With the gaming industry still buzzing from the news that Blizzard has canceled development on its long-awaited next-gen MMO, Titan, another bombshell was released today. And while we'll probably never know for sure on this one, new details have surfaced today that suggest the game was positioned as "Destiny meets The Sims."
Kotaku writer Jason Schreler said he individually interviewed multiple ex-Blizzard employees who all had first-hand experience developing Titan between 2007 and 2012. The devs said the game would have had a strong sci-fi focus, taking place on a near-future version of Earth that has successfully fought off an alien invasion. Gamers would have been able to represent one of three different factions fighting for control of the planet in the aftermath. Zones would have taken players all around the globe, from the United States to Europe, South America and so on.
Core gameplay was said to be a mix of Destiny and Team Fortress, with gamers taking on each other in first-person action across various multi-player maps. Sounds like pretty standard sci-fi shooter stuff so far, right?
The curve ball Blizzard wanted to give players was reportedly the ability to ignore all of that space combat by focusing on an entirely different aspect of the game. Blizzard's vision was to create living, breathing cities for players to explore when they were not in combat.
Players could take up non-combat professions (like cooking) and possibly open up their own player-run shops. Gamers could also form relationships within the game with NPCs who would remember the encounters. Schreler confirmed that Blizzard hired developers with experience making The Sims franchise over at Maxis in order to create this deep and complex AI system. According to the report, players could theoretically go to "work" during the day at your profession in the city and then turn into a gun-toting superhero at night in the fight to control the planet.
It all sounds to us like a more ambitious version of Bungie's Destiny, albeit with some classic Blizzard twists. Blizzard is known for doing their own thing regardless of what the market research dictates, but it is curious that the game was "reset" in 2013 shortly after hype for Destiny started to build.
At any rate, we now know that the game was canceled because, to quote Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, "it just wasn't good enough." It admittedly took a lot of guts for Blizzard to cancel a game it had worked on for 7+ years and it's understandable that some are now worried about the company's future.
But now that we know a little more about what Titan was going to be, we can't help but think that the project is not going to be a total loss for Blizzard. It sounds like a good deal of the tech was well developed, which makes us wonder if we might see some of it popping up in other future games. Even the end of the report noted that a good chunk of what was the Titan team is still intact and they may very well be working towards some other unknown goal.
Who knows, maybe we'll even get more information this November at Blizzcon. Do you have your own theory for what happened with Titan? Let us know in the comments!
Follow Jason on Twitter @MuckrakerJG