Titan (canceled game)

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Screenshot mock-up, with World of Warcraft HUD superimposed.
"Ensemble has been wanting to make an MMO for a long time. That was in production for a long time. The Halo IP was a great IP to launch an MMO with. Microsoft... hasn't had the best track record with those.
And we worked on it for a long time--we had staffed up an almost-40 person team. And then there was some reorganization at Microsoft, and the new bosses thought it wasn't the best idea anymore. It had actually been green-lit, and then it got cancelled after that.
— Dave Pottinger[1]

Titan was the codename for a canceled Halo massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Ensemble Studios between 2004 and 2007.[2] Following the project's cancellation in 2007, Ensemble Studios focused all of its resources into developing Halo Wars.


Titan was a prototype game developed to compete against Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. The project was internally cancelled in mid-to-late 2007 with no formal announcement of its development by Microsoft.[3] The game was to have been set in the Forerunner-era.[4]

Around 40 staff in three teams worked on Titan while other Ensemble's staff focused on developing Halo Wars, though one team remained on the project for six months.[1][3] During the early stages of Titan's development, Ensemble took inspiration from World of Warcraft's general structure and gameplay.[5] The project was said to be radically different in the later stages, exploring then-novel concepts and gameplay additions such as "heroic stylized artform" and cover system (later used in Star Wars: The Old Republic), and public quests (later used in Warhammer: Online). Instead of mana points as used in World of Warcraft, a character's special ability energy was referred to as psion.[6]

By the time of the project's cancellation in 2007, Ensemble had a server infrastructure for the game, a World of Warcraft-scale gameplay zone and many of the vehicle and gunplay mechanics in a playable state.[7]

Concept art[edit]

The descriptions in the following sections are based on the gallery of images and, as such, might not be entirely accurate. This concept was an exploration of what would and wouldn't work in the game, so many of these ideas would not reach the final product had it been completed.[8]




Assault was intended to be a human class.


Forerunners were intended to be a playable class.


Marine was intended to be a human class.


A Mimic was an unknown female humanoid creature. Their name and concept art implies that the Mimic could shapeshift into various forms.


PSIs were an intended class. It is unknown what their role was though they appear to be humans with some level of augmentations.


The Rogue was intended to be a human class. One may presume that these individuals were designed to have expertise in stealth combat as in other role-playing games.


HaloMMO Spy (class).jpg

The Spy was intended to be a human class . One may presume that these individuals were designed to have expertise in espionage.



Demons were an unknown alien race.



Diggerz were an extra-terrestrial animal species. It appeared to be an armored, bioluminescent biped with clawed forearms that served to improve digging capabilities, hence its name.

Jaggmaw Sailtail[edit]


The Jaggmaw Sailtail was an animal used for transporting characters around on their backs. It bore a notable physical resemblance to the Blind Wolf, a species that was cut from Halo: Combat Evolved.



The Mob appear to have been intended to be a new species. The creature bears a strong resemblance to Earth's boars.



The Sentients appear to have been a new species. They appear to have been a humanoid species with mechanical attributes, such as reverse jointed limbs and visors for faces.


Sigmas were apparently a new species of extraterrestrials that were intended to appear in Titan. Some of the Sigmas seen in concept art are decidedly human in appearance, while others have more distinct alien features. Not much is known about them other than the male and female genders each had a distinctive physical appearance.




The Aardvark was a human vehicle intended to be featured in the cancelled Halo MMO. It resembles the Wolverine from Ensemble's later Halo Wars.


Titan - 2 Tickets to the Gun Show.jpg

"2 Tickets to the Gun Show" was the developer name of a vehicle intended for inclusion in the untitled Halo MMO. A variant of the Warthog, it was apparently to be used by law enforcement, as evidenced by the word "POLICE" printed backwards on the hood of the vehicle. As can be seen in the concept art, there appear to be two seats mounted on the back of the vehicle, each with its own turret. This brings the passenger capacity of "2 Tickets to the Gun Show" to four.



The Grackle was a human motorcycle, which was going to be featured in the untitled Halo MMO


Rhino aircraft.jpg

The Rhino was a human vehicle, intended to be featured in the canceled Halo MMO. It was intended to be used as a gunship. It bears a notable resemblance to the Pelican dropship, though with added missiles, rotary machine guns or autocannons, a thruster over its tail section, and enlarged wings with built-in ducted-air fans. It may have been the conceptual inspiration of the Sparrowhawk, a craft that ultimately filled a similar role in Halo Wars.

Runner-class transport[edit]

Runner-class ship.jpg

The Runner-class transport was a Covenant naval vessel designed to transport the Hierarchs, known to be featured in Titan. One such Runner-class ship was known as the Throne Warden. It was completely manned by the Sangheili, and had a limited planet-to-planet travel distance, with no system-to-system slipspace drives.

Scorpion tanks[edit]

Two Scorpion tank variants were intended for the cancelled Halo MMO. Both variants had more of a stylized design that caused the tank to closer resemble the animal from which the tank's moniker derives. The "Lash" Scorpion sports a brown/yellow color scheme and a longer "tail" whereas the "Venom" Scorpion sports a grey/blue color scheme and a shorter "tail".

Forerunner Warthog-like vehicle[edit]

An unknown Forerunner Warthog-like vehicle was set to appear, depicted in several concept art. It is similar in appearance to the aforementioned Aardvark.

Covenant aircraft[edit]

This Covenant aircraft was set to appear in the game. It would seemingly serve as a mobile aircraft platform, for deploying Banshee units. This concept art was also utilized during the production of Halo Wars.[9]


Forerunner combat armor[edit]

The Forerunner combat armor was an armored suit in the game. The armor was designed for Forerunner use but due to humans and Forerunners being the same in Titan, the armor could also be worn by humans.

Mjolnir combat armor[edit]

These unknown Mjolnir armor models were variations of MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor for Spartans in the game. They superficially resemble the Mark VI, albeit with anime- or manga-like stylization. Several variations were designed, one of which had a chainsaw in place of the left hand.



  1. ^ a b Shack News: Age of Empires Dev Ensemble Speaks Out on Studio Closure, Microsoft, and the Cancelled Halo MMO
  2. ^ IncGamers: Windstorm's Dusty Monk Interview - Part One - Page 2 (Dusty Monk: "For two years, before we all moved onto Halo Wars, we were working on an MMO prototype, and it was codenamed Titan.")
  3. ^ a b Gamasutra: Exclusive: Ensemble Studios' Canceled Project Was Halo MMO
  4. ^ Twitter: Graeme Devine's response - It’s long canceled along with Ensemble, was set in the age of the Forerunners.
  5. ^ IncGamers: Windstorm's Dusty Monk Interview - Part One - Page 3 (Dusty Monk: "We weren't necessarily making WoW in space, but we were certainly adopting a lot of the things that we saw working in World of Warcraft and then putting it in a sci-fi genre.")
  6. ^ Gamasutra: Exclusive: Ensemble Studios' Canceled Project Was Halo MMO (Michael Zenke: "The character pane shows a health bar and 'mana' -- or Psion, as is referred to in this title... The upper right icons are for basic character functions.")
  7. ^ Twitter: Rob Fermier's response - There was a lot more than just concept art - we had a server infrastructure, a built out WoW-scale zone, lots of vehicle & gunplay mechanics adapted to MMO scale. Mind you this was all back in 2007 so at the time much of that territory was still unexplored.
  8. ^ Twitter: Rob Fermier's response - BTW most of that concept art is exploration of what does, and doesn't work, in the game. It would definitely be a mistake to assume that it'd all end up in a shipping version of the game exactly like that.
  9. ^ Artstation - Halo Wars, Ed Lee Art