Blizzard was reportedly working on another shooter set in the StarCraft universe, but the project has been canceled in favor of Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.
StarCraft Ghost, a third-person shooter with stealth elements, was Blizzard’s first attempt at expanding the franchise into the genre. The game, which would have featured the Terran Ghost named Nova, was announced with much hype in 2002, but after going through several developer changes and delays, it was canceled in 2006.
It appears that history has repeated itself in Blizzard, according to a report by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier.
Schreier, citing three sources familiar with Blizzard’s plans, reported that a StarCraft first-person shooter was in development for the past two years. However, it was shut down, with the studio telling staff that the move was made to allocate more resources to Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.
The project, which one of the sources described as “like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe,” was code-named Ares. The development team had reportedly built prototypes in which players, taking on the role of Terran marines, took down Zerg enemies. There were also plans to allow players to switch roles and play as part of the Zerg.
Ares entered development in 2017 as Blizzard’s attempt at StarCraft using the Overwatch engine. One source who saw the state of the project last year told Schreier that development was slow, but a second source said that its shutdown a couple of weeks ago was “a massive shock.” The third source said that the game was “looking quite good” at the time of its cancellation.
“We pour our hearts and souls into this work, and as players ourselves, we know how exciting it can be to see and know with certainty that a new project is coming. Knowing that changes or disappointments can happen doesn’t make it any less painful when we have to shelve a project or when an announcement doesn’t go as planned,” Blizzard said in a statement, without confirming that it indeed canceled a StarCraft shooter.
There were no layoffs due to the decision, as Blizzard told its employees working on Ares and on another unannounced mobile project that was also axed that they were moving to the teams working on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, which are expected to headline this year’s BlizzCon.
Diablo 4, which Blizzard denied was supposed to be part of BlizzCon 2018 but was scrapped at the last minute, will be important to the studio’s plans over the next few years, alongside Overwatch 2. The sequel to Overwatch is rumored to feature larger player vs. enemy elements, and has been described by sources as similar to Left 4 Dead.
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