Most Blizzard fans are aware that the company’s popular first-person shooter Overwatch came into being following the cancellation of Project Titan, an MMO title that at one time was supposed to be the successor to World of Warcraft. But today, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed during a talk at the industry’s annual DICE Summit that Blizzard actually worked on two separate MMO titles following Titan’s cancellation, before deciding to move forward with Overwatch.
Kaplan explained that the Titan team was given a six-week window to use as an “ideation process” after Titan was shut down. The six weeks were split into two-week chunks, and the team spent the first four of those six weeks working on two brand new MMO concepts.
“We spent two weeks on an MMO that was in another Blizzard universe that we haven’t made an MMO in–lot of choices for you to figure out which it was,” Kaplan said. “Then we spent another two weeks on a brand-new MMO set in another, completely new intellectual property.”
While this was going on, Blizzard was also working on the idea that would eventually produce Overwatch. When neither of the two MMO ideas worked out, the team turned its full attention towards creating what for many Blizzard fans was the best game of 2016.
Blizzard as a company is so secretive that it’s always news when someone decides to pull back the veil even a little. With Overwatch now up to more than 25 million players, there’s little doubt that Blizzard made the right decision, but it’s certainly fun to speculate about what could have been. The part of Kaplan’s story that will pique the interest of longtime Blizzard fans the most is his admission that the company at least briefly thought about creating an MMO within either the Diablo or Starcraft universes, as those are the only other two major franchises Blizzard was known for besides Warcraft during this time period.
There’s always the possibility that some of the work done during those ideation sessions could see use in a future Blizzard game, but we’ll likely never know the full story. As for what’s next for Overwatch, Blizzard has begun to tease a new character within the game’s universe that could end up becoming the next hero added to the Overwatch roster.
Overwatch is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.