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Blizzard resets development of Titan, its next-generation MMO (update)

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment is going back to the drawing board for its next-generation massively multiplayer online game, codenamed Titan, according to a report from VentureBeat that says development on the game has been "reset."

According to the report, Blizzard has whittled down the 100-person Titan development team to just 30 staffers, reassigning the rest to other projects. VentureBeat says that the "core team" has hit the reset button on the next-gen MMO, which is now expected no earlier than 2016.

A dramatic reassessment of an in-development game is certainly not out of character for Blizzard. It has massively overhauled games like the original StarCraft and Diablo 3, games that were once vastly different from their final products. It has outright canceled announced titles like Warcraft Adventures and many more unannounced games (Pax Imperia, Denizen, Nomad), while putting others on indefinite hold (StarCraft Ghost).

Blizzard Entertainment officially acknowledged the existence of a next-generation MMO in 2007 as it began recruiting talent to develop the game, but the company has revealed few details about its plans. The game, which executives have said is not a sequel to World of Warcraft, but can co-exist with Blizzard's fantasy MMO, and has "more broad appeal," was at one point rumored to be released by 2014.

Polygon has contacted Blizzard seeking comment on the status of its next-gen MMO.

Blizzard has announced a handful of projects already in development, including the free-to-play online collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, ports of Diablo 3 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Blizzard All-Stars and another expansion for StarCraft 2, titled Legacy of the Void.

Update: Blizzard says it's making some "large design and technology changes" to its unannounced MMO in a statement.

"We've always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception," a Blizzard spokesperson told Polygon. "We've come to a point where we need to make some large design and technology changes to the game. We're using this opportunity to shift some of our resources to assist with other projects while the core team adapts our technology and tools to accommodate these new changes. Note that we haven't announced any dates for the MMO."

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