back to article Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Games developer Blizzard has confirmed it is cancelling its massively multiplayer online (MMO) game Titan because after spending seven years and an estimated $50m or more developing the title, it just wasn't working out. "We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs. So we set …

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In unrelated news...

Board of directors gives selves large raises.

(of course it's not a reward for the failure. oh my no.)

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Re: In unrelated news...

Plausible. Given that this is Activision we're talking about...

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JDX
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Re: In unrelated news...

Realising it won't work and refusing to throw good money after bad in an attempt to save face is still a bold move. Cutting your losses can be applauded sometimes.

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Anonymous Coward

Cutting your losses can be applauded sometimes.

or just boot the game out the door, label it as a Beta release and if it gains traction then pump some more money in.

That way you don't toss 50 million straight down the toilet, you at least see if you can expect a return from the public for your investment.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Cutting your losses can be applauded sometimes.

I see you learned from Duke Nukem Forever then!

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Re: In unrelated news...

Realising it won't work and refusing to throw good money after bad in an attempt to save face is still a bold move. Cutting your losses can be applauded sometimes.

Nothing at all to do with Titan being way too similar in concept to the recently released Destiny then?

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Double it.

What? They had Jay Wilson on the team?!?!?!!!!

Why didn't they just double it?

Jay Wilson.

Knows how to have fun.

Double it.

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Anonymous Coward

On the bright side

They saw a dying horse and they did put it out of it's misery. I could say it another way, but that would just be sick.

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Go

I say good for them

Blizzard is one of the few companies able to look at a product being built, after a lot of work done, and say "not good enough". They've done it before, with the adventure game that was supposed to be about Thrall's youth.

That's what it means to have standards. I wish there were more companies like them.

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Re: I say good for them

"That's what it means to have standards."

A Blizzard has snowed you. Standards my ass.

If they can create just as much money throwing a few .jpg's together (Hearthstone) as they can funding a real-time 3D game, they will. They got hooked on the easy take with Diablo 3's "Auction House" which was completely in your face with greed. Did you ever notice that the Auction House coincidentally was announced to die when the talk internet taxation came back? (No, but it was because the fans didn't....rrrright).

Blizzard was one of the first to successfully use "microtransactions" (bleeding ones at that). Now it's just too much money and effort to make a real game, especially when lemming's buy .jpg's.

Blizzard == Greed. Sadly, most (All?) big game companies do today.

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Re: I say good for them

If it were EA, they'd have put an "On Sale Now!" sign on whatever unfinished but semi-playable piece of crap the devs had managed to come up with.

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Re: I say good for them

@MyBackDoor

I'm not a gamer – I generally play Freecell or Sudoku when I play anything – but I have played many of the Blizzard Warcraft and Starcraft games (from version 1) because of their attention to detail and their sense of fun. The MMOs never interested me so I never got into WoW but I know people who got a lot of fun out of it and praised the way Blizzard managed upgrades and add-ons. They had to get the $50m to spunk on development from somewhere.

While such games will continue to enjoy a loyal following, I think there's little doubt that the future will be games that also work on phones and pads where for various reasons such as screen size and input device, but also the ability to be done during the commute, the classic MMO doesn't work.

In-game purchases never interested me but they obviously stuck a chord with a lot of people. People collect cards, mod their cars, etc. Why shouldn't they do the same with computer games?

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Re: I say good for them

Blizzard is one of the few companies able to look at a product being built, after a lot of work done, and say "not good enough". They've done it before, with the adventure game that was supposed to be about Thrall's youth.

Blizzard really aren't the same company they were 14 years ago, especially since they've been bought by Activision.

I'd also point out that a large factor in the cancellation of Lord Of The Clans was that the market for point and click adventures had pretty much died during development.

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Re: I say good for them

Yeah, good old days, when they had The Knack.

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A ray of light

While Activision Blizzard have certainly had some annoying shit happen in the Blizzard department (The term "always online" more or less covers it), it's nice to see that like a good poker player they know not to chase money already spent.

Since they say they won't be focused on MMOs, I suspect a 3 vikings mobile game to be imminent (with a nice set of micro-transactions of course), perhaps a new franchise of some sort, and possibly some renewed focus on the Warcraft movies (aka building it in to a franchise for further money making plx!)

See how quickly I diminished the ray of light I pointed out.. Damn this pessimistic view of gaming that I have felt pushed to adopt.

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Re: A ray of light

>possibly some renewed focus on the Warcraft movies

Ah, thanks for reminding of what has been consuming Duncan Jones' time of late. His first two films, Moon and Source Code, were both solid.

Uwe Boll made a bid to direct, but was turned away by Blizzard, who he claims to have said, "We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you." Haha!

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft_(film)

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I do not get the hateorade on this, I really do not.

So they spent a bunch of time and money and are not happy with the result. They could do 3 things.

1. Keep pouring time and money into a dog with fleas (See Duke Nukem Forever for the outcome of this)

2. Polish the turd a bit and release it with much hype and never fix the problems (The EA option)

3. Call it off, junk the work and say "What's Next"

The third option requires a large amount of discipline and guts, no shareholder will be happy with that approach but it is about quality in the end of the day.

I respect Blizzard immensely and I say good on them.

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Completely agree with this but there is one aspect that you have to consider. . . the $50M they have already spent on Titan is chump change for them. This is paid for in less than one month of Subs from WoW.

It is still laudable that they have the guts and brains to say not good enough but let's not blow this out of proportion, it's not like the bet the farm on Titan and are now having to rebuild the barn to keep the rain of their heads.

I love WoW, more for the community of gamers nowadays than for the exciting content. The thrill of defeating the new bosses as a group of friends is still there but..... I dunno. .. . .. something! The whole process after 10 years is becoming tired and if Titan was going to simply be a same but different approach to the same end then its great they ditched it. The whole Genre needs a step change, some new aspect or technology or view point. I dunno what.

I do know that they (all the MMO producers) need a angle.

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@Michael Duke

I'd like to believe that. Except they went to of all places Polygon with their story. The same Polygon that is hip deep in #Gamergate. You know, bribe the writers and control the story so it works out as propaganda instead of news.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Michael Duke

That's odd, I heard #Gamergate was a false flag operation cooked up by 4chan to raise indignation because some guy was sore about having been dumped by his girlfriend?

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They still have 8 years to release beore it becomes the most delayed game ever

See Duke Nukem Forever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They still have 8 years to release beore it becomes the most delayed game ever

Au contraire. It's true that some abysmal game with the said title has been released, but it's not Duke Nukem Forever. That proper game has never been released. And may never be.

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Wonder how long before mircosoft will come and pick up the code and buy it off them....

New shiny badge etc

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FAIL

Here's a hint...

"we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs"

Really? In that case, why is it possible for someone to go into a dungeon a few levels above that of their character with someone else whose character is vastly over-levelled for said dungeon, follow them along as they cut through everything and hoover up all the loot?

It was this practice that ruined WoW for me - for a long time, getting a dungeon group was nearly impossible, which meant by the time I hit the top level, I had no idea how to play my character in a group, which left me in no position to raid effectively.

Vanilla WoW was quite good fun. When I quit (about five years ago), it felt like all that mattered was who you knew and having time to crunch all the numbers...

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Re: Here's a hint...

They should just reskin WoW and call it world of starcraft....

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Re: Here's a hint...

"why is it possible for someone to go into a dungeon a few levels above that of their character with someone else whose character is vastly over-levelled for said dungeon, follow them along as they cut through everything and hoover up all the loot?"

Why not?

There are human leeches and parasites in the real world, after all.

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Re: Here's a hint...

OK so you quit 5 years ago, now there is an easy way to solve that, cross realm LFD has fixed your issue, I leveled a Paladin from 10-50 in dungeons via LFD almost exclusively in a few short days (I do not get long play sessions).

Blizzard do work to solve issues as they arise, they may not fix them in a few days or weeks but they DO get solved, or at least worked on.

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Unhappy

The old problem of repeating a success differently.

Blizzard are a bit of a victim of their own success. When you put so much effort into making one game stand out from the crowd it then becomes very hard to produce a follow-up that does not merely become a regurgitation of the prior game. Sometimes what is needed is to bring in a totally new group of designers and developers to produce the core of the new project before you let your old team anywhere near it. WoW is good but you do have to wonder how long it can continue generating a high level of interest and subscriptions in the face of so many 'free2play' (as in free but you need to buy upgrades to be at all competitive) MMORPGs, and Titan's failure does not bode well for Blizzard's longer term prospects.

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Well, at least they communicated their decision

More than can be said for Valve, who refuse to release any information at all about Half Life 3.

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Its all Destiny's fault

The quiet insider word is that it all comes down to Titan ending up looking and playing too much like Bungie's new MMO Destiny, which they learned the details of when Activision set up the publishing deal with Bungie. So back in 2010 they started trying to redesign to differentiate themselves in the market, but now have apparently given that up as a dead loss.

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Re: Its all Destiny's fault

I don't see why, all they would have had to do to differentiate themselves was write a bloody story.

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Re: Its all Destiny's fault

I know. . . I mean I write 7 or 8 original and gripping yarns every morning before breakfast and all of them easily translate into an enduring, versatile and expandable persistent world in which to base a game catering for millions of people of all ages, abilities and origins.

Why don't they just get on with it?

Doh!

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I think the most awesome thing from Blizz would be the Starcraft FPS, with literally every Starcraft unit seamlessly world-integrated in exact scale. Like you'd be wandering around with a rifle shooting at hydralisks twice your height and firebats in minivan sized flamethrower suit armor, confront a mech the size of an apartment building as the world explodes around you, then plant a beacon that calls in a warship a kilometer long out of orbit to literally turn everything into laser blasts.

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Happy

Don't mention Ghost

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/06/23/hot-future-girl-can-stay

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Perhaps the motivation was there to begin with as well as spirit but when you see the success that World Of Warcraft made and this new MMO looked like a super hi rez version of WOW did not make any sense.

What would be better would be an Open Sourced MMO game that anyone can edit and agree on.

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Anonymous Coward

so in other words,

"we're still milking the cash cow without spending money on new support, or servers, or anything else. We'd be fools to release a competitor, or at very least, to have to spend money on support when we can get the same cash for no new investment. Why do you think we can't be arsed to finish Starcraft 2?"

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