Blizzard TITAN MMO Leaked (sorf off)

It had to happen. How long can you keep a secret? ;)

Titan refers to two things
It’s an new IP MMO
a development platform (or building framework).

The big deal is not the new MMO (I’ll come to it after), the big deal is the TITAN platform and Blizzard is willing to bet his future on it.

To be clear, when I’m talking about the TITAN platform I don’t refer to an addon system or a user generated extension.
TITAN the MMO is written from the ground up with the TITAN platform.
TITAN the MMO is the showcase of the TITAN platform to promote its adoption.

The TITAN platform will be open to third party developers. You’ll be able to create any kind of game (MMO, RTS, etc) and Blizzard will take a reasonable cut of the profits.
In exchange Blizzard will provide the platform, a world editor, NPC editor, its clients base, all kind of services from group matching, security, communication and social features, inventory management, achievements and screenshots tools, cross-game housing, etc.

To find an analogy, Blizzard will attempt to do the same as Apple did for smartphones with the Appstore. A kind of portal to virtual worlds with a gaming social network around.

“It’s a game changer.”.

What are the arguments to support the above?

1) Codename TITAN

Not a point but the start of an itch. A codename is not chosen randomly by developers, often it refers to the project or the spirit in which the project is done.

So what could “TITAN” mean for a Blizzard developer?

In Warcraft lore, the Titans are a god-race of creators. They create new races and new worlds. For a developer Titan means an awesome builder (raising terrain, adding buildings, creating life to inhabit the new lands...). The big emphasize about Titan is CREATION.

2) Gamers consume contents faster than we can deliver it

If you played WoW you know it right? Even Blizzard admit they will never have enough resources to keep up with the players hunger for new experiences and content. In other words they need OTHER CREATORS (other wannabe Titans).

3) “It’s a game changer”

Blizzard said “it’s a game changer” about Titan a few months ago. First, I don’t see how a single new game could change the whole industry right now. Second, Blizzard is well know to NOT create new types of games.

An example of game changer is the Appstore for Apple smartphones, other creators in a win-win ecosystem on your platform.

4) Blizzard already have a brilliant expertise for extensions and third party tools

The quantity and diversity of World of Warcraft addons is amazing, enabling complete changes of the USER INTERFACE, game feedback and enhancing the player experience but not authorizing new game assets (zones, 3D objects...). for example have a selction of 4500 addons and 37 millions downloads for the most popular. Those kind of numbers are excepted from an operating system or a platform, not a single game.
As Blizzard integrated many ideas coming from successful addons I’m sure they understands well the huge potential of third-party developers.

Same in the area of new CONTENT this time with the Starcaft 2 RTS editor which is so versatile that some enthusiasts attempt to create an MMO with it (Starcraft Universe).

5) It is the era of platforms and API

Platforms and API are everywhere now. From Twitter, Facebook, Steam, iOs, etc … all the tech industry knows you’re stronger if you can aggregate an ecosystem of developers around your platform and APIs. More contents means more users means more profit.

6) Blizzard-Activision is jealous of Steam-Valve

Steam is that awesome distribution platform for games with 30 millions users but it is much more than that. Steam is a social network and develops quickly into a strong platform for developers (tools for achievements, anit-cheat, group matching, screenshots, inventory, user generated content, save game, etc...).

You won’t find Blizzard games on Steam and I suspect it is because Activision Blizzard see them as a future competitor. I also suspect Valve will create a MMO (or is in the process of).

What about TITAN MMO?

Not sure what would showcase the TITAN platform.
Some rumors say a MMOFPS and we will definitely see more of them in the future. If I had a “A team” though I would go for a virtual world where users creativity and sociability is the main focus (think Minecraft + Second Life done right) which would also be the best choice to show the potential of the platform. Whatever the MMO is I expect the health pool of the player to not significantly increase (horizontal versus vertical progression).

How likely is all that?

For all the reasons mentioned above it is simply the right thing and right time to do it. I only “leaked” a probable near future, like William Gibson says “the future is already there, it's jut not evenly distributed”.

If Blizzard won’t do a platform Valve is already at work. Most likely both will do it and that’s why I’m optimist in the future of virtual worlds. Interesting times ahead.

#blizzcon #titan #MMO #wow
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