Blizzard starting over on next-gen MMO?

[UPDATE] Source says team of 100 developers working on upcoming MMO reduced by 70; game now expected in 2016 at the earliest; Blizzard confirms "large design and technology changes."

by

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Blizzard Entertainment issued a statement on Titan, confirming that "large design and technology changes" are being made to the next-gen MMO game.

The original story follows below

Blizzard Entertainment's next-generation massively multiplayer online game, codenamed Titan, has been sent back to the drawing board and delayed until 2016 at the earliest.

That's according to a source speaking with VentureBeat, who said the project once had 100 developers assigned to it, but that team has now been reduced by 70. These staffers have not been laid off, the source said, but reassigned to other projects within the company.

The 30 remaining Titan developers will "start over" on the game, which was playable in 2011. At the time, Blizzard Entertainment COO Paul Sams said he was encouraged by progress made on the game and said it had the capacity to enjoy a long life, like World of Warcraft.

"We're playing it already. It is a total ball to play," he said at the time. "We think that the reach of that product is greater than anything that we've done before. We're very excited about that. I believe that it's the type of game that will have a very long life, much like World of Warcraft has."

Blizzard Entertainment has not commented on the report at press time. The company currently lists seven open positions for Titan on its career site.

According to a leaked Blizzard Entertainment release schedule, Titan was at one time expected to launch by the end of 2013.

Though Titan may be a way off, Blizzard Entertainment's fantasy MMO World of Warcraft remains the top subscription-based MMO game on the market. It had 8.3 million subscribers at the end of March, down 1.3 million members from the period prior. The developer is planning to release content updates for the game more regularly to avoid further subscriber attrition.

Discussion

268 comments
so_hai
so_hai

How are they going to get WoW users to migrate to anything new they produce? That's the problem with MMOs, players get too possessive about their progress...

watchuwad
watchuwad

wow was the greatest game blizzard ever made, its gonna be tough to top that tbh

OlafGruntsvig
OlafGruntsvig

It isn't fashionable to hate Wow, the fact is people including myself are tired of WoW grinding fests to endless ladders of armor chasing and rated everything..... I never liked anything rated in wow....my rating on wow is past the mourning stage in my book the funeral is over just some people think being undead about Wow is cool when in fact it is not. My 11 yr old wants me to re-open my wow account...I refuse to give into my child's wishes.....I can wait for TESO to go gold...as I would rather play ES-V now...much more fun than wow since the new owners bought it....they just in it for the killer profits....I voted with my feet last year esp after playing D3 realizing it was un-finished and ripped-off again. 

WarL0rdzz
WarL0rdzz

I would love to see a Sci-Fi MMORPG with a Starcraft-ish theme with realistic graphics and not the cartoonish ones they use in wow.  Im sick and tired of fantasy mmorpg.. i want Technology, guns, robots, nanosuits etc.. No more swords and poney's please!

DarthFrozanous
DarthFrozanous

This means we have WoW for at least another three more years

oflow
oflow

Going back to the drawing board is GOOD.  They pretty much have unlimited money so I'd rather they actually bring out something great and innovative than polish a turd and drop another SWTOR on us.

NetGod
NetGod

So many (too many?) traditional fantasy MMORPGs. 

Would love to see them change direction just a tad. Maybe go for a modern superhero mmo.

Since City of Heroes shut down there has been a real void in that genre.


flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

After all of this time and effort, most people would expect a great game. I expect it'll be WoW with even more real money transactions (can't even call them microtransactions with Blizzard.)

starjay009
starjay009

Sorry if I offend any MMO fans here BUT I despise the genre itself. It's amusing at first and then quickly gets boring, drains you away from social life and makes you fat quickly. I rather have Blizzard create a single player RPG experience equal in terms of quality and scale to Bethesda's Fallout and Elder Scroll games. They certainly have the development talent to do it. But all this MMO craze needs to disappear. 

mazzore
mazzore

70 developers re-assigned to other jobs. Probably to the next WoW exp pack. They don't want to kill the cash cow yet.

charlieboomboom
charlieboomboom

aoc,huxley and apb were promised on the 360....fail fail and fail

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

So.. whats this MMO game gonna be like?  An RPG like WoW ?

GeorgeSyll
GeorgeSyll

By the time it will be in Alpha stage they will have to start over again....

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

30 people working on an MMO. I'll write a book for my grandchildren to look forward to it's release when they are 50.

BLaverock
BLaverock

Stoked! Until then, it's WoW, SWTOR, and Elder Scrolls Online :)

Fursnake
Fursnake

Wow, they're gonna have to kick the hype machine into overdrive a couple years from now just to remind people it is still coming out.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

NextGen MMO means it will be on consoles too. Thats Great.

Lazy_Marine
Lazy_Marine

Life is too short to wait 10 years for each blizzard release.

OuTLaWzG4m3r
OuTLaWzG4m3r

I just want blizzard to burn and never exist again.  MMOs are outdated f'ng garbage,we dont want none of this bullshit. Their latests games have all been utter effing garbage. SC2 is a watered down pile of steaming sh**, D3 was a god damn disgrace to the franchise and a slap in the face to PC users/diablo fans. Warcraft 4 a sequel to one of the most brilliant RTS game ever will never see the day and will most probably end up being dumbed down as shit if it does.  

Cant they just go bankrupt please?

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I would be excited to see Single-player StarCraft RPG rather than Titan MMO.

I enjoy playing something that could "end". and could last forever as Classics, rather than play MMO that are "never end" and you can't revisit the games once Developers/Publishers shut it down.

samgamgi
samgamgi

I like how people are hating Blizz for Diablo 3 and WoW,  and forget that Starcraft 2 is an awesome game and it's doing great...

eriktkire
eriktkire

I hate to be so negative, but I'd like to see Blizzard become completely and utterly irrelevant in the world of games.  This is a prime example of what they have become.. a company that is absolute dog shit at making games.

Sure they hire brilliant artists.. meanwhile their coders are lazier as each day passes, and their designers are so incapable of creating something remotely new/innovative/different... it's truly disgraceful.

They are, basically, pissing away everything the original Blizzard guys did to make "Blizzard" of the most loved and respected companies in the industry by gamers.

Here's to wanting to see the gaming industry start dealing with real world consequences for being so utterly inept at producing a quality product within even a semi-reasonable time-frame.

10+ years to create something average, broken, and generally rehashed... anyone that still supports Blizzard in the face of that is an absolute tool.

As a side note... whatever happened to that feature length animated Warcraft film their cinematics department was supposed to be so close to finishing a couple of years ago? It'll never happen.

Riddick123
Riddick123

Starcraft Ghost comes to mind on this one.

Kaiser499
Kaiser499

Maybe we'll see Warcraft IV sooner than we think.

Karddii
Karddii

@DarthFrozanous As long as operating costs for the servers don't exceed the profits from subscriptions they will keep it going. Will the keep developing content once Titan is out? who knows, maybe just enough to keep the gravy train on the tracks, or maybe they will want to assimilate wow users onto their new franchise and phase it out?

oflow
oflow

@starjay009 stereotype much? Learn to play games within limits.  The real actual hardcore end game players probably play at most a few hours a week. They do their raids actually beat them (unlike the people that think they are hardcore and actually spend hours and hours wiping) and dont play much the rest of the week.

MMOs have unlimited potential, what needs to change is the actual current dynamics with everyone making WoW clones and try something new.  Instead of every game having quests, leveling, dungeons, end game raids, greens/blues/purples and useless timesink crafting what if the game actually got rid of all that and made a dynamic world that actually put the RPG experience in MMO?  

Personally I think the biggest problem currently is that developers need to actually drop the massively and just make MORPGs. Instead of making a game with 50 clones servers of the same world, make a game with 100 people on each server and each server is a different continent in a huge world.  Think Game of Thrones with each server being a different race/faction. Each faction could further be broken down into individual houses that dont necessarily have to get along.

Make each server start out in the stone age or whatever and the players instead of farming greens/blues etc actually have to invent technology and actually find skills and teach them to other players. Make players actually have to learn other races languages. Make them have to group together and build cities to survive like people do in real life.  Get rid of die and respawn and make death permanent. Make people have vested interests in their characters. The goal should be to accumulate power/wealth/whatever WITHOUT dying and passing it on to your characters kids or whatever.

Make it so to actually walk from one part of the world to the next takes days and is actually an adventure in itself.  Actually add things like alignments and politics to the game.  INstead of having themepark dungeons actually make the world sort of like minecraft where players actually build things in the wilderness and the players themselves are the monsters or enemies if they choose to be.

MMOs have SO much more potential than is actually being used right now because everyone is mired in the EQ/WoW model trying to be a cash cow.

That model was cool in the 1990s when tech was still pretty much stuck emulating pen & paper D&D but things have changed and they could do so much more.

Saketume
Saketume

@Reuwsaat Do you think Star Craft: Ghost will be released by then too?

OuTLaWzG4m3r
OuTLaWzG4m3r

@MatrixGamer78 how great it is to have a 30 slot spellbar with many optional spell/inventory bars on your screen but only 4 buttons on your controller.  Pretty sure it wont.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@OuTLaWzG4m3r 

You would be better off wishing that you would become a billionaire then wish that blizzard go bankrupt. There is no way either of those will ever happen though. Sucks to be you. With that said you are either a troll or you just don't get it. You were half right about D3 though.

usmfan84
usmfan84

@OuTLaWzG4m3r How is SC2 watered down? That game is doing and did great. Even if MMO's are outdated "garbage", WoW still has over 8 million subscribers who pay $15 a month to play which makes it the biggest MMO by far, 10 years later.

Xxthesorrow90xX
Xxthesorrow90xX

@OuTLaWzG4m3r 

SC2 is not an MMO

D3 is not an MMO

You should not talk about how MMO's being outdated and "f'ng" garbage if you proceed to talk about completely different genres in your comment.

MMO's are very popular and a lot of PC gamers play them, just because you dont doesn't mean others don't want them. World of warcraft is a prime example of a successful MMO, but even that shows age as it is dying down, but theres plenty of other MMO's out there that people are playing. With rift going free to play theres many players flocking to that game as well.



As for blizzard going bankrupt, doubtful, with world of warcraft as a prime source of income it wont disappear anytime soon.


As for SC2 being watered down? I don't understand the comment much if anything it added more to it, you still have to micro/macro and manage everything just like in SC1. The new units add more varity to gameplay if anything. I think SC2 is the only game that stays true to its roots. 

D3, well sadly I agree. 

oflow
oflow

@eriktkire Dont really see how you can make this statement when all they said was they went back to the drawing board. The game isnt even in Alpha yet.  Too many Blizzard fans criticize them for their success, its like people getting mad their favorite indie band became pop stars. 

I can understand long time Blizzard fans being critical, but times change and you also changed as well.  Lots of people see history with rose colored glasses when the truth is you just are being nostalgic and bitter lol. For the simple fact that they are in a damned if we do damned if we dont situation. If they rushed out games the same people bashing them for taking too long would be bashing them for rushing out an 'unfinished' crappy game.

Just like its fashionable to hate WoW now, but the reality is WoW really only got better over time, the game didnt really get that much easier, the difference is players actually got better.  When WoW first dropped it took over a year for most people to even get to be competent enough to clear UBRS, let alone raid.  

Now years later everyone thats played is a 'pro' and knows the ins and outs of builds etc. Sure they simplified things and actually made raid content usable (which was actually smart since theres no point in spending millions developing content for a small <5-percent of the player base) But really Its not that the game got that much easier the player base got seasoned and then ultimately grew tired of doing the same thing over and over.

Because for ever person complaining about how easy mode WoW is if you look at their profiles most will have no hard modes done.  The difficulty is there if you want it.

I'm gathering that most of your vitriol is aimed at D3, which is understandable. Dont throw the baby out with the bathwater. Blizzard still makes solid games. WCIII was solid. SC2 is solid.  Even though I'm not a D3 fan, lots of people do play it. Lots of people still play WoW and its going on 10 years old which speaks for itself.

Now if they bring out a fail game sure say they suck. But if they actually bring out something totally innovative and shake the genre to the core with Titan, everyone will be singing the praises and jocking them just like they did WoW in its heyday. 

I'm personally hoping they do something innovative like bring out a hybrid RTS/MMO Kingdom Underfire type game.

Or a totally new IP and people will remember why they loved Blizzard in the first place. I'm hoping Sci-Fi since fantasy has been beaten to death and every MMO coming out now is a WoW clone anyway.

vadagar1
vadagar1

@eriktkire NAILED IT 

I was such a blizz fan, but after w8ing 4 years for D3 only to have auction house 3... I was shooting lava out of my ears 

Fia1
Fia1

@Kaiser499 warcraft IV? how is that even possible when they killed/messed up the characters and lore on world of warcraft? wow is part IV V VI and VII by now.

WarL0rdzz
WarL0rdzz

@oflow Isn't what you are describing that game called Second Life? 

Saketume
Saketume

@OuTLaWzG4m3r

Let's count shall we:

circle, cross, square, triangle, start, select, PS button (granted it's not for in game stuff), R1, L1, R2 (trigger but usable as button), L2 (trigger but usable as button), R3, L3, D-pad (4 buttons)

That makes 17 buttons -1 for the PS button = 16 in game buttons.

Usually when games have a lot of spells they use the R1, R2, L1 L2 as spell menu buttons so you combo R1 with the square, circle, triangle or cross buttons. Making a whole bunch more skills available.

There are some MMOs for the PS3 but they don't seem to get released outside of Japan.

I've heard of (besides DCUO) Free Realms, Angel Senki, Angel Love Online, Uncharted Waters Online.

I don't know much of those games though.

Bladin84
Bladin84

@oflow  "Just like its fashionable to hate WoW now, but the reality is WoW really only got better over time, the game didnt really get that much easier, the difference is players actually got better."

I'm sorry I couldn't actually read the rest of your post past this statement. If you honestly believe that the game is better now or even in the last few xpacs than it was before, and if you actually believe players now are better on average than in Vanilla or BC, we have lost all chance of having a legitimate and intelligent conversation. I am just amazed.

eriktkire
eriktkire

@oflowthey don't make solid games anymore.

The last thing they did that was original was WoW.

SC2 and D3 arre just prettier versions of old games with tiny modifications and a new story.  Look at the actual gameplay, not the cinematics... home based MOD teams have made games of these sizes in the time they have taken.  MOD teams with a tiny group (usually 2 or 3 artists), no big safety net of a paycheque to help fund their efforts.

Anyone that didn't know about Torchlight until D3 proved to be a such a big load of hot air.... Blizzard isn't supported by long term fans anymore either, they're supported by fanboys and girls.

If you really love what Blizzard achieved in the past for their games, then you'll make the effort to find out who the developers were and see where they are now (ie, NOT with Blizzard). If it's just the pretty artwork that's left on a rehashed shell and you can't see through that... try looking harder.  The art is good, but it's not that good.

AlmaDanny
AlmaDanny

@Fia1@Kaiser499 Chris Metzen still writes lore for WoW like he did for warcraft I,II and III. But the project is too large for him to handle alone but ya he still writes some of it.

eriktkire
eriktkire

@oflowthe fact still remains, since the last of any of their originals left/were-booted... that was WoW.

Since then they have failed to work as a healthy and functional company, speaking broadly throughout every other industry where taking 5+ years to produce something that they once could do in 1 year with a smaller budget and smaller team... that combined with what they're producing being nothing new.  It's an insane way of doing business, even within the entertainment industry.

All signs point to repetition.  They are part of Activision too, and they are definitely part of that tried-and-true product in the face of 'new' art philosophy at that corporation,

Sure they'll buy a lot of positive gaming press, and a lot of fanslaves will believe all that crap... how many were regurgitating that stuff before D3 even came out? It was going to be so amazing remember? So evolutionary.

When the games industry grows up, this kind of activity will not be tolerated. It happened with the music industry, creaative brand names believing the hype around them, spending more and taking longer to produce self indulgent and stagnant work that was nothing more than window dressing.

I don't need to see the alpha mind you. Anyone that works in the creative industry that has to keep going back to start from scratch... that's the mark of an amateur, or someone who is in way over their head.  How many alphas have they gone through in the years they've been working on this anyway?  This article isn't about them starting a new project, it's about them getting it so wrong that they don't have faith in anything less than starting again.

Working on code diligently, that I can see being justifiable. Making sure the engine and the netcode is airtight.. yes absolutely worth achieving mathematical precision, but the creative elements, the design elements?  No.  I already know what they're going to produce, something with great art but very stale and, but the time it's released, lacklustre and even dated features.

oflow
oflow

@eriktkire meh I dont even play any blizzard games currently but I do have more faith in them than that. 

I dont know what makes you think I dont know most of the original people moved on.  I understand most of the original people moved on I never said they didnt. I knew the original Diablo people made the new Marvel Heroes & Torchlight.  (personally even torchlight while good is old fashioned for me since I dont like dungeon crawlers) But that doesnt mean they dont have quality new people now.

 I did play WoW off and on from launch thru the last xpac and to be fair I personally think WoW did get better even with new people. Considering they catered to a huge legion of whining fanbois and still did relatively well says a lot for me, especially considering almost every MMO released to this day still clones most of its features from WoW.  (yes I know WoW took features from MMOs before it) Say what you want but WoW's raid are still better than anyone elses to date and thats saying a lot considering its a 10 year old game.

Neither SWTOR or GW2's endgame can hold a sock to WoW's.

My point was I wouldnt knock Blizzard just yet til you at least SEE Titan. Its not even in alpha.  

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@OuTLaWzG4m3r 

Yeah, the lore really suffered in transition from WC3 to WoW.  Man, they just got lazy and turned every character into a Raid Boss with some lame excuse to fight them.

It's like Deadpool's completely arbitrary "It's time for a BOSS BATTLE SUCKEEERS!" scene in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, except a lot less honest.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

@OuTLaWzG4m3r 

U must be an outdated gamer. U r among those who neither favor Halo, BF nor COD. U must be a fanboy of any Blizzard rivals and the people like u are so called Moron.

OuTLaWzG4m3r
OuTLaWzG4m3r

@MatrixGamer78 @Fia1 @Kaiser499 ...no but theyre set in the same universe??? WoW ruined everything of Warcraft.