Tobold's Blog
Friday, September 26, 2014
Destiny of Titan

Kotaku has a post about what Titan actually was for a game. It was a SciFi MMO shooter. In fact, many of the features sounded a lot like Bungie's Destiny. And of course I know that if devs give an interview explaining the reasons for a decision, you never get to hear the full story. So I wondered in how far the decision to cancel Titan was influenced by the release of Destiny. Titan had a lot more MMO features that I would have liked to see, like professions and crafting; but at its core it would have played a lot like Destiny.

With Blizzard being famous for developing at a very slow pace, Bungie basically got there first. And while the critics didn't like Destiny all that much, the game sells well. With Activision Blizzard as a publisher and a 10-year plan of expansions to wring more money out of the customers. Releasing Titan would potentially not just have had a negative effect on World of Warcraft subscriptions, but also on Destiny continue income. So in spite of all dev talk of not feeling the fun, there might well have been other, more financial considerations behind the cancellation.

My proposal: Activision Blizzard should send part of the disbanded Titan team to help Bungie out with Destiny. Because Destiny is a good shooter, but not a good MMO. Which isn't really a surprise if you look at what kind of game Bungie made before. They could really use some help on the social part of Destiny, with better options to communicate and to join a fireteam for story missions. And Bungie is currently learning the hard way how MMO players will always go for the path of least resistance to maximum progress, even if that isn't the most fun way to play. They just nerfed the loot cave, but there are still a lot of exploitable places in the game.

I have to agree with your suggestion.
Destiny is a very mechanically solid shooter but the social/MMO aspects fall woefully short.

That's not to say I'm not enjoying it and still playing it. I have a couple of alts to level but that's going to be by playing exactly the same content I have already and suffer through "fight waves whilst Dinklage does a thing".

The patrols are fairly decent but there isn't a great deal of variety and that could have been greatly improved through the addition of more content.

If there really is a ten year plan there, hopefully this will all improve. There is no reason to believe Blizzard would have been able to produce such a solid shooter but they certainly have the content chops.
Makes you wonder how many millions were spent over the course of development for Titan. Cancelling a major project like this in mid-stream is no small matter, especially with Activision's fingers pulling the financial strings.

AFAIK, Heros of the Storm is the only other *major* title they are working on, and there *were* several staff pulled from Titan to work on HotS around August '13, and it did go through a major redesign a few months before that. It appears the writing has been on the wall for some time now.
I think titan was more of a back up plan, back when WOW subs were dropping and they thought WOW might go on life support in a few years.

Years latter WOW didn't, and their project to replace WOW that doesn't need replacing gets usurped anyway.
Have you read Ed Castranova's goodbye post on Terra Nova? It is the most eloquent and most convincing eulogy I have read for the end of the mmorpg era.
Don't forget how successful they were with small games like Hearthstone. I predict they will stop making large scale games like RTS's and Cinematic action games and just work on other small scale games with no lore but makes a gazillion dollars.
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