Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 28, 2014

Email: Blizzard’s Project Titan gets axed

Master Malstrom,
 
You’re probably inundated with emails on this news report right now, but here you go:
 
 
This is one of the reasons why Blizzard is still at, if not near, the top of their game in terms of quality, in my opinion
 
Some quotable quotes:
 
“We didn’t find the fun,” Morhaime continued. “We didn’t find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that’s the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.”
 
Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s senior vice president of story and franchise development, called the decision to cancel Titan “excruciating.” Morhaime agreed: “It’s always really, really hard to make those kind of decisions. It was hard when we canceled Warcraft Adventures. It was hard when we canceled StarCraft Ghost. But it has always resulted in better-quality work.”
 
“The discipline of knowing when to quit is important,” Metzen said. “We were losing perspective and getting lost in the weeds a little. We had to allow ourselves to take that step back and reassess why the hell we were doing that thing in the first place.”
Oh, that other game companies might be humble enough to do just this! In fact they also make mention of “smaller games” such as Hearthstone and HotS playing a factor in their decision, noting that it proved that they as a company didn’t need to hedge themselves in making games of a certain scale in order to be popular. In fact I love their quote about canceling products that might damage the trust gamers have in their games instead of trying to push through with it (*cough* ET, Sonic 2006 *cough*).
 
Hopefully this will mark the decline of “Soon™”.
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Blizzard is still one of the few game companies I actually like. There is much spilled milk over Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 but those are quality games. The spilled milk is coming from those who idealized their predecessors. You have to take games as they are. It took me a long while to appreciate Starcraft because I was so hung up on Warcraft 2. It took me a while to appreciate Warcraft 3 because I was hung up on Starcraft and Warcraft 2. World of Warcraft did so well in part because it was Blizzard’s first MMORPG. Titan would not have satisfied WoW fans because Titan would be a different game than WoW. Hearthstone did so well also because there was no Blizzard predecessor. Hearthstone 2, if such a game is made, will not match the love of current Hearthstone players.
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I’m not sure how Heroes of the Storm will be received.
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Blizzard is doing what I want them to do: make smaller games. Smaller games are actually Malstrom-sized games. For consoles, I consider 16-bit type games to be where I want them to be in terms of game length. I still think Final Fantasy 6 is an epic game. It takes 30 hours to beat it. Now every game takes 30 hours so there is much bloat.
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The games I want:
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Sequel to Rock and Roll Racing (3d perspective instead of overhead. 3d has been good to gaming. PC needs a Mario Kart type game badly)
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Turn Based Games like Master of Magic, Master of Orion, and Civilization.
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Warcraft 4
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Warcraft 1 and 2 Remastered.
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Starcraft 1 Remastered (this would actually be interesting to see).
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Another game about the Lost Vikings.
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I think Titan’s business model is ultimately what killed it. I am not a fan of free-to-play model, and I am still not. That model is good for third world countries. The problem is that the macro-economics have changed. We are all third world countries now. Subscription based will not work. Blizzard has to operate based on that.
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And when the hell is Legacy of the Void going to appear? The RTS team is doing Heroes so what happened to it? At least complete the damn Starcraft 2 story despite how nonsensical it has been.
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Here is the info about the movie. The director has figured out the magic of RTS storytelling. RTS storytelling was so strong, stronger than any other video game genre, because it depicted multiple perspectives. In Warcraft, you could be Humans or Orcs. Each has their own value structures. Each had their own perspective and feel. Just playing one wasn’t enough. Warcraft 3 was close to erring by making the four campaigns serialized instead of parallel. Starcraft 2 did commit full error in having only one side per expansion. RTS fun is about exploring different perspectives to the same conflict. Starcraft 2 doesn’t do this. Worse, Starcraft 2 is more character based than faction based. There are no Terran, Zerg, and Protoss campaigns. There is only Raynor, Kerrigan, and Zeratul campaigns. It is so dumb. Warcraft 4 better be about factions and not characters!

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