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Blizzard's Titan MMOG May Not Arrive Until 2016

By - Source: VentureBeat | B 23 comments

The Titan team has been reduced and the project reportedly rebooted.

Here's a nice slap in the face to PC gamers waiting anxiously for Blizzard's next MMOG: the whole "Titan" project has been reset. Sound familiar? That's what happened to id Software's Doom 4, and now Blizzard is reportedly following the same path. Of course, Titan was never officially announced, so everything up to this point has been a bunch of "insider" yack anyway.

Like this report. Sources "familiar with the matter" claim that Blizzard has reviewed the Titan project and concluded that it needed huge design and technological changes in order to meet its high standards of quality. The company has reportedly reduced the Titan team down from 100 to 70 members, and assigned the other 30 to World of Warcraft, Blizzard All-Stars, the Diablo 3 expansion, cinematics and Battle.net. The current Titan team is essentially restarting from scratch, thus the MMO isn't expected to launch until 2016 at the earliest.

Unfortunately, there seems to be some truth this time, as Blizzard spokesman Shon Damron has verified the report.

"We’ve always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception," he said. "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."

The news arrives as rival studio Bethesda gears up to reveal a version of The Elder Scrolls Online at E3 2013 in a few weeks. Blizzard also still continues to bleed World of Warcraft subscribers, as the company saw a net loss of 1.3 million subscriptions in Q1 2013, or around 14 percent of the game's user base. Approximately 8.3 million subscribers are still active, which is indeed a healthy, revenue-generating number despite the loss.

"It’s important to note that the nature of online games has changed," said Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick during the company's First Quarter 2013 Results Conference Call earlier this month. "And with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games. To address this, we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game."

Talk of the next Blizzard MMO, codenamed Titan, has been in circulation since 2011 when it appeared on a leaked Blizzard release roadmap. Since then, a number of "insiders" and individuals "close to the matter" have offered glimpses into what the game will provide. The unannounced MMOG was expected to make an appearance later this year during BlizzCon 2013, and then hit retail in 2014 at the earliest.

Could Titan be Blizzard's first multi-platform title? We've already heard that the next-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be more free-to-play friendly, meaning that Blizzard could have changed gears and decided to support the consoles along with the PC. That's just a theory, of course.

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  • 1 Hide
    hijaxhfx , May 30, 2013 7:49 PM
    Kinda disappointing.. was hoping to see something on this at blizzcon
  • 1 Hide
    GMPoisoN , May 30, 2013 8:40 PM
    I can wait, as long as they don't let us down!
  • 2 Hide
    echozero , May 30, 2013 9:20 PM
    Sounds more like Diablo 3 than Doom 4 to be honest. We all know how Diablo 3 turn out after all those years and blizzard even fire the entire blizzard north.
  • 2 Hide
    chumly , May 30, 2013 9:33 PM
    ....and by 2016 they mean sometime after 2020.
  • 0 Hide
    Chairman Ray , May 30, 2013 11:52 PM
    2016 sounds good. Having a consolidated MMO community on ESO will be great.
  • -1 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , May 31, 2013 12:49 AM
    The world could end before then lol
  • 0 Hide
    paul_durham , May 31, 2013 2:32 AM
    How disappointing, I hope this won't cloud the other subjects at Blizcon
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 31, 2013 4:42 AM
    That is pretty extreme to scrap and start from scratch after years of work. Though I do think they deserve credit to do such a thing rather than releasing it when they are not personally happy with it. MMO's have become so bland and I really hope we see something that truly sticks out and gives us something different.
  • -1 Hide
    sporkimus , May 31, 2013 5:15 AM
    In related news, Blizzard plans on milking the dead WoW cow for a few more years.
  • 0 Hide
    Memnarchon , May 31, 2013 5:37 AM
    "Blizzard's Titan MMOG May Not Arrive Until 2016"
    "Blizzard's World of Warcraft still has 8 million subscribers"
    I can see the connection between the two of them...
    But everyone would love to create a rival to a game that even now is giving to them $1 billion per year. Or not? :p 
  • 1 Hide
    GMPoisoN , May 31, 2013 7:01 AM
    Quote:
    "Blizzard's Titan MMOG May Not Arrive Until 2016"
    "Blizzard's World of Warcraft still has 8 million subscribers"
    I can see the connection between the two of them...
    But everyone would love to create a rival to a game that even now is giving to them $1 billion per year. Or not? :p 


    Just imagine the money they're bringing in (extremely rough estimate). 8,000,000 subs x $15 a month

    That's like.... $120000000 a month...... $120000000 x 12 mo/yr =

    $1440000000 per year..... DA FUQ!?!? And that's only for ONE of their games!!!!
  • 1 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , May 31, 2013 7:05 AM
    Tom's article states that Titan's development team of 100 has been dropped to 70 members. The VentureBeat article the author cites states that "the team of 100 developers...has been reduced by 70 positions," which would mean the team dropped to 30 members. I'm curioous as to which one is correct. If they really dropped from 100 members to 30 and decided to start the whole thing over from square one then a 2016 release date is likely out of the question. In all likelihood WoW has 2 more expansions coming to raise the level cap to 100 and Blizzard is going to milk that game for every cent they can get before they stop making new content. The last 3 expansions came 2 years after each other. Seeing as Mists was released in 2012, we may be looking at 2014/2016 release dates for the proposed two expansions. I doubt Blizzard would release a new MMO the same year as their final WoW expansion so I would not be surprised to see this game pushed until 2018 or later. They took 11 years with Diablo 3. Titan's development was speculated to have started in 2007. Assuming this thing goes the way Diablo 3 went a 2018 release date is right on the money.
  • 0 Hide
    Icecweam7 , May 31, 2013 7:13 AM
    Does take time to make a Titan.
  • 0 Hide
    Neve12ende12 , May 31, 2013 7:25 AM
    "And with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games. To address this, we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game."
    Good, the current benchmark is new content every 14 days. (Guild Wars 2, and they aren't even getting subscriptions)
  • 0 Hide
    Neve12ende12 , May 31, 2013 7:31 AM
    "And with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games. To address this, we’re working to release new content more frequently to keep our players engaged longer and make it easier for lapsed players to come back into the game."
    Good, the current benchmark is new content every 14 days. (Guild Wars 2, and they aren't even getting subscriptions)
  • 1 Hide
    EAandMSsuck , May 31, 2013 8:48 AM
    Seems to be a pattern with Bobby, and no they aren't making it easy for old players to return - until their casual teenager base and cash shop mentality disappears most of us are gone for good.
  • -1 Hide
    elbert , May 31, 2013 9:12 AM
    Blizzard needs to stop with diablo3. It was a bad ideal to use a wall-crawling engine for a game. Balance the skills and spell levels the likes of diablo 2 and stop with this easy but aggravatingly boring approach. Start diablo4 with a cut down version of the WoW engine on a single land mass. Optimize it for a single server with no large cites, no scripting, no flying. Make money by 1 time sale of the game, expansions, and micro transactions. It may eat into part of your WoW subscriptions but also get a few of the WoW subscribers already lost. Lastly for all games on the PC stop the easier for lapsed players to come back into the game ideal. All you will end up with is lapsed players. This approach may work on consoles if you want to port but keep the servers separate. Lapsed players design has pushed me out of MMO's and on none lapsed player skill games like first person shooters.
  • 1 Hide
    helz IT , May 31, 2013 1:51 PM
    Long before people made jokes about the Valve time table, Blizzard was notorious for delaying their games repeatedly. Hell, they've completely scrapped games after sinking years of development into them; see Starcraft Ghost or Warcraft Adventures. They've got a lot to live up to if they want to create a worthy successor to WoW, and this at least is a sign that Blizzard are still holding themselves to the same standards as they did in the pre-Activision era. Frankly, I didn't think that was the case anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    Steve Matos , June 1, 2013 5:07 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "Blizzard's Titan MMOG May Not Arrive Until 2016"
    "Blizzard's World of Warcraft still has 8 million subscribers"
    I can see the connection between the two of them...
    But everyone would love to create a rival to a game that even now is giving to them $1 billion per year. Or not? :p 


    Just imagine the money they're bringing in (extremely rough estimate). 8,000,000 subs x $15 a month

    That's like.... $120000000 a month...... $120000000 x 12 mo/yr =

    $1440000000 per year..... DA FUQ!?!? And that's only for ONE of their games!!!!


    You have to remember they have to run their data center along with tons of other expenses. If you check out the reports, the last few years they made between 3.5 and 5.5 billion a year. They put out a lot as well.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , June 1, 2013 6:30 PM
    Kinda disappointing as I was hoping to see what it was at Blizzcon, but oh well.
    That said, I think they should be commended for restarting the project rather than releasing a pile of crap they were unhappy with.
    Besides, WoW will ride them easily till 2016. It may have faults and a lot of former players may be completely tired of it. But it is still one of the better MMOs currently out on the market.
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