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Overview

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There are few confirmed details and many rumors. However, what bits of information have been released around Titan do paint an informative picture. Here is an overview of what's known.

Genre and loreEdit

Titan is a SciFi oriented MMO. It's rumored to be the SciFi equivalent of Low Fantasy. That is to say it's not taking the fantastical direction of other well known Space Operas and the like.

The Titan back-story is still a complete mystery. Blizzard has done a good job of keep such details a secret, however it will be part of a brand new franchise. That means it will have absolutely no relation to the Diablo, World of Warcraft, or StarCraft storylines.

The nameEdit

We currently only know the codename, "Titan". It's likely to be commercially released under a different name. Release names are usually different. A number of Blizzard's products used mythologicaly inspired names. For example: "Hydra" for Diablo, "Medusa" for Starcraft 2, etc.

The late Ensemble Studios worked on a SciFi theamed MMO from 2004 to 2007, when it was cancelled. It too was originally codenamed "Titan". Ensemble Studios closed in 2009 by its then parent company Microsoft. At that time a number of former Ensemble employees were hired by Blizzard. It's rumored that the name may have been in part inspired by the fact that many of the same people were working on a similar genre project after moving to Blizzard.

Combat systemEdit

Combat is widely expected to be FPS (First Person Shooter) style. Whether this means the whole game will be played in first-person perspective or only the the combat will be in first person with in-world exploring in third or if combat will be a directionally based system which can optionally be played in first or third perspectives is yet to be seen. One thing is for certain. Using an FPS or FPS-like system fits with Blizzard's intention to appeal to broader audience and not compete with World of Warcraft for players. FPS tends to draw in larger audiences and is likely to not heavily cannibalize the WoW player-base. FPS vs auto-target systems is a divisive issue for many WoW players.

Social focusEdit

Titan is being developed with a strong "social" focus. While social interaction is important for any MMO, Blizzard has implied they're trying to incorporate new ideas into this aspect and heavily boost the level of social interaction available to players. The ability for players to readily make new friends and play together is a chief priority.

This may mean Titan is also tying gameplay to social media like Twitter and Facebook, but it's still too early to tell.

MarketplaceEdit

Titan is expected to launch with a Real Money Market, probably not unlike Diablo III's auction house. This likely will be the primary source of player-side revenue if Titan embraces the F2P (Free To Play) model.

Target audienceEdit

Titan is intended to appeal to a broader audience than any of Blizzard Entertainment's previous releases. It's also being designed to be more accessible to casual players. Blizzard has clearly said it's looking to "expand the next-gen MMO brand outside of the gaming industry".

Free to PlayEdit

Titan is heavily rumored to come out the gate F2P. This definitely will lower the barrier of entry for new players as much as possible. Whether F2P will be only option or will coexist with one or more subscription options is to be seen. Blizzard has already begun trying F2P in World of Warcraft and Diablo. Most other modern MMOs are moving towards F2P models. F2P will likely play some part in Titan.

Current statusEdit

Titan is currently in a playable state, albeit a "rough" one. Much of Titan's playable content is still yet to be filled in. According to Blizzard executive VP, Rob Pardo, this is expected to change over the next year, at least. Titan is expected to begin ramping up for full production mode some time this year (2012)

Release dateEdit

According to the leaked product slate from Blizzard in 2010, the plan was for Titan to debut in the end of 2013 (along with the fifth WoW expansion). Their release timeline has already noticeably deviated. This is now likely only a rough approximation from the current planed date. Its real release date is anticipated for 2015.

Most big MMO are released several years following their initial public announcement. Since Titan is already receiving buzz that initial public announcements generate, this may not be the case, but there's no telling for sure given Blizzard's track record.

PlatformEdit

Titan, as with most MMOs, is a PC title. It currently is not being developed for other platforms, although Blizzard is considering opening Titan up to a multi-platform audience at some point in the future. Titan is "going to be huge" and cross coding would be a tall order. Rob Pardo confirmed that if Titan does appear on other consoles, it would be the next gen consoles, which unfortunately are still so far down the line that little is known about them yet, and can't yet be incorporated into any concrete plans. For now, Blizzard is just keeping its options open.

MerchandiseEdit

Blizzard plans to expand the Titan universe beyond a simple game. They are currently exploring how books/novels, action figures, comics, short movies, and apparel can fit into the greater brand.

Product placementEdit

Titan is being designed to include "product placement and licensing within the world" from "major consumer brands." Blizzard's hope to incorporate this in a way "that enhances the gameplay experience" implies they don't want it to be obtrusive and goes beyond simple in-game adds.

DevelopersEdit

There are approximately 90 developers working on the Next-Gen MMO project (Titan). Here are some of the known developers. This is not yet comprehensive.

Name Role Working Since Previous work
Jeffrey Kaplan Lead Designer Part-time: ~ 2008
Full-time: February 2009
WoW
Tom Chilton 2007 WoW, Ultima Online
Alex Afrasiabi Late 2010 WoW
Renaud Galand 3D Artist October 2009 GuildWars, EverQuest I & II, DDO Project Natal E3 Demo
Vitaliy Naymushin Senior Character Artist July 2009 Rage, Elder Scrolls 4, Quake Wars, Sin Episode 1, Bloodrayne 2, Ghost Recon 2
Marc Brunet Currently: 3D Artist
Previously: Concept Artist,
NextGen Character Artist
February 2009
January 2007
David Clyde Senior Software Engineer August 2009 Rise of Legends, Catan
Sid Kapur Senior Software Engineer II March 2009 Warhammer Online Saboteur
Brian Webb Software Engineer December 2008
Richard Diamant Lead Character Modeler October 2010
John Lafleur Lead Engine Programmer 2007 (unverified) WoW, Starcraft Ghost
Joshua Singh {Art} October 2010 Warhammer 40K MMO "Dark Millennium, Project Copernicus
Paul Richards {Concept Art} November 29, 2010 Darksiders

ReferencesEdit

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