Overwatch is gathering steam, but the development group responsible hasn’t always been sitting on a hot ticket.
Overwatch team “failed horrifically” on cancelled MMO, says designer
Overwatch is being developed by the same Blizzard team behind Titan, an MMO which never even made it to the announcement stage.
Speaking to Gamespot, Overwatch designer Jeff Kaplan reflected on the team’s transition from one of Blizzard’s few known failures to its ambitious hero shooter.
“You had a really amazing group that was working on Titan. They were really talented individuals, but we failed horrifically in every way. In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating,” he said.
The full interview is well worth a read and a watch; Kaplan goes on to describe the pressure of working at a hit-driven studio like Blizzard while “sitting on the smoking pile of a cancelled project”.
“I think there was this inward embarrassment of like, ‘No, we need to prove that we’re worthy of being at Blizzard too. We can make something that makes the company proud,'” he said.
“We saw it as a last chance. We use the phrase often, ‘You’re only as good as your last game,’ so you don’t get big headed … my most recent game was an utter failure called Titan that got cancelled. [We asked], ‘What can I do next to prove that’s not who I am?'”
The fallout of this process was Overwatch, Blizzard’s first shooter, and first modern sim-ship on PC and consoles. Overwatch releases in May, and that’s when we’ll find out if the Titan team has turned its fortunes around, but the buzz around the beta certainly suggests it might be on to something.