012, development had grown from small teams focusing on concepts to a team of over 100 people and Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo said that the game was "in the middle of development", noting that it would be a "very big project that's got a long ways to go".
On May 28, 2013, it was reported that development on the project had been rebooted, with seventy percent of the team moving to other Blizzard projects and the release date delayed. Blizzard spokesperson Shon Damron confirmed the development status, stating that the remaining core developers would be working to accommodate new technology into the game.
In August 2013, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime stated that the company was in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what they want the game to be. He said that the game was "unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG", and that there were no official announced or projected release dates. While Titan was reassessed, team members were shifted to other Blizzard projects, including World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm. Morhaime noted that Blizzard has gone through this sort of iterative development process with previous games.
Shortly after the cancellation announcement Kotaku ran an article in which they described the game as "a massive multiplayer PC game in which players could both maintain non-combat professions and shoot their way through death-matches on a sci-fi version of Earth." According to the article, which was sourced by anonymous employees who worked on the project, the game would take place on a near-future earth where the player would take on a "mundane job" during the day while fighting enemies at night. On November 7, 2014, Blizzard announced Overwatch, a new multiplayer first-person shooter; Chris Metzen stated that Overwatch incorporates elements, such as maps, that were originally intended for Titan, but that the games were otherwise unrelated.
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- "Mists of Pandaria Interview with Rob Pardo". YouTube video.
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