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Why did Blizzard Delay Project Titan? [speculation, poll]


First of all, a small recap. According to the actual rumor, Blizzard has moved 70 developers from the project to their other games and pushed the internal deadline all the way to 2016.
We also got an official response from the company, mostly confirming the rumor (although no exact details were given)

 

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.

That's about the sum of what we know. Additionally, we can make the assumption that most of those moved to other projects are artists. I'm basing this on how Blizzard formulated their answer (design and technology changes) and on the fact that they've recently removed all artist job openings from the Next-Gen MMO section.
 
So what actually happened? I'll be damned if I know, but here are some of the main working theories! Maybe some day we'll know and we can look back and see how close to the actual truth we were.
 

 

F2P Conversion
Back in 2006 / 2007 when the project first started, Free To Play was probably the last thing in Blizzard's mind. Since then things have changed greatly and the F2P model is slowly taking over, even for major, high-budget games. The company already has two projects coming out with this plan, why not make it three? Switching the game from monthly subs to F2P with in-game store does take significant design and tech changes, so this part at least fits with what we know.
 
On the con side, it takes artists too to populate the in-game store with vanity stuff, so it's no real reason to downsize the team so drastically. It's also a big experiment for Blizzard, so I think they would first wait to release one game with the F2P model before switching their biggest project to it.
 
Too Daring
We know that Blizzard has big plans for this game, very big plans. Rob Pardo has teased us with statements like "people are not going to really expect what they see coming from us this time" and pretty much everyone that talked about it has said that it's an incredibly complex and interesting project. So what if it was just a little big too big and daring? Some features sound great on paper, but they never quite reach a stable state in the actual game, either because of tech limitations or just because they don't play well. Maybe this was the case with some of Titan's main features, so they had to go back to the drawing board and seriously re-think them.
 
Not much to list on the con side for this one. It's actually something Blizzard has done in the past, with SC: Ghost for example, so there you go, another pro argument even if I was supposed to find something against it. :)
 
Too... not Daring
With long development times come great risks. Namely that your game won't feel so new and different by the time you actually get close to shipping it. For most companies there's no way back and they have to just "smile and wave" through it, hoping that players will still enjoy it. Blizzard can afford to go back and often does so and it might be the case for Titan too.
 
Against this option is the fact that it doesn't seem likely that they set-off in 2006/7 to make just another WoW clone, especially since it was becoming obvious that WoW still had a long road ahead of it. They had money and time to make something really special, so it's safe to assume that their initial goals were pretty special and future proof.

 

 

Refurbishing the Engine
Everything's quickly evolving in the IT world, so a project that has its roots way back in 2006 / 2007 can arguably be called old by now. Maybe it was decided that it's time to focus on the back-end for a while and have it catch up with the newest developments, while also making extra tools for the design team to use.
 
While this is a viable option, on its own it seems like it can't affect a project that much, since usually any upgrades to the engine and tools are done real-time, in small steps. It's also does not involve design changes, not in a major way at least.
 
Other Priorities
Blizzard is stretched thin right now, with SC2: LotV, D3: X1, WoW: X5, HS and All-Stars in full development. And they're all closer to the finish line than Titan, a project they obviously like to slow-cook. Considering they have some of their best people on the Titan team, maybe they decided to use them to boost some of their other games for a while, just to get them out the door faster (and in a better shape ofc). Sure, they have some tech and design changes to do meanwhile, but maybe in different conditions they wouldn't have decided to shift so many people around and implicitly delay the project because of them.
 
While WoW is still strong and on a development spree, with big patches launching every quarter, the downwards trend has become incontestable, even by Blizzard itself. It's also their biggest money maker, so they need a replacement ready if they want to keep their luxurious dev practices and the Blizzard style of "soon" and "when it's ready". :D Unless they think All-Stars can fill this role, Titan shouldn't really be at the very bottom of the priority queue.
 
 
 
These are my main theories. If you have any solid new ones, I will add them to the article, so let us know in the comments! 
 
I've also attached a poll below, based on what I wrote above. Unfortunately I can't add any other new options to it after I publish it, without resetting the results, so if you agree with one of the other options expressed in the comments, or if you have your own, choose the Different Reason option. Also take note that you can vote for two options. Really curious to see the results! :) 


 






28 Comments

There's also the possibility that the IP they thought was original wound up being very similar to a game that has been recently released or planned for release ahead of Titan.

Other priorities/Refurbishing the Engine.

I'm still going with they looked at the near future and at things like new console gen and said, guys we gotta stay relevant now not in 2-3 years.  

I just hope this doesn't affect the overall beauty of titan squeezing 2 years of art/design team attention into 1 or moving 1 year after Titan launch in attention to those aspects of development to 1 year before pushing back Titan a year. But on the + side it could mean technically Titan will have a better foundation.

There's also the possibility that the IP they thought was original wound up being very similar to a game that has been recently released or planned for release ahead of Titan.

 

This is interesting, perhaps one or two of their key features were actually center-pieces of other games recently announced.

 

I chose 'Other Priorities.' on the poll and this is why:

 

Blizzard still have a cash cow in WoW, yes it may be declining but it's still relatively consistent the market isn't exactly expanding so it's not too much of a problem and they've still likely got the majority market share, so instead of investing money into penetrating the market further with Titan, they're focusing a little bit on their non-MMO games for a while. There's nothing in the MMO crowd that gives Blizzard any reason to rush Titan and if they announce Titan at BlizzCon, it would only accellerate the decline of WoW, so they want to keep it making healthy cash for as long as possible. Not only this, I think they're probably wanting to build quite a bit into Ballstars and HS a fair amount as that's all about setting up a whole new e-market revenue stream for them (correct me if I'm wrong). From these games they're going to learn a whole lot more about real money in-game stuff.

 

Though Blizz might have been conceptualising Titan for a long time, they probably started the actual development of the game much more recently (read: Not as far back as 2006, but before 2010) I think there was even a Blue quote to back this point up somewhere. AHA! Found it:

 

Rob Pardo - When asked if it's true that Blizzard has been developing the game for 6 years now (Oct 2012):

"I'd have to think about that one. I guess it depends on how you look at such things, because when we first started the team, we started really small. We start with a couple of people and talk about the concept and draw some concept art. It definitely has not been in core development for that long. I'd say core development was closer to four years, but even that was with a smaller team."

 

 

And there are other quotes shown on the wiki page mentioning "It’s all brand new technology." (also by Rob Pardo), so I feel like this rules out the idea that the technology is outdated. However, I do think the gaming market has changed a whole lot and it's likely they need to retune things but I really don't feel like that's worth a whole project turnaround.

 

Some games or some ideas in general just require a lot of time and space to iron out fundamental flaws, the company will put more effort into their other extremely successful games while they do this - it just makes sense. This project halt is just a little meditative halfway period in which they redefine all aspects of the pursuit, I'm guessing.

They have fallen victim to their own highly iterative process and the amount of time Titan has been in development is just too long compared to how rapid the gaming market is changing.

 

I'm sure all the core ideas for Titan was great a couple of years ago but just look at gaming today from just a couple of years ago.

 

I felt the market (at least as far as online worlds/online experiences goes) just changed after E3 although no next-gen console nor game has been released yet *lol*.

 

Seeing both Destiny and The Division made me realize how the online multiplayer games are changing. 

 

I don't even know what to call some games anymore, action online social rpg co-op shooting.

 

TLDR: I believe they are tweaking gameplay because of changes in the gaming market that has happened during the past couple of years.

I agree with what Euph says...  WoW has been on the market for years now and hasn't had any serious competition.  I played WoW since its release and saw its peak and then its slow and sad decline.  The reality of it all is that no company has been able to recreate a gaming experience and innovate a game as unique and incredible as that one.  I've played XBOX, PS2/3, Nintendo64, Gamecube, Dreamcast, whatever you name it.  There is no sense of urgency for them to create "Titan" because there isn't a game out there right now that would compete with "Titan".  In my mind the only serious competition that Blizzard has had in years was when XBOX306 and the new PS came out.  The other computer related competition was Star Wars: The Old Republic (MMORPG).  That was I think 8-10 years in production and was a crazy let-down for various reasons.  Champions Online and other MMO's that drew for WoW player base but never re-created the experience just took away from Blizzard's money making for a brief period.  What I've heard people say about WoW : "You never quit, you just take really long breaks."  Is pretty true and relevant simply because nothing else competes with WoW in my opinion.  Honestly this is opinionated so please don't hate.  That being said, there are games in BETA testing now like "Firefall" that look kind of cool, but they are only kind of cool.  My brother and I have been dreaming for a new game that would re-take the place that vanilla WoW had and that great gaming experience.  It really is too bad. 

My love goes out to all the gamers out there that want something as amazing and innovative as WoW. 

 

-Sorry I saw how small the font was of that post XD.
 

mynsc edit: fixed the formatting :)

The reality of it all is that no company has been able to recreate a gaming experience and innovate a game as unique and incredible as that one.   Is pretty true and relevant simply because nothing else competes with WoW in my opinion.  Honestly this is opinionated so please don't hate. 

 

We don't do hate here on our forums, so feel free to voice your opinion. ;)   More opinions = more great conversations.
 

My brother and I have been dreaming for a new game that would re-take the place that vanilla WoW had and that great gaming experience.

 

My love goes out to all the gamers out there that want something as amazing and innovative as WoW.

 

 

A lot of people are looking forward to Wildstar for that vanilla WoW type MMO fix.  Maybe you've checked it out already, but if you haven't, check out our thread here and the official Wildstar site.  It remains to be seen whether it succeeds in that endeavor, but hopefully it or one of the other MMOs on the horizon (ESO, FFXIV:RR) can recapture that great experience for you guys.

 

Back on topic, I think the genre-blending games that are coming out on consoles and PCs now are influencing things in the Blizzard offices, like papaz said.

I'm sure all the core ideas for Titan was great a couple of years ago but just look at gaming today from just a couple of years ago.

 

Everybody was envisioning these great new ideas a couple years ago, but everyone else is realizing them in '13-'14 while Blizzard is still iterating.  I value their polished products and the iterative process that produces them, but c'mon Blizz.  You'll never catch up if you keep iterating!

I actually had no idea, brother and I just signed up for BETA.  Looks amazing. Thank you so much for the insight!

Yeah, the PC's future as a hard-core gaming platform are uncertain. PC's are becoming tablets. Touch and voice are becoming the new preferred methods of input. Games on these platforms need to adhere to those paradigms.

It may be that they have decided to launch on consoles instead of or in addition to the PC. Blizzard has been fully aware of all the other games that Activision publish. So they were aware of projects like Destiny long before E3. 

Yeah, the PC's future as a hard-core gaming platform are uncertain. PC's are becoming tablets. Touch and voice are becoming the new preferred methods of input. Games on these platforms need to adhere to those paradigms.

It may be that they have decided to launch on consoles instead of or in addition to the PC. Blizzard has been fully aware of all the other games that Activision publish. So they were aware of projects like Destiny long before E3. 

 

This is a good point. In 10 years time, how many people will have opted away from PCs and be using super advanced tablets or Oculus Rifts or whatever. 10 years ago, we had no iPhone, no iPad, no Macbook Airs, not many iPods and most certainly no Oculus Rifts! In 10 years, a lot is going to happen and Blizz need to build something they think can weather those 10 years, something that could handle a potential transition to a more mobile playerbase. I feel like we're in a bit of a transition period at the moment between classic PCs as we know them, and being completely 'Post-PC' as coined by Apple way back when.

Guys, I hate to break it to you, but the PC as a platform is not going anywhere anytime soon. Except up. All the tablets, phones and consoles in the world cannot replace the raw processing power of a PC, the accuracy of the mouse, the commodity of a keyboard and the freedom of having 2,3 large monitors around you.

 

You cannot write code as efficiently on any other device. You cannot edit movies or pictures on any other device, in a quickly and precise enough manner. All the work that's being done in this digital age requires a good old fashion PC. And as long as people use PCs for such tasks, their number will be big enough to be a very tempting target for game developers too.

 

Not to mention that the PC is the most open platform out of all, even with Microsoft trying to close it a bit with Windows 8. If you write a piece of software (a game in this case), you do not have to go through Sony, MS, Apple or whatever to publish it. You just put it on a website and offer a download link, if that's what you wish. Or maybe publish it on Steam. It's your choice. Other platforms do not offer this choice.

 

It's completely silly to consider the PC a washed up platform and move away from it and I'm sure that Blizzard is not considering this. Yes, publishing your game on other platforms too is a real option, a smart one even, just because you get the chance to access a wider audience, but abandoning the PC is like losing at least 75% of that audience. Especially for Blizzard, who's fans are predominantly PC players.

 

Also, about touch and voice controls. These are perfectly fine for casual games like Angry Birds or Wii Sports or whatever. But you cannot show me one hardcore or non-casual gamer that prefers these over mouse + keyboard. They are tens of years away from being precise and comfortable enough to offer a real alternative. Heck, even the already established console gamepads are still behind.

Guys, I hate to break it to you, but the PC as a platform is not going anywhere anytime soon. Except up. All the tablets, phones and consoles in the world cannot replace the raw processing power of a PC, the accuracy of the mouse, the commodity of a keyboard and the freedom of having 2,3 large monitors around you.

 

You cannot write code as efficiently on any other device. You cannot edit movies or pictures on any other device, in a quickly and precise enough manner. All the work that's being done in this digital age requires a good old fashion PC. And as long as people use PCs for such tasks, their number will be big enough to be a very tempting target for game developers too.

 

Not to mention that the PC is the most open platform out of all, even with Microsoft trying to close it a bit with Windows 8. If you write a piece of software (a game in this case), you do not have to go through Sony, MS, Apple or whatever to publish it. You just put it on a website and offer a download link, if that's what you wish. Or maybe publish it on Steam. It's your choice. Other platforms do not offer this choice.

 

It's completely silly to consider the PC a washed up platform and move away from it and I'm sure that Blizzard is not considering this. Yes, publishing your game on other platforms too is a real option, a smart one even, just because you get the chance to access a wider audience, but abandoning the PC is like losing at least 75% of that audience. Especially for Blizzard, who's fans are predominantly PC players.

 

Also, about touch and voice controls. These are perfectly fine for casual games like Angry Birds or Wii Sports or whatever. But you cannot show me one hardcore or non-casual gamer that prefers these over mouse + keyboard. They are tens of years away from being precise and comfortable enough to offer a real alternative. Heck, even the already established console gamepads are still behind.

 

What he said.

 

The input format alone (mouse/keyboard) makes PCs a mainstay for ages to come.

Everyone knows that Vivendi is trying to unload Blizzard and there are rumors that Blizzard is trying to buy itself back from Vivendi. If these rumors have any weight then it might be possible that the powers behind Blizzard are stalling on the game to make sure that when it does get released it will be their sole property and not linked to Activision or Vivendi in anyway, so that they do not have to pay any royalties to any other corp. It would be a smart move on Blizzard's part to do this.

Different reason,   Jay wilson got hired on as project manager

 

 

 

Walked in,  looked at everything.

 

"NO,  Its not what JAY WILSON WANTS."

 

Scrap the entire project and start from scratch.

Everyone knows that Vivendi is trying to unload Blizzard and there are rumors that Blizzard is trying to buy itself back from Vivendi. If these rumors have any weight then it might be possible that the powers behind Blizzard are stalling on the game to make sure that when it does get released it will be their sole property and not linked to Activision or Vivendi in anyway, so that they do not have to pay any royalties to any other corp. It would be a smart move on Blizzard's part to do this.

 

Jaxxar, where did you hear the rumors about Blizzard trying to buy itself back? I don't think they have anywhere near the cash on hand to pay the 15 billion that the company is currently worth. Everything that I have heard says that Vivendi will just take all those shares they have and put them back in the public's hands in the stock market. Is this not true?

It's actually Activision Blizzard that's trying to buy itself back from Vivendi. And Vivendi does now own 100% of the shares ( I believe the number is closer to 60%, but not sure), so they wouldn't have to pay the entire value of the company, whatever that is (15 billion I think is a bit too much?)

Okay, that makes a little more sense. I thought he was stating that not only is Activision Blizzard trying to buy itself back, but then Blizzard was going to try to sever the ties to Activision, as well. It has been known that ATVI has been doing share buyback programs over the last couple of years, but I still doubt they have the cash on hand to buy back the whole stake that Vivendi has. 15 billion is the current value of the company, but if it is just a 52% stake that we are looking at that Vivendi has, it's closer to 7.8 billion, which I still doubt they have. I don't think they've ever even spent 1 billion on any of their share buyback programs. The value of the company is right here: https://www.google.c...UaiiDK-ziAKbyQE. You are looking for the Market Cap. That adds the value of all the shares together, thus giving you the value of the company.

They had about 4.6B set aside in cash and investments after the first quarter of 2013, so they could afford it I think if they lend some money and also  if it's done in stages or something like that. Anyway, I really have no idea how stuff like this works, so I don't know how feasible it is.

Ah, there we go. I was trying to find that. I feel like they still are going to be spending some of that on their share buyback program, but ATVI does really pride themselves as being a 0 debt company and having a lot of cash on hand, so they definitely won't spend all of that or even close to all of that. It's just the culture of the company. I actually really enjoy the stock market and trading even companies like ATVI, so I can say with some confidence that there is no way they'd be buying that whole 52% stake Vivendi has, but they have been pretty interested in buying back some of their shares. It could even just be for investment purposes since they know this is a rough year that drives down stock prices and then they sell it off later when the prices are higher.

Guys, I hate to break it to you, but the PC as a platform is not going anywhere anytime soon. Except up. All the tablets, phones and consoles in the world cannot replace the raw processing power of a PC, the accuracy of the mouse, the commodity of a keyboard and the freedom of having 2,3 large monitors around you.

You are correct, the large workstation with monitor and keyboard will be around for some time to come. There are very valid uses cases for such a workstation but they are becoming more and more niche. The problem is fewer and fewer people are buying them for home use. The market is shrinking and will continue to shrink as people replace these devices with AIOs. Microsoft want's Xbox One to be the home media center and gaming device. The hard-core gamer market alone is not enough to support games on the PC. They need to target whatever the most common devices are. 

You are correct, the large workstation with monitor and keyboard will be around for some time to come. There are very valid uses cases for such a workstation but they are becoming more and more niche. The problem is fewer and fewer people are buying them for home use. The market is shrinking and will continue to shrink as people replace these devices with AIOs. Microsoft want's Xbox One to be the home media center and gaming device. The hard-core gamer market alone is not enough to support games on the PC. They need to target whatever the most common devices are. 

 

 

Are you telling me that you actually know ANYONE who doesn't own either a PC or Laptop?

 

Because I don't....

 

If, as I suspect, the answer to that question is No (or, yes but very few), then that explains WHY PC sales are falling.  The market is saturated, PC's are lasting longer, software isn't pushing hardware boundaries at anywhere near the rate it was 10 years ago, and as such there simply isn't the need to buy new PC's as regularly as we did 5-10 years ago.

 

But that doesn't mean that the number of PC's in the market place has fallen, or that people are using tablets/smartphones instead of PC's.  All it means is that the sale of NEW PC's is falling.  

 

Sales of new PC's is falling /= people are stopping using PC's.  (This is just a logical fallacy)

 

Let me put it another way.  I worked in the telecommunications industry for a long time, and our sales emphasis was on acquiring new customers (selling them their first mobile).  As time passed it became harder to acquire new customers.  But this wasn't because mobiles were dieing, it was because most people by then already had a mobile phone contract, and so, the emphasis shifted from new customers to retaining customers.  

 

The PC market is the same.  Everyone has a PC or Laptop, and we are only having to replace them every 4-5 years nowadays.  There is no one out there looking to buy their first PC/Laptop.  So naturally PC sales are falling.  This does not mean that they are dead, or that the market is failing, or that people are stopping using them; only that they have to replace their existing machines less often.  

 

Tablets have then burst onto the market at the exact same time as consumers are needing to upgrade their PC's less often. Thus, we see Tablet sales on the rise, PC sales falling and draw the conclusion that tablets are cutting into the PC market.

 

When in actual fact this is a completely inaccurate conclusion to draw.

 

I am sure we have all heard the saying "Lies lies and damn statistics". But let me finish this little rant with an interesting statistic.

 

Incidents of Rape increase proportionately with increases in the sale of Ice Cream.

 

Does Ice Cream therefore cause Rape?  Of course not.  No more than increasing tablet sales are to blame for falling PC sales. 

what do you think - does this mean they discarded the old concept idea for a new one, so that they have to start over again with everything, thinking about a completely other and new concept/direction for the game? or is it more a thing of refurbishing tools needed for the artists, but they're still fine with the initial idea for the project?

I'm guessing it was this. MMORPG.com's announcement thread and comments here.

I'm guessing it was this. MMORPG.com's announcement thread and comments here.

 

Yeh ive been following this news since the announcement of the Meeting and ive got to say that not only do i think this will ruin any chances of Titan being anywhere near a proper announcement or release date (it might even go dark like SC:Ghost) but this will surely destroy future iterations of their current franchises.

 

Call of Duty hasnt innovated much since CoD4:MW was released but the Marketing and Talent required to keep bringing a yearly fix to consumers doesnt come cheap.

 

Its just sad that Vivendi is willing to destroy the most successful company in its industry just to save its own sorry ass. They should file for bankruptcy and at least Auction off its assets, at least then it wont cripple Activision Blizzard for Years to come.

 

On the other hand, if Activision Blizzard bought itself back from Vivendi, who knows what would happen.

don't panic. this guy explained it pretty good - quote from kagitaar;

 

"Sigh, more half understood information. First, Activision-Blizzard is the holding company and Activision, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, etc are subsidiaries of it. The holding company has the cash and it has to pay if the dividend is called. This is not taking operating funds from the subsidiaries, it will be taking their spare cash held by the holding company used for quick acquisitions. Only about half of the cash is offshore, so only that portion would be taxed if they chose to use it instead of borrowing some to finish off the dividend.

For that matter, debt is not a bad thing in business, it's part of normal operations. For a personal example, as long as you can pay off your credit card in a reasonable way, using it is not going to ruin you financially."

 

So please read my question again guys and tell me what you think. I am curious.

(Speaking for myself, I think they're still fine with the initial concept idea!)

The answer is simple. Blizzard is moving towards making games for consoles. Consoles are proving to be much more profitable than PC games as of late. Look at games that release DLC every couple of months. Games like COD that do that makes a TON of money off people who buy the DLC that has almost no content. Look at Diablo 3 and how it was made and then announced for consoles, which explained why the game was so bad/simplified compared to Diablo 2. Jay Wilson was the director or man in charge and he came from a console background. Now he is leading the team for Titan. Titan will probably be an MMO that is multi platform for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. There hasnt been an MMO that is cross platform yet and that could very well be why they said Titan was going to be something new that hasnt been seen or done before. Only a big company like Blizzard can pull something off like this as they already have a strong foothold on the PC market and are beginning to enter the console market again with Diablo 3 soon. The servers will probably allow console AND PC gamers to play with each other. It was announced in May that the team for Titan was being moved to other games. And in May was when it was getting close to E3 and we all knew that the PS4 and Xbox One were going to be announced there.

 

They scrapped the whole game right before the next gen consoles big conferences at E3, which IMO matches up perfectly to why they delayed the game. Announcements they made about adapting to technology and technology changes to the game make a lot of sense to why they are starting from scratch once they realized Ps4 and Xbox One were going to be released this year. 2016 means the new team will have 2 years to develop and make Titan for next gen consoles. They probably already got story and the foundation of Titan already set up and just need to get it ready for next gen consoles graphics wise and 2 years seems reasonable to update graphics for stronger consoles. I bet they already had a working game for Titan that was still in early stages but with the announcement of new consoles it means the games graphics would already look outdated.

 

They probably were expecting Titan to be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 but once it became apparent that the next gen consoles were coming out sooner than they expected they scrapped the game to be reworked on for new technology. Why do you think they said the game would be relevant/strong for a long time. They probably didnt think the Ps4 and One would be out so soon and would of probably ported it over to the Ps4 and One when they did come out which explains why they said they wanted the game to be going strong for 10-15 years. Think about it.. Sony stated the Ps3's life span would be about 10 years, they announced the ps4 3 years ahead of what they said back then but will still be supporting/developing games for ps3 just like how they did for ps2 for a couple more years before they stopped. Its been 7~ years since PS3 was announced and they probably thought ps4 wouldnt be released for a 2-3 more years. The PS3's life span/future consoles was stated to be about 10 years from the people of Sony. So this would follow the timeline of the consoles life span perfectly, they will be developing games for PS3 still for 2-3 year more years giving game companies 2-3 years to fully get the potential of the ps4 unlocked. By the time the ps3 isnt supported anymore the PS4 will be understood much better than at its release. If they had it ready for ps3/xbox 360 good chance that they would of ported the game over to next gen consoles that would of lasted another 10 years hence why they said going strong for 10-15 years... they probably thought 2-3 years more of current gen consoles then 10 more years of next gen consoles.

 

With the new  gen of consoles already coming close to being released it would of been dumb to release it for ps3/360 and then just port it over to the newer consoles as in 5-10 years those graphics wont be nearly as nice since it would of been graphics for the ps3/360 not ps4/one. If they did release it for current gen of consoles it would of already been out dated graphics by half way through the span of the span of the new consoles, so by waiting/delaying they will atleast have graphics that were made specifically for the ps4/one. Just like how you see such a big difference in graphics from games at the PS3s release vs the games out now.

 

Also making this a non subscription based game even makes it more obvious it possibly could be cross platform. Almost no console gamer pays a monthly fee to play a game and when the very few games have tried to do that ( final fantasy mmo is the only game to come to the top of my head to charge a monthly subscription) they didnt do too well. They wont be monthly subscriptions but it probably will have a lot of DLC. They cant charge a monthly subscription as most people on consoles wouldn't buy it as Xbox One and PS4 will both require a subscription to play online with what was announced at E3. 5 dollars a month~ to play online for PS plus and Xbox Live.