Blizzard spent seven years trying to create a follow-up to its massive hit World of Warcraft, an effort that officially came to an end today, with the revelation that the project has been cancelled.
For analyst Michael Pachter — a regular commentator on the troubles and triumphs of big games companies and a confidante of many execs — the news is "a problem." Pachter is video game, social media, digital media and electronics analyst with Wedbush Securities.
"It is a blow, for sure," he told Polygon. "They need to stem WoW declines, and I am surprised that it took so long to make a decision."
Earlier today, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime explained why Titan was cancelled. "We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs," he said. "So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn't come together. We didn't find the fun. We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."
Pachter believes the cancellation will place pressure on Blizzard to find a replacement for World of Warcraft, which is ten years old this year. WoW's subscriber number has dropped to six million; down from a high of 12 million in 2010.
"At their lead time, there won't be a game for years," said Pachter. "So they have to deal with inevitable declines in revenues and no new game on the horizon. I think it is a problem."