Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime revealed on Tuesday that the long-awaited Titan game is no longer in production. The next-generation MMO remained in development for nearly seven years and at one time was aiming at a 2016 release date. Morhaime admitted that after all that time, the project just didn't come together.
"We didn't find the fun," Morhaime said. "We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."
Titan was a super-ambitious project. However, as Morhaime mentioned, the studio decided to head back to the drawing board back in May 2013. The company indicated that the team also shrunk down from 100 to 30 and said that the new team would be making some "large design and technology changes." The other 70 were pushed onto other projects.
Part of the cancellation seems to stem from Blizzard's identity. The company doesn't want to be known as making MMORPGs; they don't want to be locked in a specific genre. Instead, Blizzard wants to be known for making great games, such as StarCraft II and Diablo III.
Last year, a dedicated Titan website leaked information and images provided by a Blizzard insider. The story was allegedly based on Earth's history, with a heavy use of Greek, Roman and Viking myths but would also incorporate a high amount of fiction. There would also be a lot of time travel and a wide range of weapons, spanning magic to guns and more.
At the time, the source confirmed that Titan was an MMORPG using a completely new game engine. Titan's supposed focus would be the PC platform with eSports in mind, but it would likely wander over to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 much like Diablo 3 has done. Other features included clan housing, an Auction House, "Blizzard-style" graphics and more.
However, Morhaime said in a financial call after Activision Blizzard's Second Quarter 2013 financial results that Titan wouldn’t be a subscription MMORPG. "We're in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what we want the game to be," he said.
Chris Metzen, Blizzard's senior vice president of story and franchise development, compared the Titan team to an enduring musical group like The Rolling Stones and U2. Sometimes they have to get out of the studio because the other members are driving them crazy. For Titan, the group took a break and discovered that what they were working on just didn’t "flow" like a great album.
"It definitely had some merit as a big, broad idea, but it didn't come together. It did not distill," he said. "The music did not flow. For all our good intentions and our experience and the pure craftsmanship that we brought together, we had to make that call."
Will there be any MMORPGs in Blizzard's future? Possibly, but that's not where the studio wants to be right now. The resources will be better spent supporting the current crop of games and working on Blizzard's Next Big Thing.
Morhaime called the decision to cancel Titan "excruciating" because it's difficult to make that kind of decision. It's not the first time, either; the company canceled StarCraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.