It’s been quite some time since we last heard from the StarCraft franchise in any meaningful way – the final expansion for StarCraft 2, Legacy of the Void, launched back in 2015 – and it looks like we may be waiting even longer. Rumor has it that Blizzard has canceled a StarCraft first-person shooter it secretly had in development so it could divert more resources to other franchises.
More specifically, Blizzard canned this StarCraft FPS codenamed Ares so it could move developers onto Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. The notion that Diablo 4 is in development probably isn’t going to surprise many, but the claim that Overwatch 2 is just might. After all, the original Overwatch seems to have found a good amount of enduring success, begging the question of whether or not a sequel is actually necessary.
Regardless, it seems that Blizzard has determined such a sequel is necessary, at least according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier. He spoke to three unnamed Blizzard employees with knowledge of the game and its cancellation, one of whom describes Areas as “like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe.” The game had been in development for two years, and was initially started as an project to build something StarCraft-themed using the Overwatch engine.
While the Blizzard employees sharing information with Schreier claim that everyone was shocked when Blizzard canceled the game, the good news is that nobody was laid off as a result. They’re all on different games now, including project lead Dustin Browder, who most recently served as the director and public face of Heroes of the Storm.
When asked for comment, Blizzard surprisingly sent a rather long statement to Kotaku. The company never confirms that Ares existed or was canceled, but it did discuss its philosophy on the timing of announcing in-development projects and noted that even when those projects get canceled, the work that was done on them can still be “extraordinarily valuable.” Blizzard fans know that well enough, as the cancellation of the MMO Titan eventually led to the creation of Overwatch.
In any case, Kotaku says that both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 are slated for announcements at BlizzCon this year, but Schreier reminds us that those plans can change. As always, take unconfirmed rumors with a grain of salt, but with that warning out of the way, it’s also important to note that Schreier has been right in his reporting many times in the past. We’ll see if those predictions about BlizzCon come true once November rolls around, so stay tuned.