Ten years after the StarCraft II saga started and five after its final episode, Blizzard have announced they’re winding down development. They still plan to tweak balance, but won’t be making new paid content. Not putting a pillow over its spaceface, but shuffling it off to a spacehome. Their announcement also muttered about thinking about what’s next for StarCraft, though I wouldn’t take that as them announcing a sequel or anything just yet.
Blizzard executive producer said in Thursday’s post that they plan to “continue supporting StarCraft II in the same manner as we have with our previous longstanding games, such as Brood War, focusing primarily on what our core and competitive communities care about most.” Which means new seasons and “necessary balance fixes” but no new paid content, like the co-op Commanders or the ‘War Chest’ battle passes which help fill tournament prize pools. He also said they won’t release a balance patch for the end of this year “given that we did one a few months ago”.
I suppose this isn’t a huge surprise. Blizzard tend to keep updating games for years rather than pumping out sequels, but it’s had a fair run and faced far stiffer competition in the realm of digital sports than StarCraft: Brood War ever did.
“We know some of our players have been looking forward to some of the things we’re moving away from,” Bridenbecker said, “but the good news is this change will free us up to think about what’s next, not just with regard to StarCraft II, but for the StarCraft universe as a whole.”
I mean sure, if you’re not doing anything, I guess you have loads of time to think. He did not hint at what they might be thinking of.
Blizzard made the first SC2 episode, Wings Of Liberty, free for everyone in 2017. The last big blast of singleplayer SC2 was 2016’s Nova Covert Ops, an episodic mission pack starring the psychic spacespy whose own game, StarCraft: Ghost, was megacancelled. Speaking of, rumour has it that a Blizzard team had been working on a Battlefield-style FPS set in the StarCraft universe.