But wasn't it the project and not the development that started 2007? I'm thinking the actual development started somewhere in 2011 since Rob or whoever it was in Blizzcon saying "we have moved into full production".
And 2013 or even 2014 seems so early marketing/preparation wise for an AAA title even if the development is almost complete. There isn't a single word on the project yet and I figure they want to hype it for at least for 2 Blizzcons before beta starts. The first Blizzcon: "Here is Titan and some class/character demos". The second Blizzcon "here are the other classes, PvP or whatever".
Actually, the Titan's development staretd in 2007. Game's development is spread into three phases, pre-production, production and post-production. I apologise if you already know this but this is more-or-less how it's done. Pre-production is mainly the planning part of the game as well as building foundation that the game will be built upon. Writers have to create outline of the story, project gets code name, and artists in particular and important. Artists collaborating with game designers, who are also doing their thing i.e. designing core game mechanics conceptualise the world, perspective, enviroments and really everything else in the game's visual identity. Artists tend to churn out a ton of artwork for all purposes. Also, tech guys have to either optimise or create game engine for the purposes of the game. It may seem a trivial phase but it's actually the most important phase. Subsequent ones are only actually building the game and optimising it, but the game is created with all the potential strenghts and flaws in this stage. So, I'm guessing it was really beneficial to the game that Titan never really had strict deadline to adhere to. Like I said, core game mechanics, look and feel of tha game and game engine are some of the decisions of this stage. Anyway, after that (potentially pointless) lesson, let's continue. My understanding is that the game entered pre-production in 2007 and probably spent several years conceptualising and visualising the game as well as figuring out that "hook" of the game that was talked about in Blizzcon 2011. However, I find it highly unlikely that they spent four years doing just that, even if it is most important phase. My guess would be that they started at the actual production while they were finalising pre-production and that the remark about entering "full production" meant that they started focusing all of their efforts on creating the game world and its inhabitants from the material they made in pre-production. But, damn you, now you've got me worried. Opinions aren't etched in stone so it might be likely that they really only started production stage in 2011. Considering that post-production is typically the longest stage, that has me worried about the potential of game's release in 2013 or 2014.
As far as Titan's extenuating circumstances go, they really aren't nowhere near as bad as StarCraft 2's or Diablo 3's. Titan's worst problem is simply the monumental amount of work that artists, writers and other will have to go through to create a massive world filled with strange and/or beatiful sights, which is more-or-less what I expect from Titan's world. Or worlds, if time travel turns out to be true, which it seems like it might. So, they would maybe be half a tier? Worse than average AAA titles has but better than SC2's D3's circumstances.
As for your last point, that seems quite arbitery, don't you think? There's really no reason for them to show Titan at two Blizzcons, in particular if they announce it late in development and release it relatively quickly, which, as far as we know anyway, is their plan. As for hype, Titan already has quite a bit of hype, probably more so than some games that are already announced and Blizzard keeping everyone in dark seems to work amazingly for them, certainly better than D3's approach did. Of course, the hype train is still relatively small especially compared to hype average Blizzard game gets, but I think it's good enough for them for now. They don't what happened to D3 to happen again, people getting over-hyped, each person imagining their image of perfection and then, inevitably, disappointment for some. Though, about the Blizzcons, depanding on Titan's announcement and release as well as schedule for Blizzcon 2013 and Blizzcon 2014 they might actually show it at two Blizzcons.
And finally, one thing that came to mind, that leaked Blizzard product placement. We can assume it's true since the Chinese branch menager that leaked it was fired/quit but the real question is, do they still stick to it and if yes, to what degree. Developing a game isn't a process that can be pushed or gerenally moved to accomodate outside influences so I think we can assume that it's still true. It says on the slate that Diablo 3 was supposed to be released in 4q 2011 and we did learn that it was indeed when they were planning to release the game. Diablo 3, of course, got pushed to 2q 2012 but that still gives credibility to the slate. On it, Titan is showed to be scheduled for release in 4q 2013, in a somewhat similiar fashion to Diablo 3, so we can assume that would be the loose deadline that Titan team has to abide to. So, it will be interesting to see how much will Titan be late and how much was it's development different than the projected time slate. I'm guessing this was already discussed, so I apologise up front, but it caught my curiousity and interest, so I wrote about it. If they only started production in 2011, they will probably be quite behind, so maybe late 2014? If they started earlier maybe they will even be on (Blizzard) time, which would still mean quarter or so late.