Xarthat: Venture Beat has just broke the news of the recent developments of Blizzard’s unannounced MMO game, reportedly codenamed “Titan”. It appears Blizzard didn’t like the direction “Titan” was going and decided to severely alter its technology and design.
Out of 100 developers who worked on Titan so far, over seventy of them have been reassigned to work on Blizzard’s other games, including World of Warcraft. The remaining thirty developers will work on redesigning Titan apparently from scratch. If memory serves, this is not the first time the unannounced MMO has been through a major design revamp, though previously the news was far less public.
What does this mean, for both Titan and the existing Blizzard titles? We don’t know yet, but the implications may be very interesting. If Titan is being completely reworked, with a smaller team, could it be under potential threat of suffering the fate of StarCraft: Ghost and being stuck in development hell? If World of Warcraft is being reinforced with some of the new talents Blizzard has hired to work on Titan, how will it change the future of that game? We can’t tell, but we will keep track of the news and anxiously await the forecoming heated speculation.
So far, Blizzard has not commented on this news. The unannounced MMO has been rescheduled to not see the light of day until at least 2016.
Medievaldragon: GameBeat doesn’t reveal the source nor quotes who is behind this news. At this point it should be considered a rumor since there has been no official announcement from Blizzard Entertainment.
When Blizzard resets a game that people already knows about or cancels it — there is always a press release. Such was the case with Warcraft Adventures, or when the development of the StarCraft: Ghost (GameCube version) was dropped, or when StarCraft: Ghost was postponed.
We have seen precedents like this reset button on a video game before at Blizzard Entertainment. When StarCraft: Ghost moved from Nihilistic to Swingin’ Ape Studios, the whole game got a reset. Then Swingin’ Ape Studios was acquired by Blizzard Entertainment. Shortly after, StarCraft: Ghost got postponed until a later date (not cancelled).
Blizzard Entertainment iterates a lot throughout the lifespan of several development cycles long before beta. Sometimes they reset a game from the ground up, and sometimes — if the game doesn’t meet the Blizzard quality standards, Blizzard has no qualm killing the game.
Back in 2008, it was revealed at the D.I.C.E. Summit a list of cancelled video games developed by Blizzard Entertainment that were not even officially announced.
From the point of view of the reduction of the Titan team from 100 developers down to only 30 developers might indicate the entire engine is getting built from the ground up. That’s just my opinion without much to back that up.
UPDATE: ZAM / WOWHEAD reached out to Blizzard concerning the Next-Gen MMO. This was the response:
Blizzard: “We’ve always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. We’ve come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We’re using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes. Note that we haven’t announced any dates for the MMO.”