Warcraft’s main claim to fame came from being the breakout success of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, dominating the genre for nearly a decade after its 2004 release. For many people, however (myself included), our first experience of Azeroth was from the top down, in Blizzard’s Warcraft series of real-time strategy games.
With StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void nearly upon us, many fans have been wondering if Warcraft might receive another RTS entry to follow 2002’s Warcraft III (and its 2003 expansion, The Frozen Throne). Blizzard is aware of our interest, and will absolutely consider it once StarCraft II is wrapped up, according to an interview that IGN conducted with Legacy of the Void producer Tim Morten at Gamescom.
“This isn’t the end of StarCraft, but it’s the end of this story for these characters,” he said. “We don’t have any specific plans, but I’ll say that the universe has so much potential for more stories, clearly other stories could be told.
“It’s very rewarding for us to hear that there’s demand out there for more RTS content in the Warcraft universe so once we’re done with Void I think we’ll get together as a team and talk about what would inspire us to work on next. There’s no question, though, that we’ll consider Warcraft, StarCraft, or even new ideas. Anything is possible.”
That is admittedly pretty far from a confirmation of any kind, but it’s nice to know that the studio is considering the idea, which seemed to be off the table for quite a few years while World of Warcraft was thriving.
Although StarCraft would become Blizzard’s signature RTS, and one of the most iconic games of the genre, the studio’s first foray was 1994’s Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Along with its even more popular 1995 sequel, Tides of Darkness, Warcraft helped define the RTS genre during its 90s boom, culminating in StarCraft. Unlike StarCraft, the Warcraft series never caught on in the serious competitive scene, but its design influence is still felt in gaming. Warcraft III introduced hero units, which became the foundation for the whole MOBA genre when they were utilized in an extremely popular mod, Defense of the Ancients (aka Dota).
It’s impossible to say yet how long we may have to wait for another Warcraft RTS, but you can be sure that until then I’ll be muttering to myself like an overworked peon.