Project Titan "reset", Delayed Until 2016
Looks like the rumor mill is churning again, and this time the news is not good. According to Venture Beat, "a source familiar with the matter" has informed them that development on Titan has been slowed down severely, with 70 of the 100+ developers working on the title being reassigned to Blizzard's other projects. The ones that are left will start over on Titan, trying to take the game on a different path. As such, the soonest expected release is now 2016. This is of course still just unconfirmed info, and until Blizzard comments on this it should be treated as such.
MMO-Champion seems to confirm this info with its own sources. According to the WoW news site:
The decision was announced to employees a couple of days ago
Blizzard felt that Titan wasn't going in the right direction and decided to make significant technological and design changes to the game.
The news is quickly becoming trustworthy, as a 3rd website, Gamasutra, says that it has independently confirmed it. Still no comment from Blizzard though.
Blizzard has now officially confirmed shifting resources away from Titan while they "make some large design and technology changes to the game."
We've always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. We've come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We're using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes. Note that we haven't announced any dates for the MMO.
Update #4 - short thoughts related to this
Considering how "slow-cooked" this project has been, for such a long time too, it's incredibly surprising that it didn't manage to avoid a major revamp. Even if we're of course talking about Blizzard here.
It's not good news, that's for sure. Yes, it's good that Blizzard has decided to sacrifice its timeline and do a major revision, but this also means that something important was not right and we have no guarantee that extra time will help, although it is of course the correct start.
The Project is now 6-7 years old and it will be close to 10 years in 2016. Extremely long and intense development is one of the issues that plague MMOs, and it does not help when a meticulous company like Blizzard tackles a supposedly huge project like Titan. A clear and immovable production schedule is absolutely required in this case, or else each time they'll be close to release, they'll realize a new revision is required, to bring it up to speed with modern tech and trends.
It's fair to assume that most of those reassigned are writers and visual artists. Titan has benefited from a strong, numerous and constantly growing art team in the last couple of years, so it should be in a good state when it comes to these assets. While the engineers and designers are figuring out and implementing the needed changes, the art team is being used for different projects that are maybe lacking a bit in this department.
This also resets most of what we knew, or thought we knew, about the game. We can't assess the nature or the size of the changes, so basically pretty much everything we have is automatically in doubt. Good thing we didn't have much!
Last and probably least, I don't want to penalize Rob Pardo and others for actually giving us teasers and stuff over the last few years, but one of the first things I remembered when I heard the news was the below tweet. Everything seemed so perfect a year ago, with Titan having a playable, fun build. What changed?