Blizzard Delays Titan To Space Year 2016, Probably Later

By John Walker on May 29th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Well, it has Titan in the title.

I’m pleased to announce that I too am developing a ground-breaking MMO called Titan. And I will be releasing it in 2034. Now invest in shares in my owners.

Extraordinarily, Blizzard and their infinite wealth have just said that the much-mentioned, never-shown Titan has now been delayed until “2016 at the earliest”. The suggestion is, they’re retconning and starting over.

As revealed to VentureBeat, the “unannounced project” has had its development team reduced from 100 to 70, with the project starting over from scratch. Or as Blizzard put it to VB,

“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.”

Could this be a reaction to Bungie’s Destiny? A ruling from the Activsion overlords that the two games were too close, and they didn’t want to be in competition with themselves?

With WoW now on a completely understandable player-numbers decline, you’d imagine there would be a greater drive to get something else out there to compensate. But Blizzard have never been in a rush to get anything done, and with 9m subscribers still handing over a monthly tithe, they’re not going to be short of a penny for a while.

So yeah, don’t hold your breath. But you can preorder my Titan now!

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56 Comments »

  1. Skeletor68 says:

    Would Bungie’s game really affect Titan numbers? Surely the audience crossover isn’t deep enough that people wouldn’t find their way to either game eventually?

  2. Loque says:

    Unannounced release date for a completely unknown project (that will be entirely revisited)… got delayed to a random 2016 year. That’s some serious news from Blizzard.

  3. SanguineAngel says:

    ““We’ve always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. [so we're scrapping the whole thing an starting again. Iteration!]

    • Chalky says:

      It might seem bad, but it’s one hell of a lot better than getting half way through development, realising it’s a pile of shit then just releasing it anyway. If only certain other big developers/publishers were willing to take drastic action to change course we’d probably see far better games.

      • FriendlyPsicopath says:

        Oh really? like d3 that has gonna be an awesome game, then got scrapped redone as a shitty money grab. People need to wake up, old blizzard is gone, activion-blizzard is crap, they are not worried about quality, only about making more money.

        • Shuck says:

          Although D3 was redone by a completely different group of people in a different company from the original. Unlike this one, which will presumably keep its leads throughout the development process at the very least.

          • Brun says:

            Supposedly Titan is being designed by the same core group that designed WoW and The Burning Crusade. There was a marked change in the feel and direction of WoW right around the time Wrath of the Lich King came out, and it was widely rumored that the original WoW designers had been pulled from Wrath’s development to get Titan off the ground (this is roughly consistent with the rumor that Titan began initial development in 2007, which would have been right after TBC and during the early stages of WotLK development).

  4. Thermal Ions says:

    Do we get alpha access with the Walker/RPS Titan?

    Couldn’t really care less about that other one. Maybe they realised they were headed for a re-skinned/re-set WoW and recognised they needed to do something rather drastic.

  5. Hardlylikely says:

    Thanks John, it’s good to finally have a supporters reward for those of us thinking of subscribing.

  6. zootlewurdle says:

    You’ve made exactly the same mistake reporting this as Eurogamer.

    the “unannounced project” has had its development team reduced from 100 to 70

    That is not what the report you both quote says. It states:

    The team of 100 developers working on the MMO, codenamed “Titan,” has been reduced by 70 positions

    edit: I guess it is possible you are both right and the original report you both cite is wrong, but if so some clarification on that point in the original article might be a good diea.

  7. lokhe says:

    Well, this announcement about an unannounced game from Blizzard sure was an un-announcement since well… It’s Blizzard. Delaying games for a few years is as much a part of development for them as writing code is.

  8. Arglebargle says:

    Maybe it just sucked when compared to recent and near future competitors?

    Perhaps the big cheeses feared it would interefere with WoW’s still formidable money printing machine. That was the excuse used to deep six Ultima Online 2, after EA management chumps ordered the devs to force the design back into UO territory in the first place, of course. Perhaps Blizzard had aimed small.

    Or maybe it’s just time for their money laundering and quarterly bonus granting machine to reset.

  9. Diving Duck says:

    Probably for the best, the poor chappie in the picture really doesn’t look like he is having a good day. I mean, bringing a pointy stick to a dust up with a giant 2 headed fuzzy fire thing really wasn’t good planning on his part. I imagine he’d be quite relieved to hear this news.

    • Gryz says:

      In WoW, we have killed Fire Gods with in one hand just a broken bottle, and in the other hand the broken tooth of a dog. Sticks are an improvement.

      • deke913 says:

        They forgot to let Ghostcrawler pick his favorite class till this far in and had to go back and nerf all the other classes.

  10. Vorphalack says:

    ”Could this be a reaction to Bungie’s Destiny? A ruling from the Activsion overlords that the two games were too close, and they didn’t want to be in competition with themselves?”

    If I had to guess, and it had something to do with Destiny, i’d have said it’s more likely that they weren’t close enough. MMOFPS seems to be the new trend in open world games, and something that could be made to work on consoles much more readily than a hot bar control system. If hey are scaling back that much, then I wouldn’t be surprised by them going into pre-production with a new engine, and cranking out something with guns instead of magic.

  11. bstard says:

    This project might show Blizzard when everything you touch turns into gold you’ll be very hungry soon. In other word, when we look at the MMO market and the recent Blizzard releases, things dont look as bright as they did a few years ago.

  12. Necroscope says:

    I only wish Blizz had waited until Blizzcon to announce this to their fans, just to see the look on their faces..

  13. Geger says:

    Hey there, I am Titan, the next gen MMOG You most certainly will play. Cause after all I am made by Blizzard and that means, I will be awesome.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Blizzards last few releases would like to have a word with you, having been GOOD but MEDIOCRE.

      Also noble savage zerg and Starcraft is a love story.

  14. Maxheadroom says:

    Hmm. Protracted development cycle? Team changes? Starting from scratch?

    Duke Nukem the MMO anyone?

    :)

  15. fish99 says:

    “Could this be a reaction to Bungie’s Destiny?”

    no

  16. Barberetti says:

    Probably redesigning all the female races clothing and armour sets.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Considering Blizzard’s preference for animalistic races… Hey, whatever did happen to Wulf?

  17. derbefrier says:

    who cares I am sure it will be a boring casualized mess with a RMAH just like D3 was. Sorry after D3 blizzard is on my shit list. It will take a lot to win me back and if what they did to WoW in terms of simplification and casualization is any indication of what kind of game Titan will be I’ll pass. I like my games to offer a little more than that.

  18. engion3 says:

    So when Half Life?

  19. Brun says:

    Sound the scope creep alarm. A project that long in development with virtually no details worthy of releasing to the public should have been a red flag to everyone. At least they did the smart thing and “reset” development rather than trying to cut their losses.

  20. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Blizzard announced at a press conference today that their project “Titan”, which was assumed by industry press to be a cutting edge “next generation” MMO, is instead a plan to send a mission to Saturn to retrieve its moon “Titan” and tow it back to Earth to open as a World of Warcraft theme park as soon as 2016.

    The California-based developer has secretly been constructing an enormous machine in their car park which will fly to the Saturnian moon and ferry the celestial body back the uncountable dozens of miles between Saturn and Earth. This was achieved in the utmost secrecy by disguising it as one of the ubiquitous heaps of money the developer keeps in freely-accessible locations for management and senior employees to roll around in.

    The theme park will be stocked with full animatronic recreations of Warcraft lore and important events, including the Fall of Quel’Thalas, the Battle of Mount Hyjal, and the epic uninterrupted six month corpse-camping and griefing campaign by _xXLoL(.)(.)WaFfLeS69Xx_ the gnome warlock. The Blizzard spokesman refused to comment on rumours that the animatronics are repurposed robot killing machines from Blizzard’s much-hyped but never seen “Build A Huge Robot Army And Conquer Everything” project.

    Blizzard insiders, who insist on anonymity to protect against punitive reassignment to the polygon mines, have raised concerns about shortcuts taken in the design of the ship which will fly to Saturn. The most commonly cited concern is that the ship’s life support facilities are inadequate, but the Blizzard spokesman insists that the ship has been equipped with enough money to buy all the oxygen they need once they reach Saturn.

    When asked about the inevitable widespread economic, atmospheric, tidal, and tectonic collapse the introduction of another moon to the Earth’s orbit would cause, the Blizzard representative inclined his head like a puzzled dog, then motioned for a dozen burly, black-clad minders to remove the troublemaker from the room.

  21. Time4Pizza says:

    So stupid. Didn’t Blizzard learn anything from SWTOR? You CANNOT have a game in development for 5+ years for the following reason:

    By the time said game is actually released the graphics and gameplay will look like it is from 5+ years ago!

    The gaming industry moves quickly, and gamers are fickle. You cannot start a project in 2011, lay the foundation of that game with ideas and graphics from 2011, then release it in 2016 and hope for it to be something “ground-breaking”. The only thing your game is going to be is OLD before it is even released.

    • x1501 says:

      Judging by the quality and direction of the game’s post-release updates, I think SWTOR’s failure had less to do with its long development cycle and more to do with the abject incompetence of its development team. If anything, SWTOR should have been in development for another few years, not few less.

      • Brun says:

        This. I’m not sure I understand the graphics argument – when you’re designing an MMO you want your visuals to be at least a year or two behind so that people with older hardware can still run your game. You want as many people to be able to play an MMO as possible, and putting unnecessary technical barriers in their way is bad for business.

        WoW’s visuals were anything but cutting-edge in 2004, but Blizzard disguised (and continues to disguise) that fact very well with solid art direction and a well-done and long-living stylized aesthetic. SWTOR went for what appeared to be a semi-realistic style which obviously didn’t age as well as WoW’s did.

  22. Surlywombat says:

    My guess. They have decided to do WoW 2 after all.

  23. aliksy says:

    Meh. Blizzard doesn’t seem to make games I like anymore. I’m burnt out on loot and progression treadmills, and I don’t expect anything more from them.

    edit: and I’ve never been big into RTS, though I did buy warcraft1-2 and starcraft1. Mostly from peer pressure, honestly.

  24. Bhale7 says:

    That’s fine with me…

    I’m tired of all the MMOs out there right now. Somebody needs to do something different. So, I say take all of the time needed in order to make something that revolutionizes the industry. It’ll be worth the wait.

  25. SkittleDiddler says:

    Maybe Titan was so close to WoW aesthetically and technically that they felt the need to revamp it after seeing WoW’s plummeting subscriber numbers?

    People can only do the same thing over and over before they eventually get tired of it. That even applies to WoW players.

    • Brun says:

      Doubt it. WoW’s aesthetic has actually aged very well, and the plummeting subscriber numbers have more to do with the increased availability of free-to-play games in China than anything else.

      As I mentioned earlier it probably got trapped in scope creep hell after being in pre-alpha development for 6 years. Think about how much the landscape of the industry has changed since 2007, when Titan was rumored to have begun development. They likely had to keep adding on features and content just to keep up as they saw what worked and what didn’t work in WoW, D3*, and their competitors’ MMO and online games, leading to a clunky Frankenstein-monster of a game that didn’t work very well.

      *D3 in particular was probably a key turning point for them, as it was likely meant to be a test run of a microtransaction economy for deployment in Titan. While D3 sold well initially I’m willing to bet they aren’t making nearly as much money off the RMAH as they had hoped, and they’ve gotten plenty of negative feedback about D3′s economy and the sacrifices in gameplay they had to make to facilitate those microtransactions. After pulling back and looking at the results of D3 they probably didn’t like what they saw and decided that basing Titan’s moneymaking potential on the D3 model wouldn’t work too well.

  26. Jraptor59 says:

    Gosh, it’s almost like Activision owns both Blizzard and Bungie!? They crush one so the other can do good on the XBOX1?

    Oh…wait

  27. trjp says:

    Surely they were just inspired by the XBONE launch and are restarting on a sport, TV and dog-based MMO – for controllers only…

    No mention of tech…

  28. DestroyYourEgo says:

    “With WoW now on a completely understandable player-numbers decline…”

    This is what I walked away happy with. Oh, how the mighty have fallen… >snickersnicker<

    • solymer89 says:

      It was inevitable. Nothing gold can stay, that’s why they go F2P…

      I just made that up…!

  29. solymer89 says:

    Hmm, I’m 30 this year. I look forward to the next 3-4 blizzard games I will be able to play within my lifetime.

  30. lomaxgnome says:

    I think when they announced Titan (and pulled major designers off of WoW for it), they believed that the WoW community would be looking for a game to move to and they wanted to have a replacement in place for them. Now, six years later, while WoW subs have dropped, they haven’t dropped nearly at the rate anyone would have expected.

    Any substantial PR on the “new Blizzard MMO” could potentially kill WoW subs very quickly, and that PR would have needed to start with this coming Blizzcon (which will also have a new WoW expansion announcement). As such, they killed Titan as it isn’t worth the risk, and I honestly doubt we’ll ever see a competing MMO from Blizzard other than perhaps some version of WoW2 in the distant future.

  31. nimzy says:

    The dramatic decrease in developer numbers can only mean one thing: they got rid of the artists. They’re really starting over from the ground up, aren’t they?