Project Titan: Then and Now
Editorial

Project Titan: Then and Now

By Jason Bechdel -
0

Reading through many of the comments on our articles dealing with World of Warcraft, it seems many of our readers are interested in Blizzard Entertainment's infamous "Project Titan". They want to know the who, how, why, and when of it and to be totally honest, we do too. So, I scoured the internet for any and all information I could find about this top secret project, only to be disappointed.

You see, information about Project Titan seems to be locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Speculation runs abound, but any real information about this mystery Blizzard game is almost non-existent. So what do we know about Titan? Let's take a walk through the history of the elusive Project Titan, from the first time we learned of the game, to the present:

Titan Sized Jobs

Titan was first noticed by the general public sometime in 2007. Eagle-eyed fans quickly noticed a brand new job listing for a "Lead 3D Character Artist" for a "Next-Gen MMO" on Blizzard's career's page. The internet exploded with the news, with fans posting on the official forums and beyond. Fans waited with baited breath for confirmation from Blizzard.

Community representative Drysc answered the call, telling us that Blizzard was in the process of creating the companies next big MMO project. It was also revealed at this point that the project was not a World of Warcraft expansion or a World of Warcraft 2, as many had speculated. After this announcement, total and absolute silence from the devs ensued. Players wondered amongst themselves if the project had been abandoned.

Juicy Titan News Tidbits

Project Titan wasn't talked about in any official format again until 2008. Here Mike Morhaime talked about the project with Wired magazine. Once again we were told that Titan was not a World of Warcraft sequel and that the goal of the game was to create "a different massively multiplayer experience". Jeff Kaplan revealed in an interview with MTV that he was "definitely" involved in the Titan project. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick also addressed the game in 2009 , revealing that Titan was set to have a "more broad appeal".

Then, once again things went mysteriously quiet on the project. Then in late 2010, another break in the veil of mystery surrounding the game happened. A leak of Blizzard's five-year product schedule was displayed on the web. Listed in the leak were release dates for Diablo III, Starcraft II, expansion and movie plans for World of Warcraft, and, most importantly, a release date for a project titled "Titan" in the fourth quarter of 2013. The schedule was never confirmed by Blizzard, however, Blizzard China's general manager was either relieved of his duties or quit soon after.

The Summit

Fans were in a tizzy as the 2013 release date approached. Although no real information had been released about the game, fans were still excited. Blizzard also seemed to be feeding off the excitement, become more willing to talk about the project. Mike Morhaime discussed Titan in an interview in February of 2011, revealing that Titan was headed by some of Blizzard's most experienced MMO developers on the job.

Morhaime also hinted at some social aspects of the game, as well as the fact that he foresaw World of Warcraft and Titan coexisting for several years. However, the interview was distinctly lacking in any new information. Roughly a month later Paul Sams spoke with Venture Beat, in this interview Sams reaffirmed that Titan was being build by the "dream team" and that it would "blow people's minds". Finally Sams echoed the fact that the game could co-exist with World of Warcraft and players had nothing to worry about, saying that the game would be "more complementary than competitive.

Also in March of 2011, Sams gave another interview revealing Blizzard's confidence in the game and also stated that "the reach of that product [would be] greater than anything that [Blizzard had] done before". He also set some lofty goals, projecting that in 20 years Titan would still be going strong. However, all this information paled in comparison to Sams's final announcement; the game was in playable form.

With the news that game was playable, excitement for Titan's release hit a crescendo. Fans assumed that development of the game was moving full speed ahead. This was backed up by Rob Pardo in an interview with Curse that the title was "in the middle of development" with a team of over 100 people behind it. He did note that the project was very large and that it had a long way to go, but Blizzard fans has heard all this before. Thus, the community awaited the official reveal, never doubting that it would eventually come about.

Downfall of Titan

The excitement that had flown so high was utterly shattered in the spring of 2013. In May rumors spread through the community that the entire project had been rebooted, with all work that had been done totally scrapped. Confirmation came from Shon Damron, who explained; "We've come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game". Damron also dished out another sucker punch revealing that some developers had been pulled from the project, almost a death sentence in the eyes of the community.

Mike Morhaime drove the point further home in an August Activision-Blizzard earnings call saying, "We're in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what we want the game to be". While nothing deeper was said in the call Blizzard fans were left wondering if this was the end of Project Titan and if they would ever know what the mystery project was about. Shortly after, rumors once again ran amok when the job opportunities for Project Titan were stripped from the careers page.

Titan Today

So what do we know about Titan this very second? Not a a lot. Blizzard has been mum on the project for quite some time. It would be easy to assume that it has been entirely scrapped. However, at BlizzCon 2013, Mike Morhaime did say a few words about the project saying the project is still on. From what can be gathered, the project wasn't going to a place the company was happy with so they took a step back and reevaluated. Morhaime's final words about the project are that he "feels they have come up with something really great".

It should be noted that during this short blurb about Titan, not once did Morhaime refer to it as such. Instead he called it only their "Unannounced Project". The term "MMO" was also avoided. Difficult to say what exactly this means, but we can speculate that Blizzard is steering away from Titan because the project is so very different from what it was before. It should also be noted that job opportunities for an "Unannounced Game Title" have reemerged on the Blizzard career page, lending hope that Titan will one day become a reality.

Overview

As you can see from the information above, Project Titan is still a major question mark. Blizzard has dodge, dived, and jumped around questions directed at the project. Fan rumors are a dime a dozen, but as of yet, none have been even remotely confirmed. With no official art, trailer, or even a release date, Project Titan has become more elusive than the gold at the end of a rainbow.

Speculation has it that the elusive Titan has a projected release date of 2016, however, I won't be holding my breath. While the masses clamor for more information on this new Blizzard project, it seems we are no closer to any official glimpse into the game than we were in the beginning. Will Project Titan ever see the light of day? No one can say for sure, we can only wait and hope. The only definite is that this game will never be forgotten, even if it is never fully realized.

What do you think Project Titan is all about? Do you think it will be released in 2016 or will it be discarded and forgotten like Starcraft: Ghost? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Jason "Memnock" Bechdel
Memnock, also known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Memtron has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet.

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