Cancelled MMO that spawned Overwatch team "failed horrifically" says Kaplan | PCGamesN

Cancelled MMO that spawned Overwatch team "failed horrifically" says Kaplan


Overwatch, Blizzard's hot new multiplayer shooter set to roll into the public's grabby hands next month, wasn't always such a hot ticket.

Need a refresher on Blizzard's latest? Here's a comprehensive guide to Overwatch.

As Jeff Kaplan explained in a video made by GameSpot (watch it, it is honestly very good) the game sprang from the ashes of the Warcraft developer's canned MMO 'Titan'.

"You had a really amazing group that was working on Titan," Kaplan told GameSpot's Danny O'Dwyer. "They were really talented individuals, but we failed horrifically in every way ... In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating."

The game director for Overwatch went on to explain that the pressure mounted on the team by virtue of the success of everything else Blizzard touched, and the people on Titan just weren't used to failure.

"Having that level of confidence shattered is shocking. But in a weird way, it was the most bonding moment for this group," Kaplan said. "So when it came to move to Overwatch there was an extremely tight bond on the team and a ravenous hunger to show the world that we’re not failures and we can make something really fun."

Early reports, from ourselves and others lucky enough to make it into the game's closed beta, suggest they've bounced back from such a devastating low. The rest of the world can judge for themselves on May 24 when Overwatch releases worldwide.

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AnAuldWolf avatar
AnAuldWolf Avatar
2 Years ago

I'm not surprised. I don't think Blizzard's ever really known what it's doing with itself and that's been more and more evident in each passing decade. And that doesn't mean anything other than what it means. The vast majority of what they've done since the 16-bit games is a whole lot of "That's neat, let's do that in a way we think is better."

Of course, that then turned into "That's neat, let's do that in a way we think is better. And use the social sciences to get people weirdly addicted to it." I've mentioned before that loads of Blizzard job postings require experience in psychology and/or social engineering. That's just their thing.

And it's not really working any more. It had magic at one point, as things sometimes do as the human is an easily swayed beast that doesn't always think for itself. Thus tides will form and rise, then fall. I think it's a matter of adapting to the methods by which the largest numbers of people are manipulated, really. I've read so many WoW fans go on about how they want the buzz of 'old WoW' and that they can't find it in anything else. That's because the brain adapts to being tweaked by outside influences, so you can't keep using the same old tricks.

It's like NLP. The more that enters into the public consciousness, the less it's actually working for the kind of predatory sociopaths who weaponise it.

And now, Blizzard are being seen more and more as what I've labelled them as in the first paragraph. A team devoted to copying things, and later copying things and addicting people to them. I've never seen them have an original idea, really. We all know that Warcraft and Starcraft are just reskinned Warhammer properties, or we should.

I don't even know how popular Overwatch is going to be, really. That's just Blizzard copying the trends without really adding anything new. Now that their social engineering efforts are becoming less and less effective, they're going to see less and less profits.

And people are going to ask themselves what it is, exactly, that defines a "good" Blizzard game. And Blizzard's efforts to make what may be a "good" Blizzard game are going to be more difficult than ever.

So this isn't a surprise.