Now that Titan is officially dead, more details on what Blizzard’s MMO Project Titan actually was have surfaced.
Yesterday Blizzard finally put the nail in the Project Titan coffin and over the past seven years there’s been much speculation as to what the game actually was. We had heard from people we had spoken to in the past few years that it was a sci-fi MMO which was heavy on social gameplay/features and it seems those sources were right.
The chaps at Kotaku have shed some more light on Titan from further sources who have shed more light on what could have been.
The MMO was set in a near future post alien invasion Earth with locations such as the US, South America, and Australia. Further regional expansions were also planned once the game launched.
Players would assume the role of a citizen and go about their daily jobs which would become their “profession”. Out of work hours they would become a superhero type soldier waging war against other factions. Players would be presented with missions or scenarios should they get tired of their day to day business and select an alter-ego soldier/fighting class for combat.
According to people who actually saw the game it was a cross between Team Fortress 2 and StarCraft 2 cinematics which could have been impressive but may not have appealed to everyone.
The idea behind the game was to give players the opportunity to play out their normal lives in a “real world” and then give them the opportunity to go all superhero when called on by their faction.
NPCs were to get an AI system that could recognise players based on previous interactions would have been a pleasant change from the usual MMO staticly positioned NPCs. Blizzard appears to have been trying to simulate a real world with lifelike NPC characters, real citizens and even allow players to have relationships and families. According to the sources they had hired ex-Maxis Sims team members to help bring the world of Titan to life.
The concept sounds solid enough, but perhaps their ambitions for the project became too complicated. How many sci-fi or MMO fans would really want to login to a game, undertake some mundane profession, like a mechanic or chef, then occasionally pop out to shoot some stuff when their faction came calling? The “real world” part of the game could have become rather mundane.
MMOs are a form of escapism and I’m not convinced the addition of real world and fantasy world elements would gel with a large audience Blizzard would hope to attract. Funcom’s The Secret World sounded fantastic with its mix of real world locations and fantasy but did not prove as popular with gamers as Funcom probably expected.
Project Titan is no more, the concept has been binned. What now for Blizzard? The success of the cheap to make Hearthstone and their experimentation with smaller development teams could be setting them on a path to new ideas and concepts. Blizzard is not done with Starcraft or World of Warcraft, and it’s only now they are starting to get their act together with the Diablo franchise. There’s still some life left in their current franchise roster but it would be great to see something new and fresh from the teams in Irvine.