Blizzard are the kings of the MMO world right now, despite not having released a new MMO title since World Of Warcraft (affectionately know by many as WoW). This is due to the absolutely monumental success of WoW, which despite launching almost 10 years ago still has the largest player base of any MMO and is by a very large margin the highest grossing game of all time due to the number of players who have paid a subscription fee for the near 10 years the game has existed, alongside its numerous expansions.
However, not wanting to reside on the success of WoW forever, Blizzard instead set into motion the start of a new “next generation” MMO project which was set to be a successor to WoW in many ways. We first found out about the game in 2007, when some job listings were posted on the blizzard website for developers on a “next gen MMO”. The amount of speculation and fear regarding a “World of Warcraft 2″ or something of that variety even led Blizzard to make a small comment on the matter, simply saying that it was not a world of Warcraft expansion.
These comments were further iterated at 2008’s Blizzcon, the convention just for blizzard games where Blizzard were very explicit in stating they wanted an entirely new MMO experience to be had in the titan project, and that it was not just a World of Warcraft replacement.
The time between 2008 and now has been absolutely filled with small pieces of information, whether directly from Blizzard or just from inside sources, but they’ve never hinted at the game truly being within sight, simply that it was a mind blowing experience that should be tried, alongside other statements along those lines. Most recently, it was announced that the game was targeted at a 2016 release date.
That is what makes todays announcement so surprising for Blizzard fans, as instead of the great Titan news many have been waiting 7 years for, we got quite the opposite, as CEO Mike Morhaim stated “we were really confident we knew how to make MMO’s, so we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn’t come together.”
The reasons stated for the games cancellation all stem from the fact that they were not particularly happy with the project, not finding it to have the fun previously predicted. What does this mean for Blizzard, and more importantly Blizzard fans? First and foremost, it looks like WoW still has many more years in the spotlight as their sole MMO game, so anyone worried about WoW losing it’s support have nothing to fear.
What about people who were looking forward to the project? Blizzard state that it is a strength of their development process that they can scrap a game this far in development, and I can’t help but agree. If a Publisher are willing to throw it all away just to ensure the highest quality, you can bet any product you buy is going to be their best attempt at quality.
So, not entirely bad news all around, just mostly. If you were looking forward to another MMO from Blizzard, you’re going to have to wait even longer it seems.