The Connection Between Overwatch and Blizzard's Cancelled Project Titan

Titan was "ambitious" and "six games in one," but Blizzard couldn't quite figure it out. Overwatch helped them "unleash this tidal wave of passion."

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Overwatch was the surprise, team-based shooter announced at this year's Blizzcon. But coming so soon on the heels of official word that the rumored MMO project Titan was cancelled, it's only natural to assume that some portions of that game live on within Blizzard's new title.

Earlier today, during the game's reveal, Blizzard senior vice president of story and franchise development Chris Metzen had said that Overwatch shares a "spiritual continuity," but that they are "pretty different." He also described Titan as "kooky and ambitious."

During a press conference for Overwatch later that same day, Metzen elaborated on those comments further. After answering a question about the connection between Titan and Overwatch, Metzen replied, "I'm not going to get into what [Titan] was going to be or what we wanted it to be. I can tell you what it was, in a way, it was frustrating. It was a big, giant idea; it was almost like six video games in one. It was the most ambitious game ever. It was fun to try to tackle it, and boy did we tackle it. We wrestled with it for a long time. And it sucked; we couldn't figure it out. It makes you just [clenches his fist], we couldn't crack it.

"Imagine this amazing team just frustrated. 'Why can't we do this?' It's trying to fret a chord and write the song. 'We can't write the song, why can't it just sound awesome?' Can't find the harmony, whatever. And when we decided to go another way, like Jeff was saying, we've got this hook, 'Why aren't we doing that? We love that.' And we decided to do it and, suddenly, 'Boom!' The music just exploded. And we started looking at [Overwatch] for what it was, and it unleashed this tidal wave of passion and certainty and distilled, clear ideas. And this world idea. It was just this monstrous thing of energy.

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"It's been the funnest year, getting our feet back under us, getting our surety back. That magnetic north thing, we found it again, and it feels good. It was part of that emotionality on the stage this morning. To some degree, we needed to get it back, and we found it. And I hope the people look at Overwatch as a very clever game. But I'll tell you, under the hood, we needed this, just as developers to feel that lightning coursing through it again."

Whatever Titan was, it's clear that Overwatch took any potential, remnant ideas from that project in a new direction. And from what we've played so far Blizzard may be on to something with their first foray into the shooter genre. We took a deeper dive into the gameplay and offered up our initial impressions earlier today.

What do you think of Overwatch so far? Is this the kind of project you were hoping/expecting to see from Blizzard? Let us know in the comments.

Justin Haywald on Google+

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