Blizzard's Titan scrapped, Delayed until at least 2016

Venture:
Blizzard Entertainment makes a mint from its World of Warcraft franchise, and the gaming giant has had an unannounced massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game in the works for some time. But GamesBeat has learned that Blizzard has decided to push the reset button, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The team of 100 developers working on the MMO, codenamed "Titan," has been reduced by 70 positions, and Blizzard is reassigning those people to other work. Meanwhile, the core of the team will start over on Titan. The title is now not expected to be published until 2016 at the earliest.

More info at link: http://venturebeat.com/2013/05/28/blizzard-delays-unannounced-mmo-until-2016-resets-whole-project-exclusive/

That's very saddening and disappointing. I wanted something fresh brought to the MMORPG genre, but it looks like it might be years until that happens. Maybe another company will bring in something that's a game changer.

Meh, if the current state of WoW is anything to go by I doubt I would have been very impressed with this mmo anyways.

Corven:
Meh, if the current state of WoW is anything to go by I doubt I would have been very impressed with this mmo anyways.

One of the reasons WoW has enjoyed a steady decline is they pulled all their best devs off to go work on Titan years ago.

The ones who didn't leave straight after vanilla and get sucked into other developers, anyway.

And this is surprising? WoW has plenty of milking ahead of it, they don't want to waste that. Sure, the numbers are in decline, but they're still the biggest MMO by a massive margin. They decided to focus more on that, especially since D3 hasn't quite turned out to be the cash cow they planned and SC2, while solid, isn't a runaway hit. They are focusing on WoW more to make up for the money they failed to make with their other games.

Jandau:
And this is surprising? WoW has plenty of milking ahead of it, they don't want to waste that. Sure, the numbers are in decline, but they're still the biggest MMO by a massive margin. They decided to focus more on that, especially since D3 hasn't quite turned out to be the cash cow they planned and SC2, while solid, isn't a runaway hit. They are focusing on WoW more to make up for the money they failed to make with their other games.

Yeah if you read the more detailed info on MMO-Champion it says they're re-assigning the 60-70 devs to WoW, Diablo 3 Expansion, Blizzard All-Stars, and battle.net

Those are all projects that have been having problems recently, so despite that they don't actually say it, a large part of this is getting their existing franchises back on-track.

Basically about the only IPs not mentioned are Starcraft 2, which has been doing ok, other than problems caused by battle.net issues, and Hearthstone, which they're probably trying to keep as a small project.

It's a Blizzard game, you were expecting anything this century? Ha.. and double HA!

o.0

Alfador_VII:

Jandau:
And this is surprising? WoW has plenty of milking ahead of it, they don't want to waste that. Sure, the numbers are in decline, but they're still the biggest MMO by a massive margin. They decided to focus more on that, especially since D3 hasn't quite turned out to be the cash cow they planned and SC2, while solid, isn't a runaway hit. They are focusing on WoW more to make up for the money they failed to make with their other games.

Yeah if you read the more detailed info on MMO-Champion it says they're re-assigning the 60-70 devs to WoW, Diablo 3 Expansion, Blizzard All-Stars, and battle.net

Those are all projects that have been having problems recently, so despite that they don't actually say it, a large part of this is getting their existing franchises back on-track.

Basically about the only IPs not mentioned are Starcraft 2, which has been doing ok, other than problems caused by battle.net issues, and Hearthstone, which they're probably trying to keep as a small project.

Precisely.

Blizz was betting on Diablo 3 to take over as the cash cow, with smaller overhead costs and plenty of income. However, despite fairly big initial sales, the current number of active users is fairly low (this is evidenced by the stats infographic they released a short while back) and definitely lower than they were expecting. So no money there, at least not in the amount they were counting on.

Starcraft 2 is doing fine, but it's not a cultural phenomenon that SC1 was. Again, I'm guessing it's falling a bit short of the mark, though not by much and not nearly as badly as D3. It IS one of the largest e-sports at the moment, but there LoL is the top dog.

Hearthstone is likely intended to be a small project in that the budget isn't likely to be huge and they're hoping that it'll provide them with a nice, steady microtransaction revenue stream without having to invest an arm and a leg there. This is actually not a bad idea and might work out for them, depending on the quality of the game and the business model.

As for WoW, it's in its twilight years. It peaked near the end of Burning Crusade, managed to hold steady through Wrath and started dropping slowly after Cata. Pandaria did noting to change that. They're probably hoping to slow the decline a bit more, at least for another expansion or two while they catch their breath.

Personally, I fear Blizz has gotten too big. They can't afford to do anything small anymore, there are too many mouths to feed. And as with any business model that's based on constant growth, sooner or later you run out of space to grow. Hearthstone might be a sign of better times, with smaller, more reasonable projects that have an easier time of making their money back and turning a profit. Time will tell...

If blizzard wanted to really amaze an audience they should be digging the pit into old school games again and simply renewing them. I could see them pulling off an amazing Arcanum in a diablo style fashion. If your not familiar with Arcanum hten look it up. Alternatively Empire Earth would be an amazing game done in the right hands again.

Ive never played a mmorpg more than 3 days and I can guarantee if any company is intent on taking my money they better show me something new other than gold digging or exp farming. Otherwise the Self eating Cycle will continue

BloatedGuppy:

Corven:
Meh, if the current state of WoW is anything to go by I doubt I would have been very impressed with this mmo anyways.

One of the reasons WoW has enjoyed a steady decline is they pulled all their best devs off to go work on Titan years ago.

The ones who didn't leave straight after vanilla and get sucked into other developers, anyway.

Did the time of those devs leaving coincide with the decline of WoW post- Burning Crusade? Titan has been in development for a long time.

At the very least this makes Wildstar somewhat more appealing. But, I dunno... NCsoft really dropped the ball with Guild Wars 2.

Ishal:
Did the time of those devs leaving coincide with the decline of WoW post- Burning Crusade? Titan has been in development for a long time.

At the very least this makes Wildstar somewhat more appealing. But, I dunno... NCsoft really dropped the ball with Guild Wars 2.

I would peg the decline as post WOTLK, and I'm not entirely certain when individual devs were moved over, but Titan has been siphoning resources off WoW, including almost all of the lead designers (those that did not leave for Carbine or Arena Net), for years now.

From the sounds of things, they're paring down to the core Titan team, which sounds like they're doing a total engine overhaul. I'd be really interested in knowing what they were working on and what problems they saw arising with it, because this is awfully late in the game to be switching gears.

As for GW2...NCSoft is just the publisher. You can speculate they stuck their meddling little fingers into some pies, but at the end of the day the majority of design flaws...if you see them as design flaws...are hard baked into the game, and that's all on Arena Net.

Jandau:
D3 hasn't quite turned out to be the cash cow they planned

Without using the words "Auction House", explain to me how Diablo III could conceivably be called a 'planned cash cow'.

and SC2, while solid, isn't a runaway hit.

... ?

On August 3, 2010, Blizzard announced that StarCraft II sold more than one million units worldwide within one day of its release. After two days, when Blizzard began selling the game as a digital download on its website, approximately 500,000 additional units of the game were sold, bringing the total up to 1.5 million worldwide and making it the fastest-selling strategy game of all time.[77] In its first month on sale, StarCraft II sold a total of three million copies worldwide.[9] As of December 2010, the game has sold nearly 4.5 million units.

4.5 million units (probably more, actually, because the most recent numbers I can find are from July of last year and likely don't account for digital sales, as those figures often omit) is "[not] a runaway hit"? Would you mind qualifying exactly what does make something "a runaway hit", then?

I get that people all have their own revisionist history tales about the 'evils' of Blizzard and everything, but come on. Starcraft had twelve years to sell its ten or eleven million copies, Starcraft II has been out for just under three.

I wasn't all that surprised when I heard this. I'd heard a few rumors about Titan not long ago that made it sound a bit... old fashioned, to be honest. I mean one of the rumors was that it was going to have tab-targeting. These days it's all about free aiming and skill shots and stuff. I think maybe they started working on Titan back when the standards were very different. They must have got to a point where they realised they could do so much more with the game, utilise a lot more of the modern tech, if they scrapped the lot and started from fresh.

BloatedGuppy:

I would peg the decline as post WOTLK, and I'm not entirely certain when individual devs were moved over, but Titan has been siphoning resources off WoW, including almost all of the lead designers (those that did not leave for Carbine or Arena Net), for years now.

Well Cataclysm was kind of weak...I couldn't manage finishing it, it was just too...well, a disappointment. Which is a shame.

Vegosiux:
Well Cataclysm was kind of weak...I couldn't manage finishing it, it was just too...well, a disappointment. Which is a shame.

Cataclysm seems to be fairly universally considered the flop point for WoW, with a few die hards disliking WOTLK and a few super die hards claiming everything was best during vanilla. They streamlined a LOT between WOTLK and Cataclysm, and threw the baby out with the bath water.

Jeez, I can't imagine how much money they just threw out the window with this move. They've been working on Titan for YEARS and it sounds like the most they've gotten out of it is a glorified training session for their dev team. Good thing they can never leave the company... oh wait...

I am not going to pretend to know what goes on at Blizzard, but it takes something BIG for a software company to go back to the drawing board after spending so much capitol on a project.

I wonder if they'll really be able to stop WoW's decline with this move. It's a lot harder to stop a boulder that's already rolled halfway down the hill then it is to stop it at the top.

As for sunny-sided optimistic hopes: Let's hope this means that they can make a truly amazing next expansion for WoW, Argus, the burning legion, 2 raids per tier, lore that players are actually interested in again, a return to the stylings of Burning Crusade or Wrath.

shrekfan246:

Jandau:
D3 hasn't quite turned out to be the cash cow they planned

Without using the words "Auction House", explain to me how Diablo III could conceivably be called a 'planned cash cow'.

I'm not quite sure what you're saying here. That's like asking me to explain why WoW was/is a cash cow without mentioning subscriptions...

 

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