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Titan: Blizzard’s Next New MMO
Jul 20,2011 09:07 by George Roman13
Blizzard’s next MMO Titan, though still under development, is highly anticipated and hotly discussed in the industry. Until recently, the game was officially confirmed, but still no substantial information concerning the game has been released. So we hereby make a summary of ins and outs about Titan, the upcoming MMO from Blizzard.
Blizzard Entertainment, enjoys a high reputation in the industry with its world-renowned games, such as Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. Thus we have every reason to believe that Titan will be the next sensation.
Though its working title is not finally confirmed, Titan is believed to be a quasi-sequel to World of Warcraft.
Titan is the working title officially confirmed by Blizzard’s senior vice president Frank Pearce during an interview in December 2010. Before then, it was simply referred to as the “Next-Gen MMO” because it is Blizzard’s second MMO project. But prior to the confirmation Titan in development, MMOGameSite has leaked Blizzard Product Slate.
The confirmation followed an alleged leakage of its timetable which suggested that an unknown project called Titan would be released in late 2013 by Blizzard. It is more likely that Titan will be officially announced as the final name for the project.
As to the content, it is widely speculated that Titan will be a souped up version of “World of Starcraft”; however, it will offer a refreshingly new universe to explore. Concrete information, such as the actual gameplay and the setting of Titan, is still well-guarded as top secrets. And some suggest that Titan is intended to be a powerful competitor to World of Warcraft. Besides, there will still be a fantasy setting without doubt.
We also acquire some evidence from an interview to Jeff Kaplan, one of Titan developers, where he talked about the reason why there are so few successful non-fantasy MMOs nowadays. During the conversation, Kaplan described the setting of Titan as a mixture of science fiction, near future, post-apocalypse and history in a joking manner.
Rumor has it that Titan is set in a post-apocalyptic world where players have to search for undiscovered resources in alien territories in order to survive the aftermath. The game will be divided into two sections, including a social detached section comparable with The Sims Online, and a real game section inspired by classic MMOs. And there will also be some thrilling elements from first person shooters. But these are just totally unconfirmed rumors.
Jeffrey Kaplan, as has been mentioned above, is the former game director for World of Warcraft and has been developing Titan since 2009. Undoubtedly, the success of World of Warcraft is beyond comparison. And we think that Kaplan’s experience with WoW will have a significant influence in the development of Titan. Except for him, many experienced developers of WoW have also switched to this new project team, which was confirmed by Blizzard COO Paul Sams during an interview, but Jeffrey Kaplan is certainly the most prominent figure. He announced to move to the new Blizzard MMO in early 2009. According to latest information, he now works as the leading designer of Titan.
There are many criticisms in the forum, saying that World of Warcraft is now developed by a “B Team” of inexperienced employees because of the switch from WoW to Titan. Perhaps this explains why there are so many weaknesses in current WoW design. But Community Manager Zarhym countered the criticism in a post where he explained that it was primarily a change of programmers, instead of designers.
Titan will be oriented to the mass market which is more extensive than that of WoW. In another word, Titan will obviously go a step further. Paul Sams also stated in an interview as follows, “The reach of this product is greater than anything we have ever done, so I think it will have a longer life ahead of them, even ahead of World of Warcraft.” You can easily draw the conclusion from this bold statement that the Blizzard developers are poised to rock the market and blow people’s mind with Titan.
But Arvind Bhatia, a financial analyst, recently described Titan as a casual MMO in an interview. The reason is that success is not always accessible after World of Warcraft has already won the favor of so many faithful gamers. And Paul Sams said in the same interview that Titan would be a complement to WoW instead of a true competitor.
Another question interests us is the process of Titan’s development. It has not been revealed on the official site. We also get no reply from the members of the Developer Team of Titan. But according to some insiders, Titan is unlikely to be released before 2012. This revelation makes the supposed release date 2013 more credible.
The concept of the game has now apparently come out, for Paul Sams has confirmed that there is already a playable version of Titan which is kept only to insiders. According to him, it is fun to play.
Of course, there is still no confirmation of the planned payment system for Titan. Presumably, those who are responsible for Titan have not yet reached an agreement. As we know, the pet shop and premium services in World of Warcraft have been generating extra costs in addition to the monthly fees. Therefore, we assume that a toll-free payment model for Titan will be given serious consideration. Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce commented in an interview with MCVUK that in-game advertisements will not be excluded if they fit well with the game. Since World of Warcraft has achieved it mammoth financial success, there is no reason why Titan should not follow the same payment pattern. But of course, this is just another guess.
We have drawn a bunch of wild speculations based on the limited facts and unidentified rumors about Titan. With a strong yet experienced development team, Titan will definitely live up to our expectation. Let’s remain excited and wait for early news!
Updates: According to Chinese sources 52PK, Blizzard might unveil more information about Titan at GStar 2011, a Korean Gaming Event.
Information collected From Buffed, Gamasutra, MTV and Destructoid.
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