Kotaku is reporting this morning that Blizzard has cancelled work on a first-person shooter set in the StarCraft universe in order to focus on other projects.
Those projects? Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, both of which are tipped to make at least some kind of appearance at this year's BlizzCon fan-gathering in Anaheim, Los Angeles.
Code-named Ares, the StarCraft shooter was described by Kotaku's sources as being like “Battlefield in the StarCraft universe”. The team had developed a prototype where a Terran marine went face to face with the Zerg, while plans to allow players to assume that latter race were also in development.
If the rumours are correct, staff have now been diverted from this two year old project onto teams dedicated to creating Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. The team working on Blizzard's previously leaked mobile game have also been re-assigned, according to the report.
Overwatch 2 is rumoured to have a PVE focus, not disimilar to that featured in Valve's Left 4 Dead series. The Diablo 4 team will no doubt be hoping for a fan reaction more positive than that which greeted the announcement of upcoming Diablo mobile game, Diablo Immortal:
Here's the statement Blizzard gave Kotaku in response to their report:
"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.”
All eyes will be on BlizzCon, which runs from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd November 2019.