Report: StarCraft first-person shooter canceled, focus shifts to Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4

StarCraft is no stranger to cancellations as evidenced by the infamous debacle surrounding StarCraft Ghost. According to a recent report, yet another StarCraft project has bit the dust. Blizzard has axed a StarCraft first-person shooter and an unannounced mobile game in order to focus its efforts on Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.

Kotaku reported from three people familiar with the project that it had been in the works for two years. It had the code name of “Ares” and was “like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe.” There were some prototypes where the player was a Terran marine and Blizzard had intended for users to play as Zerg somewhere down the line.

However, it seems as though there were slightly differing opinions on what the state of the game was. One person said development was slow, another said it was it looking good, and the final one said it was a shock that it was canned a few weeks ago.

According to the report, it started out as an experiment to see what StarCraft could do in the Overwatch engine. And by copying over tech, the studio could expedite its signature slow development cycles.

The mysterious mobile game and this StarCraft first-person shooter were canned in order for the studio to move to Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, both of which are technically still unannounced. While not set in stone, both are supposed to make an appearance at this year’s BlizzCon, which will be on November 1 and November 2. Plans change as evidenced by how Diablo 4 was pulled out of last year’s BlizzCon.

Kotaku also stated that Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 will play a key role in Blizzard’s future. Overwatch 2, which is not an official name, is also set to have a hefty PVE element, similar to Left 4 Dead. This is quite peculiar given that most Blizzard sequels usually take longer to come out. Overwatch only released in 2016 and a sequel within a year or two from now would be a pretty fast turnaround for a Blizzard game.

Blizzard also gave Kotaku a rather vague statement that said it always has multiple projects in development and it doesn’t announce things until they are ready, given projects can get shelved. Regardless, it doesn’t make cancellations any less painful and the company is “very much looking forward to revealing other things” at the right time. Given Kotaku’s track record and Blizzard’s non-denial, it seems like this report is pretty accurate.

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