Titan (canceled game)

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Screenshot mock-up, with World of Warcraft HUD superimposed.
Another interface prototype.
"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.

Overview[edit]

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).[6] Instead of mana points as used in World of Warcraft, a character's special ability energy was referred to as psion.[7]

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.[8]

Concept art[edit]

During the game's development, a number of concepts were produced by Ensemble Studios. The full concept art gallery can be viewed here.

Screenshots[edit]

In 2008, user "goneisgone" uploaded an album of images of the Titan prototype to a Flickr gallery. These images are archived below, and can also be found here.

World[edit]

Weapons[edit]

Vehicles[edit]

Armor[edit]

Characters[edit]

Visual effects[edit]

Sources[edit]

  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 (link defunct, archive available here) - (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. ^ IncGamers: Cancelled Halo MMO Details (link defunct, archive available here
  7. ^ 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.")
  8. ^ 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.