Jump to content

Change
Photo

Future of WoW and Titan's Past


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1
Sarnakyle

Sarnakyle
  • Global Moderator
  • 863 posts
  • Location - United States
498
Exalted.GM.nightmare

With the rain clouds dispersed and the sun returning in full force to our barren landscape, it's time we again start posting anything we find pertaining to this unknown project. I'll start with two articles that I found helped quench the land ever so slightly. Please post any articles you come across here for others to enjoy :)

 

 

 

Project Titan: A brief history of a Game the Doesn't exist

By Massively

 

 

For the last several years, the MMO community has been abuzz with rumors regarding Blizzard Entertainment's Project Titan. Long reported to be a brand-new MMO based on an entirely original intellectual property, Titan was a top-secret project discussed only through occasional interviews, job postings, and hearsay. No footage ever slipped through the cracks; no early alpha build accidentally leaked to the web.

Unfortunately, Project Titan as we knew it is no more. Rumors broke in May that development on the project had been restarted from scratch, and Blizzard offered comments that didn't so much as confirm those rumors as lend them a hefty amount of credence. Now it seems as though whatever we might have known about Titan may no longer apply, and whatever Blizzard had created so far may never see the light of day.

With that in mind, let's take a little adventure through the rumorsphere and look back on the history ofProject Titan and the stories surrounding it.

In the beginning, there were jobs

Rumors regarding Titan go back as far as 2007. Savvy fans of World of Warcraft noticed a job listing for "Lead 3D Character Artist - Next-Gen MMO" on Blizzard's careers site and took to the WoW forums in hope of finding an answer. Community representative Drysc answered, explaining that Blizzard was on the hunt for new talent to help with the company's "unannounced next-gen MMO." Drysc confirmed that the new game was not a World of Warcraft expansion but offered no details. Blizzard, as you might imagine, provided no further comment.
 

project-titan-three.jpg
Rumors swirled for a while with no concrete information emerging; comments from those in the know were vague at best. In 2008, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime talked a tiny bit about the projectwith Wired magazine, noting that Titan was "not going to be a World of Warcraft sequel" and that the goal was to create "a different massively multiplayer experience." Jeff Kaplan, longtime game director for World of Warcraft, half-joked in an interview with MTV's Multiplayer blog that Titan would be sci-fi, near-future, post-apocalyptic, and historical combined. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick briefly addressed the game in 2009, claiming Titan would have "a little more broad appeal."

Things went mostly quiet on the Titan front until late 2010, when a leak of Blizzard's five-year product roadmap found its way to the web. Listed in the leak were potential release dates for Diablo III andStarCraft II, expansion and movie plans for World of Warcraft, and of course, the release of an entirely new MMO known as Titan. According to the roadmap, Titan was set for release sometime in 2013. The schedule was never confirmed or denied, though Blizzard China's general manager, Ye Wuilun, left the company soon after, which provoked rumors that his exit had something to do with the leak.

Escalation

As the hypothetical 2013 release date approached, a clearer vision of Titan's development cycle began to emerge thanks to Blizzard's increasing willingness to talk about the project. Mike Morhaime discussedTitan in February of 2011, noting that Blizzard had "some of [Blizzard's] most experienced MMO developers" working on the project. Morhaime stated again that Titan was not a WoW sequel and claimed that "people who spent years working on the World of Warcraft team" were focused on its production. He briefly mentioned core MMO concepts like playing in guilds and making new friends but did not reveal anything previously unknown or unsuspected.


project-titan-two.jpg

About a month later, COO Paul Sams went on the record regarding TitanSpeaking with Venture Beat, Sams claimed that Titan was being built by a "dream team," and that the game was going to "blow people's minds." He also echoed previous claims from other Blizzard executives that the game could co-exist with World of Warcraft, noting, "we believe that it will be more complementary than competitive." In other words: Project Titan was very likely not a fantasy-based RPG, or at least not so fantasy-RPG as to be confused with WoW.
 

greenline.png
"From an outsider's perspective, it certainly seemed as though the game might finally be on its way toward some sort of official reveal."

greyline.png  

In a different interview (from the same month), Sams explained that Blizzard was "very confident" in Titan and that "the reach of that product [would be] greater than anything that [Blizzard had] done before." Sams set a lofty goal for Titan: "Hopefully in 10, 15, and 20 years, that [new MMO] will still be growing strong and will have set a new mark in the industry for that type of product." He also let it slip that the game was finally in playable form.

By September of 2012, development was apparently moving at full speed. Blizzard president of game design Rob Pardo confirmed in an interview with Curse that the title was "in the middle of development" and revealed that the Titan team was made up of over 100 people. He did note that Titanwas "a very big project [with] a long way to go," but from an outsider's perspective, it certainly seemed as though the game might finally be on its way toward some sort of official reveal.

The scrap heap

If the fall of 2012 marked the high point of anticipation for Titan, spring of 2013 marked the crash. May brought rumors that the entire Titan project had been rebooted, with all existing work being scrapped in favor of starting anew. Blizzard spokesperson Shon Damron explained, "We've come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game," revealing that some developers had been pulled off the project while the "core team adapt[ed Blizzard's] technology and tools" to the new changes.
 

project-titan.jpg

Mike Morhaime went a step further on an August Activision-Blizzard earnings call, noting, "We're in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what we want the game to be." He didn't jump any deeper into the details of what Titan might have been before, but he did say, "It is unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG." As of the writing of this article, the only further tidbit of data onTitan is that it was quietly removed from the Blizzard Entertainment careers page.

In summary

Over the last seven years, Blizzard has ducked, dived, and dodged questions related to Titan. Fan rumors pegged it as StarCraft spin-off, an MMOFPS, a WoW sequel, and anything else that seemed to fit. Meanwhile, no official art was ever revealed, no trailer ever shown, and no release date ever mentioned. With rumors now hinting that Titan's earliest launch window is 2016, it appears as though we are no closer to concrete information on the project now then we were seven years ago.

Still, one has to wonder what the folks at Blizzard are cooking up in the magic, money-printing building they call home. After all, no other PC-exclusive studio has managed to assert such dominance over the marketplace for so long, and the world has yet to see any game that could accurately be labeled a "WoW-killer." Whatever Project Titan was and whatever it may become, it will remain one of the most anticipated projects in MMO history.

 

 

 

The Factor of WoW

By The Instance

 

 

blizzard-product-slate-leaked.jpg

You all remember this infamous timeline of releases that got leaked, it made a lot of sense at the time.

This chart came to light in 2010 and many used it as a metric for how close Blizzard was to their targets, something they’ve been notoriously cagey about. Mists was released in September of 2012, represented by ‘WOW X4? on the chart. The following expansion, whatever that is, was slated to be released at the end of 2013. I seriously doubt that will happen, but it’s easy money to say that it’d be released in 2014. Originally, Titan was scheduled to be released at the end of 2013, but we all know that will not happen now.

deathwing_world_of_warcraft_cataclysm_16

So the question I’ve been mulling around with is: With Titan going completely back to the drawing board then what happens to WoW? I can see the business meeting where these timelines were originally decided, by the time the majority of the subscriber base tire of WoW then we can roll out Titan and maintain the base along with the natural influx of new gamers. Now this won’t happen, it can’t. Not with ever-decreasing number of people willing to pay a subscription fee and the ever-increasing number of free-to-play MMOs. At best, we’re looking at least three years before Titan v2 goes to consumers. If that’s true, then is WoW supposed to carry Blizzard through it?

number-of-subscribers-of-world-of-warcra

WoW is old. We all know this and have known it for years. And whether we like it or not the end of WoW is coming ever-closer to being a reality, or at least the end of it being the MMO of choice. This isn’t to say that WoW subs will hit zero sometime soon, but I do think that WoW’s place as the de facto MMO in the market grows more questionable with each passing day. The delay of Titan, I believe, will force WoW to even further increase it’s lifespan longer than Blizzard had originally intended and I’m not sure players will stick around. My point here is simple, given the decrease in subscribers over the years, I do not believe WoW can continue to have a substantial impact on the market without some significant changes.

BlizzCon2009_Anaheim-150x150.jpgIt would appear that the Titan delay will mean that WoW needs at least one more expansion other than the one being announced this year. This means more than simply adding a dance studio, new races, new classes, or even brand new models for every asset they have. A fundamental change to the game appears to be the only thing that can turn around WoW’s subscriber base. I have no doubt that Blizzard has considered this point as well, but what they will do about it… I really don’t know.

Of course, it is possible that Blizzard may not feel the need to turn around the decreasing subscriber trend. They may just ride out the wave until the end and then release Titan whenever they feel like it. It certainly sounds like something Blizzard would do. Though I would imagine that’s not exactly an easy sell to Activision share-holders who are used to having subscriber money.

Regardless of what ends up happening, it’ll be interesting to watch. This Blizzcon will be very telling.


Useful Links: Rules --- Awards --- Titan FAQ --- Twitter --- Support TF


#2
Eremite

Eremite
  • Global Moderator
  • 430 posts
  • Location - Hawaii
327
Exalted.master

*
POPULAR

Of course, it is possible that Blizzard may not feel the need to turn around the decreasing subscriber trend. They may just ride out the wave until the end and then release Titan whenever they feel like it. It certainly sounds like something Blizzard would do. Though I would imagine that’s not exactly an easy sell to Activision share-holders who are used to having subscriber money.

Regardless of what ends up happening, it’ll be interesting to watch. This Blizzcon will be very telling.

 

 

Hmm, I'm not really sure I agree with a lot of the statements and assumptions in this second article.  Sounds to me like this guy hasn't been following very closely what's going on at Blizzard nor the pulse of players outside of vitriolic forums. 

 

I don't think Blizzard has anything to worry about, and I'm not sure Blizzcon is going to reveal much that's not already expected unless it's a Titan reveal. 

 

Here's my predictions:

 

1) WOW - Blizzard will reveal the next WoW expansion at Blizzcon.  It could be sooner, but precedence tells us Blizzcon will be the time.  They've got all of the old Titan team supplementing development now and have been pushing content at a good clip even before that, so it's not inconceivable that the expansion could hit at the very end of 2013.   I think early 2014 is more likely because of the proximity of their other IP releases (which I'll get into later).  Either way this doesn't leave a lot of time between 5.4 and 6.0 for players to consume content, but given the dramatic drop of players between Dragon Soul and MoP I'm inclined to think Blizzard wants to sprint to 6.0 to avoid a similar fate.  So, the subcriber base will once again jump up with 6.0, then have a subsequent further decline 6 months after release.  This will be exacerbated by other big MMO releases in the Spring of '14.  No, WoW won't be dead, but by the end of 2014 I expect we'll see sub numbers similar to or slightly below what we see currently.

 

2) Diablo 3 - Reaper of Souls is going to have a big presence at Blizzcon with the new systems fully revealed and extensive play testing on the floor.  RoS will be released for the holidays or January '14.  It will release before the WoW expansion because Blizzard doesn't want to steal attention away from a recently released WoW expansion with RoS.  They've stated that the D3 release was a factor in WoW subscriptions, so I'm thinking they'll avoid cutting themselves off like that again and give themselves 30-60 days between the WoW and D3 expansions.  Expect RoS sales to be 3/4 of the original (9 million+) - still a crapload of money.

 

3) SC2 - I've not been following SC2 as closely since it's not really my bag, but I'm hoping to see something about LotV at Blizzcon '13.  There's been some cinematic work done for it already along with voice actors being brought in, so it would be sweet to at least see a teaser trailer.  It also ties in great to the tournament, so I don't see how Blizzard wouldn't want to capitalize on some early buzz that way.  I do think it's a bit further out personally and not on the buzz list as much as the other more more imminent releases.

 

4) BALLS - I'm out of the loop on this one totally.  Anyone know wtf is going on here?  If it's slated for a late 2014/early 2015 release it could fill in a nice gap for Blizzard.  If it's a super-polished MOBA we all know it will make money.

 

4) Hearthstone - Yeah...  this game is going to make an absolute killing.  Whatever hopes we had resting on Blizzard needing to focus efforts on Titan due to monetary concerns are blown to squirrel dung with this game.  Any WoW sub losses, Error 37s, BALLS (not) dropping, or anything else for that matter, just don't matter.  The most accessible, polished, F2P, digital collectible card game ever made.  Enough said.  I expect this to release shortly after Blizzcon, maybe by Thanksgiving '13.

 

5) TITAN - Sorry boys and girls.  There is no pressing concern to release Titan because of declining WoW subs.  Between WoW, D3, SC2, Blizzard entering the console market, an upcoming MOBA, and the best digital card game since ever, Titan is truly going to be released "when it's ready."



#3
papaz

papaz
  • Early Adopter
  • 676 posts
  • Location - Sweden
449
Exalted.GM.normal

4) BALLS - I'm out of the loop on this one totally.  Anyone know wtf is going on here?  If it's slated for a late 2014/early 2015 release it could fill in a nice gap for Blizzard.  If it's a super-polished MOBA we all know it will make money.

 

Since Balls is the game I look forward most to I am googling Balls on a daily basis. Pro tip, do not use the word Balls when using google at work ;-) 

 

The only "update" we have had about Balls is the following from Cloaken hinting that it will be an amazing e-sport with awesome e-sports functionality (ok I'm exaggerating a bit but if you listen to his words + put a few of your words in there that's basically what he said so it's not far from the truth :) )

 

http://www.youtube.c...utu.be&t=25m30s

 

And Rob Pardo "promised" us with his tweet the other day that everyting will be revealed at Blizzcon.



#4
Valkata

Valkata
  • Early Adopter
  • 799 posts
  • Location - EU
  • BT - Jasius#1148
284
Exalted.master

I'm thinking.. would it be possible... that Blizzard:

  • did not restart Titan
  • lied on purpose
  • withdraw majority of people working on Titan

because

  • it is nearly finished

(I can hope, right?)



#5
Templar

Templar
  • Early Adopter
  • 1,287 posts
  • Location - County Durham, England, U.K.
  • BT - Kerrmy#2146
223
Exalted.platinum

I'm thinking.. would it be possible... that Blizzard:

  • did not restart Titan
  • lied on purpose
  • withdraw majority of people working on Titan

because

  • it is nearly finished

(I can hope, right?)

Who knows? Perhaps they lied so they could really shock us at Blizzcon and create a lot of hype surrounding the game. They could probably pull it off fairly easily. The game has been in development since 07' and they have had a playable version for a few years now. We can dream.


I'm personally most looking forward to the release of Hearthstone, it seems like a very fun game and I'm desperate to play it :)


LF S/O WHO CAN MAKE BOMBS AND GOOD FOOD. /W WITH OFFERS. :D