Titan's Death Leaves Questions About Blizzard's Plans

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Titan's Death Leaves Questions About Blizzard's Plans

It was a dark day for massively multiplayer online (MMO) gamers out there when the news landed that Blizzard was poised to pull the plug on science fiction MMO title "Titan," a game that had been in the making for as long as seven years. But with the death of "Titan" leaves a pile of unanswered questions about Blizzard's short-term future. Just what will the company do now? There are plenty of possibilities, sure enough, but what's the route to go?

The idea that "Titan" is out of play represents a big problem; specifically, there's a whole lot of time and development effort--not to mention outright cash--that went into this project, and the loss of said project represents a pile of waste besides. There are three essential directions that can be taken here, and each represents some potential gain and potential loss alike.

One, it can pick up the pieces and carry on. Just because "Titan" is dead doesn't mean that everything about "Titan" is lost. Perhaps some elements--the plot, the character design, the engine, or any of these combined--can make the migration into another game with different elements to replace those that didn't work. Sometimes called "cannibalization," it essentially allows the company to take bits and pieces of code that do work and bring these into new elements. That in turn reduces waste and cuts down the time-to-market on the next one.

Two, it can start completely afresh. That's a complete loss of all the previous material, but it does have the added advantage of offering a completely clean slate. That can add an element of passion to the process that can produce unexpected results. The new "Titan" may well be all the better for the shutdown, and if Blizzard can make lightning strike twice, well, that's just a result that's almost too good to be true.

Three, "Titan" can stay dead, and the resulting funding can go into development on other games. That means just about anything from "Diablo" revamping to "Hearthstone" to even "World of Warcraft," a development that many would no doubt like to see take place. There would certainly be plenty of value in Blizzard putting a few extra warheads on the flagship, so to speak, and revamping "World of Warcraft" might well serve to keep it fresh.

Already, some gamers are coming out in favor of giving "Titan" the heave-ho; while some are upset about the loss of a game that's been in the works for seven years, there's still a certain amount of satisfaction that a game that wasn't going to be the best isn't being released. After decades of "shovelware," named for high volumes of low-quality content, it's refreshing to see such a stance taken. Of course, for gamers dying for a slice of something new from Blizzard, it's not exactly welcome news.

Still, there are certainly plenty of great options here, and while only time will tell just which options actually come to pass, the end result is quite clear; something is likely coming very soon from Blizzard, and that something might be more exciting than anyone ever suspected. With cash on the decline from "World of Warcraft," at last report, it might be arriving much more quickly than anyone ever suspected as well.

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