Gaming Roundup: Death of a Titan

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Blizzard Entertainment finally pulled the plug on their not-so-secret secret MMO this week. News of their venture, codenamed Titan for the last several years, first leaked as far back as 2007, sending the gaming world into a frenzy as players salivated over the possibility of a new IP from the masters of modern MMO. Sadly, it was not to be, as Blizzard officially cancelled the game after seven long years of development, citing a lack of passion and drive for the project.

What did we lose in Titan? A number of anonymous sources suggest it was a sci-fi MMO set on near-future Earth after a repelled alien invasion. Players could assume the role of a member of one of three factions defending or fighting for control of a number of planetary safe zones, including the US West Coast, Australia, Europe, and South America. From an MMO perspective, Blizzard hoped to establish a massive game world, then add in new countries or continents as expansion as time went on. Interestingly, one of the game’s hooks was to have the player work a mundane job during the day (butchering, engineering, entrepreneurship, for example) and even raising a family, then conducting raids at night. Combat and artistic design was likened to that of Team Fortress 2.

At a glance, it sounds like there were a lot of intriguing elements in place for Titan that we may now never see. Why? According to Blizzard chief executive Mike Morhaime, the team could no longer find the fun or passion in the title, and when the developers performed an evaluation on the project in 2013, they simply realized it was no longer a game they wanted to pursue.

While this leaves Blizzard without a new IP for the near future (that we know of, at least), there’s still plenty of profit to be found in their current stable of franchises, along with the recent additions of Hearthstone and the upcoming Heroes of the Storm. There’s no denying, though, that a new game franchise designed to Blizzard’s usual quality specs would go a long way toward securing the medium-to-long term future of the developer.

In other gaming news this week, Wasteland 2 launches, Silent Hills gives us chills, and Elite: Dangerous gets even bigger. Read on!

  • The hotly-anticipated, crowdfunded Wasteland 2 has earned over $1.5 million in revenues in less than a week after launch. Any fans of dark, well-written, dilemma-heavy RPGs should give this game a look.

  • For those who like their survival gaming grimly realistic, The Long Dark, just launched for PC and Mac users earlier this week by Hinterland Studios, may be of interest. The game drops you into the Pacific Northwest and forces you to scavenge, hunt, and hide, leaving no detail to chance, in order to survive the threats of the wilderness—cold, hunger, wildlife, and worse.

  • Fans of the Hong Kong crime drama Sleeping Dogs will be glad to hear that developer United Front Games is working on a PC-based sequel titled Triad Wars, set in the Hong Kong underworld of their previous game.
  • Remember when ex-military dictator Manuel Noriega sued Activision over his alleged defamatory depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II? None other than Rudy Giuliani’s law firm is firing back, dismissing Noriega’s claim as frivolous and a potentially a dangerous precedent to set in other artistic depictions of historical characters.
  • Silent Hills continues to look “WHY IN GOD’S NAME WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF” creepy.

  • According to one particular 106 year-old man, the secret to a long and active life is… video games. Take that, parents of the world! We were right all along!
  • If you’re trying to find something to hold you over until Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launches sometime in 2015, check out 20 minutes of gameplay from the Tokyo Game Show. Some impressive graphics on display here.

  • Elite: Dangerous, currently in beta, is known for being a massive, free, and fun space exploration game. Well, it’s about to get a whole lot bigger. As in 500 new star systems.
  • It looks like Final Fantasy XV’s party characters will be male only. Odd choices of late for a franchise containing so many iconic heroines during the VI–XI era…
  • Finally, if you’re a video game artist, or know someone in the field, Ian Bowden (Rockstar’s former art director) is spitting knowledge over at Gamasutra. Check it out.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

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