Blizzard Entertainment is officially pulling the plug on the beloved StarCraft 2 after 10 years of providing content.

09:33, 16 Oct 2020

it's been a good run, but sadly, Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed it's stopped development on StarCraft II and is instead looking to the future of its properties. Alongside World of WarcraftDiablo, and OverwatchStarCraft 2 was one of the publisher's biggest hitters.

First landing on Windows and Mac OS X in 2010, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was a wildly popular sequel to 1998's original StarCraft and raised the bar with the real-time strategy game. The last instalment was StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops in 2016, but despite this, Blizzard has offered regular updates. Emphasis on the past tense part of that statement. 

 

Is this the end of StarCraft 2?

According to Blizzard, it's the end of the line for StarCraft 2. The official site blog included a word from Executive Producer Rob Bridenbecker, who noted how the OG StarCraft was still getting patches over 10 years after it launched. "We're going to continue supporting StarCraft 2 in the same manner as we have with our previous longstanding games... focusing primarily on what our core and competitive communities care about most", said Bridenbecker. 

"What this means is that we're not going to be producing additional for-purchase content, such as Commanders and War Chests, but we will continue doing season rolls and necessary balance fixes moving forward". 

This means the recent balance update will be the last, with Blizzard not rolling out another in Q4. Bridenbecker reiterated the StarCraft 2 esports scene is still alive and well thanks to partnerships with ESL Gaming and GSL.

Is StarCraft 3 on the way?

The move comes after a tonne of updates reworked StarCraft 2 with massive changes to Prestige Talents for Co-Op Commanders. Considering the game was entering the end of its life cycle, it makes sense that devs threw everything they could at the game in its twilight. 

It also comes in the wake of Blizzard pulling the plug on a StarCraft-based shooter that it had been reportedly working on for years. Efforts have now shifted to sequels and expansions for Overwatch, with the colorful first-person shooter seemingly becoming Blizzard's new flagship. In last year's earning calls, players noted StarCraft was suspiciously absent from the developer's roadmap. 

So, what does the future hold for StarCraft? Bridenbecker added, "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". Although this is far from confirmation StarCraft 3 is on the way, it's also entirely plausible that a new spin-off set within this world could be in the works. For the time being, we'll wait patiently and hope that Blizzard will once again reach for the stars.

 

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Images via Respawn Entertainment

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