Skip to main content

Frost Giant wants Stormgate to be Elden Ring for RTS games

Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

Blizzard Entertainment put itself on the map with fantastic real-time strategy (RTS) games like Warcraft III and Starcraft. Blizzard moved away from making RTS games, and many developers who worked on those classics left the company during its past few tumultuous years. Frost Giant Studios is one of the teams that subsequently banded together and is made up of alumni from titles like Warcraft III, Starcraft, and Starcraft II. Frost Giant finally revealed its first game, a free-to-play sci-fi RTS game called Stormgate, during Summer Game Fest’s kickoff showcase.

Ahead of its official reveal, I attended an event for Stormgate, where I learned more about Frost Giant’s vision for the title. While Frost Giant didn’t show gameplay, it talked up its bold vision for a revolutionary RTS title that makes the core formula Blizzard helped establish more approachable. It’s certainly very ambitious for a game that’s several years out and doesn’t have a large community just yet.

Opening the Stormgate 

Stormgate is a postapocalyptic sci-fi RTS game set in a world where demons called the Infernal invaded the earth and humanity’s Resistance fights to survive in high-tech mech suits that look suspiciously like D.Va’s armor. While Frost Giant isn’t ready to show gameplay in action just yet, it promises a traditional RTS experience that should please the old-school genre’s fans. Players face off against each other with large armies and harvest resources, upgrade units, and build bases along the way. It will feature a campaign, 1v1 and 3v3 competitive modes, and a cooperative mode that will support up to three players. Tools for player-created content are also in development, as Frost Giant acknowledged that custom games are a big part of the genre’s success.

Infernal demons attack the Resistance in Stormgate.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Frost Giant also discussed how the developers want the game to be much more accessible than many games in the genre. The main way Frost Giant will make the RTS more approachable is by simplifying the UI. In Stormgate, players don’t have to memorize complicated series of button presses if they want to do things like select a whole group of units, use multiple unit abilities at once, train units, or upgrade buildings. These moves or functions will usually be one button press away on the keyboard or in Stormgate’s menus, which Frost Giant hopes will make more casual players try competitive games or esports. That mention of esports speaks to Frost Giant’s bold ambitions for this title. 

Emulating Elden Ring

Stormgate is still years away from a 1.0 release, but Frost Giant already has bold expectations for its community, reception, and esports scene. Namely, Frost Giant CEO and Production Director Tim Morten wants Stormgate to be the next Elden Ring.

“A big part of Elden Ring’s success was that core players of the original Dark Souls helped spread the word that Elden Ring was more approachable than the Dark Souls games that came before it,” he explained. “At the same time, it kept the core elements of gameplay that many Dark Souls players had come to love. What we’re trying to do with Stormgate is build a game that is true to the legacy of RTS, but provides more approachable ways for players to get into the game, and it’s our hope that the RTS community will embrace it and create an Elden Ring moment for RTS.”

Infernal and Resistance fight in Stormgate.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Frost Giant already has ambitious esports plans for Stormgate, too, as tools to make competitive tournaments and spectating matches are features built right into the game. It even plans to kick-start the esports scene during beta testing. Considering Elden Ring is one of the most successfully and critically acclaimed games of 2022 and that it will be competing with big esports games like League of Legends, those are high bars for Frost Giant to set for itself when the game isn’t even in the hands of players yet.

Still, esports and critical acclaim tend to come when games focus on the fundamentals to make a good product and don’t overzealously promise a genre-changing release before gameplay has been shown. Frost Giant has the talent to pull a game like that off, but it’s too early for me to buy into that “Elden Ring moment” mentality for Stormgate just yet. Stormgate won’t begin beta testing until mid-to-late 2023, so it will be a while before we’ll know if any of these lofty claims will pay off. If it is a rousing success like Frost Giant hopes, the studio teased in our meeting that it has ideas for updates through 2027. 

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Summer Game Fest: our 10 favorite games we saw and played
A combat encounter in Armored Core 6

Digital Trends attended Summer Game Fest Play Days once again this year, as well as events held by Xbox and Ubisoft, and we were able to play demos of a variety of upcoming games from all corners of the industry. We played or saw a hands-off demo of over 30 games slated to release throughout the next year or so. From new entries in long-running series like Mortal Kombat or Armored Core to more quirky and experimental indies that are pushing the video game medium forward, there was a lot for us to like at this Summer Game Fest Play Days and its surrounding events.
Still, we talked and narrowed things down to our ten favorites so you could have a succinct list of some of the best-looking video games that are on the horizon. In no particular order- with the exception of our Game of the Show - here are our 10 favorite games we played last week as part of Summer Game Fest.
Game of the Show: Cocoon

It’s incredibly difficult to describe what makes Cocoon so special; it’s truly one of those games you need to actually play to understand. The atmospheric, insect-themed adventure game transported me to another world entirely during my demo session, letting me get fully lost in its sci-fi ambiance. Part of that is due to the astonishingly tight game design that had me traversing its visually striking environments and naturally solving puzzles with no explanation necessary. It’s an experience that stuck with me long after I put the controller down, and I wasn’t the only one. It was the one game on my peers’ tongues all weekend, as both press and content creators couldn’t stop praising it despite not being able to describe why. That makes it an easy pick for our game of the show, beating out some impressive Titans on this list. ~ Giovanni Colantonio
Armored Core VI: Flames of Rubicon

Read more
Armored Core VI lives up to post-Elden Ring FromSoftware expectations
A boss fight in Armored Core 6.

I don’t envy the position FromSoftware is in with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. It’s the first title since the release of Elden Ring, a monumental, critically acclaimed title considered one of the studio’s best. It’s also reviving a series that hasn’t been seen in a decade for modern platforms and game audiences. On top of those things, because this isn’t a Souls game, a microscope will be on the title as FromSoftware fans scrutinize if it’s as good as other games, while Souls haters will wonder if this is finally a good FromSoftware jumping on point for them.

ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON — Gameplay Trailer

Read more
Everything announced at Meta Quest Gaming Showcase 2023
Key art for the VR version of Samba de Amigo

The first big gaming showcase of June is here, and it gave us a look at what's next for games made for the Meta Quest family of VR headsets. It was an important showcase too, as the Meta Quest Pro came out last year to very muted results, the idea of the metaverse is fading in its relevancy, and the Meta Quest 3 headset is going to release this fall. During this showcase, Meta tried t reaffirm why people should care about owning one of its VR headsets.

It did so mainly by revealing VR follow-ups to popular IP. Games like Samba de Amigo, The 7th Guest, and Bulletstorm are being remade in VR. Meanwhile, well-known IP like Stranger Things, Attack on Titan, and Assassin's Creed are also making the jump to virtual reality as well, and as sequel to Asgard's Wrath is in the works. A lot was revealed during the preshow and actual showcase, so rounded up everything that was revealed for you right here.

Read more