Our nice friends Robert Seddon and Batzarro have linked us to an intersting news that was spotted on Game Set Watch and Gamasutra, that talks about the find of some screenshots from “Titan Project”, an HALO inspired Massive Multiplayer Online game that was in development at Ensemble Studios, but was cancelled in 2007.
Ensemble Studios has recently closed (for financial problems?) after they had finished to work on Halo Wars and a supposed former employer of the team has started to share screens and some infos about the cancelled games that he worked on. On his Flickr Account we can see a wonderfull collection of images from Titan, and on his blog we can read that: “In 2005 Ensemble Studios completed Age of Empires III. Following that, several game prototypes (a major one was ‘Wrench’, more at a later point) were developed. One of them was a Halo inspired MMO codenamed Titan; cancelled after around two years in June 2007.”
We’ll try to follow Goneisgone updates to find about more previusly unknow cancelled games, but keep an eye on his blog because he’s doing a wonderfull work and thanks to him we are able to save screens and infos that could have been lost forever! In the meantime, take a look at all these nice screens from Titan / HALO MMO, stored in the Unseen Archive for preservation purpose. Huge props to Goneisgone for the sharing!
Also, IncGamers had an interview with an Ex-Ensemble Studios staffer, in which we can read some more info about the project:
You have to remember that Ensemble came from a standpoint of being really good at competing against Blizzard Entertainment,” he noted, drawing comparisons between the success of the Warcraft series and the success of the Age of Empires series. “We had a pretty good history of knowing the types of stuff that Blizzard put into their games to make them really successful, and the kinds of things we’d need to put into an MMO to compete against Blizzard. [...]
Just to give you a couple of examples,” Monk elaborated, “we were using a heroic stylised artform. This heroic stylised artform is exactly the artform that you see being used in Star Wars: The Old Republic right now. It’s timeless. It doesn’t age itself like a game that’s built with a strictly realistic artform does. [...]
So what happened to the Halo MMO? “There was a bit of a changing of the guard at Microsoft at this time,” explains Monk. “Microsoft, from its gaming division, was really changing directions. They were looking really hard at the Nintendo Wii and they were really excited by the numbers that the Wii was turning. This was about the time that Microsoft decided that its Xbox platform and XBLA really needed to go more in the direction of appealing to a more casual, broader audience
Thanks to Userdante for the contribution!