Blizzard’s longtime secretive MMO referred to as Project Titan was canceled in 2014 despite nearly a decade’s worth of hype and seven years of development. Gamespot recently spoke with Blizzard game designer Jeff Kaplan, who spoke very frankly about the game’s development. Stating that Project Titan’s development team “failed horrifically”, it comes as a surprise considering Blizzard’s amazing track record. While the game’s failure was a great disappointment to fans, it was a difficult experience for Blizzard’s development team to go through. Kaplan states,
“You had these people who either came from other companies or from within Blizzard, and were used to working on games that were very successful like a World of Warcraft, for example. To go through such a complete and utter failure is very hard for people who are used to experiencing success.”
Tremendous pressure was placed on the team to pick up the broken pieces and start a new project. An effort was put forth in order to make up for the failure and create something on par with Blizzard’s long list of successful IPs. Kaplan continues,
“Pressure came from all directions… Not that anybody was outwardly putting pressure on us, but because you’re used to doing well and succeeding … having a moment where you didn’t do well was almost like an embarrassment. Here you have these great projects like StarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and then you’re sitting on the smoking pile of a cancelled project.”
“Nobody said a word, everyone was super supportive, but I think there was this inward embarrassment of like, ‘No, we need to prove that we’re worthy of being at Blizzard too. We can make something that makes the company proud.’ It was a trying period of time and there was a lot of pressure. The team is used to pressure, but never quite at that magnitude, and it helped to forge us in a lot of ways.”
After losing connectivity with other members of the team and letting things spiral out of control, Project Titan’s ashes ultimately led to the birth of Overwatch. Recovering from failure is never easy, but it seems like the team at Blizzard are gearing up for another huge success. Overwatch launches May 24th on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.