As early as 2007, rumors have been spreading about an online MMO version of hit Xbox franchise HALO. The rumors were confirmed eventually, but it was canned when Ensemble Studios (not Bungie) disbanded. Just recently, Blizzard Entertainment once again stressed that its secret in-development MMO, codenamed “Titan”, will be “different” from World of Warcraft, leading to speculations that it will be an online shooter of sorts. So how does Ensemble Studios and Blizzard fit into this supposedly web of secrets? One of China’s top gaming industry website, GameLook, finds out. Please note that this is just a rumor with no exact evidence.
1. In 1995, Ensemble Studios was founded and eventually came under Microsoft’s wings in 2001 until its demise in 2009. The studio’s main titles include the Age of Empires series and HALO Wars.
2. Note that the studio which created HALO 1, 2 and 3 was Bungie, but Bungie then left Microsoft in 2007, hence HALO Wars was developed by Ensemble Studios.
3. After Ensemble Studios disbanded, it was revealed that the developer was working on a HALO online game, with a prototype available for testing (below) and some artwork done (source).
4. The actual codename for the HALO online game was not actually HALO Universe, but “Titan” (source).
5. Is this a coincidence? Considering that ex-Ensemble staff were quoted to use the HALO online game and challenge World of Warcraft.
6. Some staff from the disbanded Ensemble Studios actually joined Blizzard Entertainment, but not much was heard of what they are actually working on. Is it “Titan”?
7. Bungie, which created the first 3 HALO games, signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision Blizzard just last year. Effectively, Bungie had become sort of a seed company under the mega publisher, which is also the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment. Is it possible that both Bungie and Ensemble are working together behind the scenes on “Titan”?
8. In an interview last year, World of Warcraft’s co-designer, Rob Pardo, said Blizzard Entertainment is “open to assisting a Bungie MMO” (source).
9. Past alumni from Blizzard went on to make games such as Hellgate: London and the recent Firefall, both are which online shooters. Are they preparing to conquer the market before “Titan” is released?
10. With all these elements, including ex-Ensemble staff, Bungie, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision Blizzard and the “Titan” codenames, will it be indeed a MMOFPS of sorts?