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Community Spotlight: Will Blizzard's "Titan" Crush All?

Posted by MikeB Thursday May 26 2011 at 4:04PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Blizzard Titan domination?" by Astoran. In the thread, Astoran wonders if "Titan", Blizzard's sophomore effort on the MMO scene, will essentially nullify any success made by some of the big hitter MMOs on the horizon such as Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic:

So I know Blizzards next mmo is likely pretty far off but what effect do you think it will have on the soon to come releases such as GW2 and SWTOR?  Assuming one of these new titles does really well and builds a substantial subscriber base, will Blizzard just snatch them right back with their new release?

I guess what I am asking is do you think a game like GW2 (if it becomes successful) will have enough pull to keep players from leaving? I personally think that Blizzard's influence is simply too strong for these newer games to compete with even if they do end up being very good games, but what does everyone else think?

MMO.Maverick isn't sure Blizzard still has the right stuff to have lightning strike twice:

I'm starting to doubt whether Blizzard has still the ingenious talent left to equal their former successes, especially with the growing Activision/Kotick influence that permeates more and more of Blizzard's game design decisions.

But one thing that Blizzard has that trumps anything else, and that is money: if things aren't right with a game of theirs, they make enough money to create 2 big budget AAA MMO titles with the cash they make with 1 month of WoW subs.

So they can go all out in game design or improvements of existing MMO's if the situation requires them to. No other company or dev team can do that.

uohaloran feels Blizzard would basically have to shoot themselves in the foot to not crush the opposition:

They'll have to make some pretty big mistakes for it to not absolutely crush.

They've had almost 7 years now pretty much to do whatever they want?  If they were smart, and I'm sure they are, they've been refining their next big hit and are probably just sitting on it until they need it.

I think their hardest thing for them will be to have both games coexist.  If they make the same type of game they'll probably just be relocating users, so I don't think they'll do that.  I figure they're looking to draw in a new crowd.  We'll see though.

Loke666 throws some cold water on the idea that Blizzard will just mop things up the way they did with WoW in 2004:

Blizzard are rather competent and do know what their fans want from them.

But the MMO market is very different now compared to how it was in 2004. Wow was at the time the only MMO with top class programming and it had 8 times the budget of Everquest and 6 of Everquest 2, the game people thought would be the competition.

Titan will go up against games like TOR (Bioware), GW2 (ANET), WoDO (CCP/White wolf) and a few others.  There are also a few other AAA studios working on MMOs, like Zenimax (Bethesda) and Zombie labs.

So I think the competition will be harder in 2014 than 2004.

Wow were up against EQ 1 & 2, SWG, Eve, GW and DaoC. Several of those games were pretty fine but not a single of them were close to to Wow in budget, Wow cost 60M$ launch and I don't think even one of the opponents cost more than 10M$ when they launched. And only ANET had a really experienced crew at the time of the opposition.

I am sure Titan will do fine, but I don't think it will be the next Wow. There is just too many talented and experienced devs with good funding out there now. I think Wow was an exceptionand that we never get another game that dominate the genre in the same way again.

Of course, anything can happen. Maybe Blizz pull it off again or maybe it fails completely. Most likely is however that several games will share the top in the future.

With the genre changing so rapidly in recent years it's honestly hard to say how things will be by the time Titan comes out, but the fact remains that Blizzard is a top developer in this industry and they are basically backed by one of the industry's biggest publishers, who also happen to have a large stake in seeing Blizzard succeed given the significant portion of revenue made up simply by World of Warcraft.

Anything Blizzard does garners a significant amount of attention and the marketing machine behind Blizzard will just about guarantee that whatever Titan is it will make a huge splash. Will it enjoy the total dominace that World of Warcraft has had? That, I can't say for sure.

What do you think? Will Blizzard strike lightning twice? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Dengar writes:

I'm sure it'll be a good game, but... well, remember when WoW came out and it was called an EQ clone?

Blizz isn't known for originality. They take what's good and make it slightly better. It draws huge crowds. At this point, I don't think people play WoW because it's a great game, but because they can play an above average game with their friends. If you look at Rift, most people will say that it's like WoW 2.0, but they still play WoW (or went back to it) just because their friends are still there. I have a feeling Titan will probably be a similar situation.

Thu May 26 2011 4:33PM Report
Yamota writes:

I dont ever remember WoW being called EQ clone. I am sure some people used that therm but WoW was way too casual to be considered a clone of the quite hardcore EQ with big death penalties and huge leveling grind not to mention it wasnt even quest based which WoW was/is.

Thu May 26 2011 4:43PM Report
Nipashnaka writes:

Blizzard pretty much has infinite money. They're also pretty good at identifying / changing something that isn't working properly or isn't fun. Titan will be the "next WoW" (in terms of impact to the MMO scene and setting trends), because they have the budget to say... "you know what? lets delay for a year and add a full fledged player housing system" and the technical know-how and design experience to make it solid. They have all the time and resources they need. They could build 3 completely independent housing systems from scratch to a launch-polish state and just pick the one they liked (for example). There's absolutely nothing that could make them launch before they're ready - not investors, not shareholders, not external producers. They don't have to care who they have to compete against in the marketplace, because they *are* the Titan. 

Thu May 26 2011 5:14PM Report
phil_james writes:

I suspect that Titan will be a departure from the WoW style gameplay to justify people wanting to play both.  Also I doubt they are just sitting on the game, but they could afford to if they wanted.  Nothing lasts forever, not even WoW's no. 1 status so maybe Titan is meant to succeed WoW once it's numbers drop.

Something has to take Warcraft's place eventually, I reckon that Blizzard will pour enough money and promotion into making sure it's their game that does it.

Thu May 26 2011 6:32PM Report
Zoulz writes:

Blizzard has never had such a success as Wow before, but all of their games have done really, really well in the past. Every game has recieved tons of awards and sold more than other studios ever dream about.

I see no reason why Titan would fail. They have everything they need to make it work. Time is probably one of their biggest assets though. It something other companies don't have.

Thu May 26 2011 6:33PM Report
KenFisher writes:

I'm of the opinion Blizzard will keep shifting WoW as more and more hardcore and Titan(ic) will be oriented towards kids and casuals.

Fri May 27 2011 2:54AM Report
Betaguy writes:

It is going to be an exclusive Facebook game, just saying... I am done with Blizzard myself...

Fri May 27 2011 6:34AM Report
UsulDaNeriak writes:

afaik Blizzard had no MMO, when the created WoW.

so what they did was, they looked at a new market with lot of potential. they looked at the existing games and analyezed them, tried to keep the best and avoid the mistakes.

so i dont expect to see a new MMORPG in competition to WoW in a perhaps saturated market.

i expect they will follow their old strategy, which was once succesful in 2004. the upcoming market are social games. so i bet we will see the ultimate facebook-blockbuster-game.

Fri May 27 2011 7:45AM Report
Thorqemada writes:

I dont care - if Titan means it will be a Mechwarrior based game then i will take a look, anything else with FPS Controls will see my cold shoulder.

Blizzar for sure has lost its drive!

Fri May 27 2011 10:03AM Report
Deivos writes:

They all redy stated that the game is going to exist in a different gameplay space from WoW and it's kin. They know they can't saturate the same market and they know it wouldn't help their revenue or the game's success to do so.

Last I knew it was a shooter-style game they were developing on a new IP.

Fri May 27 2011 11:28AM Report
garry writes:

I agree with Blutmaul above. If TITAN is a mech style game I will definitely give it attention. If it is FPS/shooter/facebook I will simply continue with WOW/SWtOR and TSW.

Fri May 27 2011 2:52PM Report
Bladestrom writes:

imo Blizz will ofc aim for the casual market, so the success of titan will be dependant on wether there is a competitive Quality mmorg released with the same timescales that is also aimed at casual   It is unlikely another developer will have the muscle to produce an equally good casual mmo so they will probably have less market than the have now as the will lose a lot of mid-harcore + some casual to TOR,ARCH, GW2 , but still millions

With regards to mid-harcore players there is a good chance archage may offer a big attraction for those players (assuming Archage delivers on its promise) 

Fri May 27 2011 3:15PM Report
BartDaCat writes:

I think Blizzard will saturate the market with epic advertising, thus ramping up the excitement, tension, and anticipation for its new title once it comes closer to being complete.  If there is one thing I see Blizzard pull off more successfully than any other game developer out there in the PC market is marketing hype and ad saturation.

Personally, I hate the direction WoW went with its simplified playstyle, but there are a lot of things Blizzard got right along the way as well.  The word has been out for some time that they have shifted a great deal of their programming talent to this unnamed project, and I suspect it will be something that really grabs people's attention.

As it is, here we all are, so intrigued by the mystery behind the "next gen MMO" that Blizzard is developing that we're all making speculations on its success without knowing anything concrete.

I run into a lot of people that have left WoW for other games, but unless Activision really screws up (I think they have already), I don't see Blizzard losing its fanbase entirely.  We still have Diablo III to look forward to, and that should rekindle some interest in the Blizzard brand.

Sat May 28 2011 6:18AM Report
paroxysm writes:

I'm sure it will do OK.  But, if they continue on the path that they are on in WoW, it won't repeat on WoW's level of success. 

In that line of thinking, I would not take it if you gave it to me for free.  Why?  Because of how they are treating the game and it's customers.  Because all of the reasons I quit WoW for are still shown to be happening on the forums at a quick glance.  You don't even have to dig to get a feel for how put off a lot of people are.  People are waiting and hoping for a new game to wow them.  If something does, Titan will have a harder time getting the majority of those people back to a Blizzard game.

Sat May 28 2011 9:05AM Report
fivoroth writes:

No one knows if Titan will be a success.

But did you all forget that WoW was Blizzard's first MMO. They didn't have the expertise nor the knowledge to make an MMO game as they have only done RTS and RPG games. Yet they made the most successful MMO of all times. This speaks tons about how good they are.

Look at them now. They are one of the most experienced MMO developers. A lot of people seem to think that Blizzard had it super easy when they launched WoW....

I am pretty sure Titan will be great. Will it surpass WoW? God knows. Only time will tell.

Sat May 28 2011 12:47PM Report
thols writes:

I think Blizz may just surprise a few people with Titan by breaking some new ground and going in some new directions.  Everyone is expecting them to take the low risk path and just incrementally improve what is already floating around out there but I think they will try to do something more radical to try and expand the potential MMO audience.

Sat May 28 2011 2:19PM Report
teakbois writes:

I had heard speculation that Titan might be an MMOFPS, in which case no, its presence will be minor.


WoW's downward trend has started.  Many people dislike the direction blizzard took with the game.  If SWTOR and GW2 are both only okay, than people will still check it out.


If it looks like WoW 2, people may not care.  if its a MMOFPS a different crowd of people will care but not the SWTOR or GW@ folks.  If its something completely different and even the slightest bit sandboxish, people *will* care.

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Mon May 30 2011 9:35AM Report
Yavin_Prime writes:

Great post. However I doubt that Blizz will dominate again as it has. I say this only because I use the past as proof. EQ1 was amazing, and Everquest dominated the market for the most part untill WoW came out (yes UO did hold its own against EQ but EQ had a cultural phenomenon attached to it). So what happened when WoW came out? So too did EQ2, and that is when the franchise took a massive hit. Before EQ2, Everquest had a card game, pen and paper versions and even a PS2 launch. But their second major release just couldn't hold up. Heck they even had a RTS game!

With that said I'd be shocked to see blizzard hold up on their numbers. Mainly because blizzard moves slowly and WoW is already "last gen" material. Blizz would have to do something amazing, something entirely new, something not WoW. To be honest I don't think they're ready for that. They've been working with the same game modles forever, Warcraft (RTS), Diablo (Hack and Slash adventure), and now WoW (MMO of the 2000s). I think Blizz will pull in good numbers but I don't think that they'll dominate as dramaticaly as they have in the past.

Tue May 31 2011 12:57PM Report
TurboS2k writes:

If you guys remember, some of the original Devs of blizz went and made Anet and if they can pull their act together, GW2 will be what i call, the killing blow, for WoW and 2 play, execellent graphics, ment for mediocre computers, all from what they said, introducing PvPvE. so having such a dramatic effect on gameplay is what gamers want cause ur not just standing around...things are actually going on so it will definetly keep people on their feet. just like the PS1 was the biggest thing for awhile then BAM! Xbox came and wipped the floor....same with the newer generation of online games....a company cant be ontop forever.

Wed Jun 01 2011 1:30AM Report
goingwylde writes:

I dont think it hurts Blizzard at all to release Titan side by side with WoW.  Titan would pull some subs from WoW ( no wild idea what percentage) but the money still goes to the same place.  Titan brings in new customers, and also helps retain old customers, so it's a win/win. 

Can Blizzard make another wildly successful MMO?  Absolutely.  They still have the talent, they defintely have the money, and the WoW has bought them the development time.  Will Titan be revolutionary?  No, but you know it will be solid and at least worth a try.

Wed Jun 01 2011 2:14AM Report
Lanessar writes:

Blizzard can absolutely do it again. They have a second IP with a large, large following, and can easily bring this to bear in MMO format.

StarCraft online would garner a market share unlike many other IPs, and with this, would cover the two major facets of the MMO world - Sci-Fi and fantasy.

Granted, there would be people who absolutely refused to play SCO, and some would hate it. but I'd be willing to be that enough would subscribe (if they made it to Blizzard standards) that it would choke the MMO market pretty well.

Thu Jun 02 2011 10:19AM Report
RebornDragon writes:

Honestly I hope it's a sandbox space game to give EVE Online some damn competition in that market. 

Thu Jun 02 2011 11:43AM Report writes:
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