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Blizzard Reportedly Cancels Another StarCraft Shooter

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It's Ghost all over again, it seems, as multiple sources have told Kotaku that Blizzard has cancelled project "Ares", apparently a first person shooter that's "like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe". The project was some 2 years along and, depending on which source you ask, was either looking good or that progress was coming along slowly.

As we all remember, StarCraft Ghost had a similar fate, although it made it through 4 years of development before being cancelled. The reported reason this new project was cancelled was so that Blizzard could put more focus into developing Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 (which are both expected to be announced at this year's BlizzCon), and the cancellation came as a "massive shock" to at least one of the developers when it was announced a few weeks ago.

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StarCraft: Ghost

The lead designer on Ares was Dustin Browder  (he was also the lead for SC2: Wings of Liberty and Heroes of the Storm) and it began as "an experiment to see what the team could do with StarCraft on the Overwatch engine" There were already prototypes set up where Terran marines could shoot Zerg, and there was even talk of potential playable Zerg as well.

This tweet is almost certainly related to the cancelled project, but the dev here wasn't necessarily one of the ones talking to Kotaku:

Blizzard also had this to say to Kotaku in reference to the cancelled game, but they didn't acknowledge any specifics or even that anything has been cancelled:

Quote

We don’t generally comment on unannounced projects but we will say the following:

We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes – including on multiple projects right now – but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development. As has been the case at Blizzard numerous times in the past, there is always the possibility that we’ll make the decision to not move forward on a given project. Announcing something before we feel it’s ready stands the risk of creating a lot of frustration and disappointment, both for our players and us, not to mention distraction and added pressure for our development teams.

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. We always make decisions about these things, regardless of the ultimate outcome or how things might be interpreted, based on our values, what we believe makes sense for Blizzard, and what we hope our players will enjoy the most. The work that goes into these projects – whether they ship or not – is extraordinarily valuable. It often leads to great things and helps foster a culture of experimentation here.

With all that said, we’re very much looking forward to revealing other things we’re working on when the time is right.

You should definitely head on over to the original Kotaku article and read it in full, as there's more detailed info about the whole matter.

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I dont understand Kotaku - Spinning up and cancelling projects before completion are typical and expected when working in technology. This is simply not a big deal and doesnt warrant the "whistleblower article" that kotaku loves to write...

 

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It's normal, there are likely more projects canceled than we know. Cancelling Starcraft shooter makes sense. Just another sci-fi shooter (or looter-shooter) on the market would have been rather generic, mainly to those unfamiliar with Starcraft brand. Going from RTS to shooter is a huge jump for many, so can't even cash in enough on nostalgia from RTS players.

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Looking forward to a shooter set in to the SC universe would be awesome!

To bad blizz dose not have the balls, exp or they just dont have the tech for what they have in mind or maybe they dont want to compete with Call of *filtered*.

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With all that has happen during the release of BFA, the sacking of over 800 people, the Blizzcon fiasco, the mobile gaming announcements, and the decline of sales revenue over the course of 2019 Blizzard really needs a new IP.  And setting all hopes on banking of the release of Classic should not be one of them imo.

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1 hour ago, Ragingwolf said:

With all that has happen during the release of BFA, the sacking of over 800 people, the Blizzcon fiasco, the mobile gaming announcements, and the decline of sales revenue over the course of 2019 Blizzard really needs a new IP.  And setting all hopes on banking of the release of Classic should not be one of them imo.

 

I don't think any rational person thinks they're counting on a re-release of a 15 year old game to keep the company afloat

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Anyone remember when Blizzard promised "Titan"?  Yet another cancelled game so they could focus on something else.

 

This isn't news, its game-dev-norm.

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19 minutes ago, Majeye said:

Anyone remember when Blizzard promised "Titan"?  Yet another cancelled game so they could focus on something else.

 

This isn't news, its game-dev-norm.

Well, they did use a lot of stuff from Titan to create Overwatch, so Overwatch can give you slightly the idea what could've been. Not everything went to waste there. It's too bad we probably won't be seeing anything from 'Ares', not counting Starcraft itself offcourse (the shooter-part).

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2 hours ago, darkinchworm said:

 

I don't think any rational person thinks they're counting on a re-release of a 15 year old game to keep the company afloat

For an increase of subbed players they would want for revenue purposes yes not just ingame microtransactions alone in BFA or any other franchise.  I'm trying not to be negative but I really don't see any shattering game news in the pipeline of any promising content, for any of their current franchises, that will increase sales and productivity for the remainder of the year.  Unless they can pull an Ace from the Sleeve at the next Blizzcon.

I'm just raising an eyebrow in regards of one of their own game devs walking out the door.  It might be just 1 today but what if more casually start breaking away from Blizzard?  And content production starts gradually becoming slower and slower for release via patch dates or release dates?  Do you as a player/consumer become satisfied with what content is given and wait patiently for the next possible set of content even if it should take more than 4 months to even 1-5 or more years?

Of course you can easily dismiss this if you want and say otherwise.

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On 6/7/2019 at 9:48 PM, darkinchworm said:

 

I don't think any rational person thinks they're counting on a re-release of a 15 year old game to keep the company afloat

No, Blizzard relies on Lootboxes and Mobile games. And on WoW of course.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard doesn't exist anymore in 10 years.

It happened to other companies. Lucas Arts. Maybe soon followed by Bioware.

Years upon years without a high quality game hopefully won't work forever.

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:50 PM, Arcling said:

It's normal, there are likely more projects canceled than we know. Cancelling Starcraft shooter makes sense. Just another sci-fi shooter (or looter-shooter) on the market would have been rather generic, mainly to those unfamiliar with Starcraft brand. Going from RTS to shooter is a huge jump for many, so can't even cash in enough on nostalgia from RTS players.

I disagree. I think that Starcraft would have a tremendous potential for an FPS. Consider a few options:

1. Mass PVE mode - You get like 50 ppl on a server and they choose between infantry units (perhaps other too). Their task is to survive a huge Zerg wave. If you add an option to actively control zerg tacics as a player, it would have been even more interesting.

2. Mass PVP mode - imagine something like WoW options for mass PVP, or Planetside type of stuff. Getting 3 playable races adn melee units might be tricky, but doable.

3. PVE campaign mode - a number of different missions where you go as different units. E.g. marine, which could go two ways - Painkiller or Alien vs Predator style. Other one could be stealth mission as a ghost, or another one assault-oriented as a marauder.

4. Team based PVP shooter - basically overwatch with SC roster. A number of intersting stuff comes to mind, with lots of potential for melee options.

Some of them could suck, sure. But some of them could rock, too.

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