Blizzard has canceled development on its long-awaited, next-gen, massively multiplayer online game, Titan. This comes after more than seven years of work on the never-officially-announced project. In May of 2013, the company announced that it was reevaluating Project Titan and it seems that a year's worth of soul-searching has finally led to the decision to abandon the title.
CEO Mike Morhaime and Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development Chis Metzen explained the hard decision in an interview with Polygon. Among the reasons cited for the cancellation was that they simply wanted Blizzard to make more than just one genre of games and didn't want to get stuck in the big blockbuster MMO realm.
Metzen states that Blizzard felt obligated to devote resources on a second MMO after the success of World of Warcraft. However, doing so made them question the identity of the 23-year-old company. "Is this really who we are?" Metzen asked. "Is this really what we want? Is this really what we want to burn our passion and our work lives, our careers on, for years on end?" He later added, "Are we the MMORPG company?"
"We don't want to identify ourselves with a particular genre," Morhaime concluded. "We just want to make great games every time."
Both Blizzard leaders also admitted that the company's budding list of small-scale games, including Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, made them realize that they didn't need to exclusively produce games of an epic scale. Hearthstone for instance, has been a major success, hitting 20 million total players last week. So while Morhaime doesn't rule out the possibility of another MMO in the future, Blizzard isn't currently working on any new ones anymore but still aims to support and expand World of Warcraft. Could this mean a deeper focus on free-to-play mobile titles and other smaller or unique games in the company's future?
Whatever the future holds, it is admirable that Blizzard would cancel a game at this stage of development because it wasn't meeting their standards of quality. It is clear that artistic considerations were just as, if not more important, as financial considerations in this decision. Morhaime states that, "We’d rather cut out a game we put a lot of time and resources into than put out something that might..."
"Damage the relationship. Smash the trust," Metzen concluded.
This is not the first time the company has made a decision like this. Other titles such as Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans and Starcraft: Ghost were both cancelled after significant development periods. However, the vast majority of Blizzard's cancelled titles come from the early '90s, long before Blizzard came to dominate the PC space. Titan is their most high-profile cancellation in a decade.
So what do you think? Are you surprised that Blizzard cancelled the game after so many years of work? Are you disappointed that they might not be making another World of Warcraft kind of MMO? Let us know in the comments!