As we approach the release date of one the most highly anticipated video games of the year, Blizzard's staff have been talking to numerous outlets regarding Overwatch and its placement in the over-saturated genre of first-person shooters. But while this multiplayer shooter has been the main focus of their discussions, certain developers have talked about what it was like to cancel work on what was set to be Blizzard's most ambitious project to date.
Titan, which was going to be an MMO that could have replaced World of Warcraft and be Blizzard's first new IP in over a decade, was officially cancelled in late 2014. We know so little about Titan, nor were we granted the opportunity to see anything that came of its development process - which lasted for over 7 years. However, it seems like a part of Titan will actually live on in Overwatch.
Overwatch: Tracer Is A Survived Character From Blizzard's Failed MMO, Titan
Gamespot recently released a 3-part series on Blizzard's Overwatch which delves into the game's characters, the inspiration it derives from 90's shooters but also how it partially emerged from the ashes of Titan. It's a fascinating insight into game development and the passion that flourishes within Blizzard, so I highly recommend you watch it all.
But one piece of news at the end of the first episode really grabbed my attention:
This goes back to 'Titan', there was a character that had Tracer's abilities...
- Scott Mercer, Principal Designer on 'Overwatch'
For many, Tracer has been the face of Overwatch. She's been cosplayed by so many, her personality has been a great draw for the game and we've enjoyed depictions of her in Blizzard's animated short films. She's spunky, entertaining, fast, witty and hopefully a lot of fun to play as. She's also been at the centre of the game's recent controversy (that butt pose).
But it's fascinating to know that Tracer is perhaps an emotionally involving character for the team at Blizzard who worked on Titan. I imagine it was a painful and difficult decision to let that game go and it shook their resolve and confidence as game developers. Here's Jeff Kaplan on what it was like to shut down work on Titan:
"You had a really amazing group that was working on Titan," he said. "They were really talented individuals, but we failed horrifically in every way ... In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating.
Therefore, perhaps Tracer is a beacon of hope for the team and that's why they've pushed her to the front of Overwatch's marketing. She's a reminder of past failures, but a symbol for the bright future ahead and proof that Blizzard still know how to stun the world with breathtaking game design.
Overwatch remains my most highly anticipated game of the year and I can't wait to see how it handles in the open beta from May 5-9, and the many months after its release date for the XBOX One, PS4 and PC on May 24th.