On June 5, 2019, we reported on a story covering the supposed cancellation of a Blizzard game that was in the works for two years. A now former-employee expressed dismay over the fact that the project would never see the light of day. At the time, the identity of the unfinished game was mysterious, but a Kotaku report has spilled the beans on the canceled project: It was a first-person shooter in the StarCraft series. Yep, you read that correctly.
As we reported, the project was canceled so the company could focus more on profitability, and we know have a better idea of which projects Blizzard is prioritizing: Diablo 4 and an Overwatch followup. Here’s what Jason Schreier from Kotaku had to say about the two upcoming projects:
Nobody was laid off as a result of the cancelation, and according to two staff, Blizzard told the team that Ares was getting axed (alongside a second unannounced mobile project) so that the company could move many of them to the upcoming Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, both of which are expected to be Blizzard’s marquee announcements at this year’s BlizzCon. (Of course, as we saw last year, when it comes to BlizzCon announcements, anything can change.)
Both of those games will be key parts of Blizzard’s strategy in the years to come. We reported extensively on Diablo 4, code-named Fenris, late last year, and what we’ve heard about Overwatch 2 (or whatever it winds up being called) is that it’ll have a large PVE element. (A couple of Blizzard people have compared it to Left 4 Dead.)
In regards to the cancelled StarCraft title, it was reported to play like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe, which sounds like it could have been incredibly fun. The Kotaku report notes that:
The team had built prototypes in which the player, as a Terran marine, could gun down Zerg aliens, and there were plans to experiment with playable Zerg as well. Although one person who saw builds of the game last year told me that it seemed like development progress was slow, a second said it came as “a massive shock” when Blizzard canceled it a couple of weeks ago. A third person said it was “looking quite good.”
It seems like Blizzard is buckling down on its current projects, even going so far as to skipping Gamescom this year to focus on development. It’s also quite telling that the StarCraft game was canceled, because it was either in rough shape, or was not deemed to be a profitable business endeavor. Either way, it’s sad we won’t get to see the final product because it sounds like it would have been really cool.
What do you make of this story? Is it surprising to you that it was cancelled? Let us know!