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How Blizzard Turned Titan's Failure into Overwatch's Success(?)

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Flux, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Nothing about Diablo 3, but an article in the LA Times shares some interesting info about how Blizzard cancelled the long-developing Titan, the turned the game assets and team into Overwatch. Obviously no one can rule Overwatch a success (or failure) yet, but early reviews and beta testing reports are very positive. At any rate, it's more of a success than the cancelled Titan.

    Blizzard Entertainment spent millions of dollars and more than five years designing a vast, ambitious video game only to realize that it wasn't fun. The project, code-named Titan, "utterly, completely and miserably" failed, according to the guy who ran it, veteran designer Jeffrey Kaplan. Higher-placed executives killed Titan in early 2013, long before it was ready for the general public. Kaplan felt crushed. But Blizzard didn't fire him. It didn't demote him. Instead, the Irvine company put him in charge of another huge project.

    ...

    Titan numbered 150 workers. "Overwatch" has 80. Kaplan counts no magical number. Rather, he stayed tightknit enough to minimize bureaucracy and maximize individual creativity. "You don't want to create an army," he said.

    Another Titan lesson: Unshackle the team. The Titan crew was suffused with tension because of frustrating constraints, including most vividly a ban on virtual "flying cars." Kaplan's cheeky "Overwatch" response is the project's lone arbitrary rule: Every car must fly.

    ...

    Feedback also has come from new sources. "Overwatch" is the first game for which Blizzard created an internal online forum, allowing the entire studio to collaborate.

    The collegial spirit has spread. Blizzard's quality assurance testers focus on certain games but constitute a separate department. Kaplan, though, included the 14 "Overwatch" testers in his team meetings to the point where there was little separation. So when quality assurance managers gave "Overwatch" testers cash to party, the testers organized an internal tournament for the game for the entire development team, buying pizza and beers for the championship.​


    The article is for the financial section, so there's nothing about how Titan's art assets and programming were recycled into Overwatch; instead the article focuses on the organizational issues and how the bosses chose not to fire everyone. But I found interesting the bits about the internal forum, and how the QA team was included in the full dev meetings. Maybe they'll do more of that with Diablo 4, and we'll get a great game from launch, instead of requiring a year of patching to elevate the quality to that level?

    Any of you guys doing some Overwatch beta testing over the holidays, and appreciating Blizzard's repurposing of the game that never was?
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
  2. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    That's a neat article and story. Blizzard decided to learn from a previous mistake where they pushed out a questionable product and start over. That gives me good hope that blizzard is still a good company and will continue to put out good products.

    The overwatch closed beta has actually been shut down for the past couple weeks. It is supposed to start up again some time after the new year though.

    I have played it a ton, and it's a super fun game and a quality product. Really looking forward to the release!
     
  3. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse IncGamers Member

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    i really wish i could of seen what titan would of been. the best part of overwatch to me is the characters.
     
  4. Cipherthros

    Cipherthros IncGamers Member

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    I'm looking forward to jumping into this game when it launches. I'm looking forward even more though to hearing things like this about how Titan became Overwatch over the coming years.

    Most importantly though I'm looking forward to 2.4 launching & what may be coming after that for our beloved Diablo. :)
     
  5. Silverfang

    Silverfang IncGamers Member

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    "Seems like they’re back on track for making what the audience actually wants, though."

    Let's hope your impression is right and Blizz finds its way back to its roots. The articles leaves more of a taste of whitewashing the influence of the corporate perspective in my mouth, though, thus intensifying my doubts of this happening.
     
  6. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    for $60 ??? no thanks
     
  7. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    didn't get into the beta -- but tried to watch it on twitch -- too flashy -- difficult to follow the combat and team strategy -- couldn't follow anything really --- but watching Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or H1Z1 PvP is SO MUCH more entertaining -- and this game is $60 -- I just don't see how they can charge that much for it
     
  8. Silverfang

    Silverfang IncGamers Member

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    Reinventing oneself takes time and tends to fail, if forced. That Blizz goes the way of only repeating, what has worked before, like developers under Publishers like EA or Ubisoft are compelled to do, is nothing any core gamer could honestly want.
     
  9. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    It's actually only $40. One of the special editions is $60.
     
  10. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse IncGamers Member

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    we already have the diablo expansion. they just gave it to us over the last 3 patches
     
  11. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse IncGamers Member

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    impossible to call it a fail at this stage. you might not enjoy it but luckily for them their success does not rest solely on your shoulders.


    that being said i also was more excited for it prior to playing. after having played overwatch and battleborn i am now more interested in the latter
     
  12. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    well, 40 is better, and I have heard other streamers say they love the game, but it's just too flashy and fast for me -- I just didn't see any real strategy or teamwork in any of the streams I saw -- at least not to the extent I see in other games
     

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