In September, Blizzard CCO Rob Pardo happily confided that the development team on the company’s Titan MMO had grown to over 100. Since then, however, 70 of those staff have reassigned to other projects, and a core team of 30 have set about making huge revisions to the game’s design.
A report from VentureBeat suggests a recent internal review led Blizzard to rethink its still-unannounced follow-up to WoW after concerns about its quality.
In a statement, Blizzard spokesman Shon Damron said: “We’ve always had a highly iterative development process, and the unannounced MMO is no exception. 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.”
The reassigned developers will be variously put to work on Blizzard All-Stars, Battle.net, WoW, cinematics, and Diablo 3’s first expansion.
Blizzard’s have the luxury of deep pockets: they’re in the enviable position of being able to pull a game back to pre-production rather than release that most expensive of failures – a subpar MMO. Note that Diablo 3 went through a number of revisions before its eventual release last summer, and a substantial live team continues to mould the game into better shape a year on.