Blizzard Cancels Unannounced Starcraft FPS Spin-off, the Second Cancelled StarCraft Shooter

Blizzard Cancels Unannounced Starcraft FPS Spin-off, the Second Cancelled StarCraft Shooter
Credit: Blizzard via YouTube

Twitter went abuzz this afternoon after a Kotaku report announced that Blizzard would be canceling their previously unannounced StarCraft FPS spin-off.

According to the Kotaku’s anonymous source – supposedly someone closely attached to Blizzard’s development team with such insider information – the game has been officially canceled after two years of hidden development. Code-named “Ares,” the project is rumored to have been similar to a “Battlefield in the StarCraft universe.”

Ares is the second StarCraft shooter spin-off to be canceled by Blizzard. The first was a stealth-action game titled StarCraft: Ghost, named after the iconic stealth unit in the StarCraft games.
The game spent time in limbo from its announcement in September of 2002 until its official cancellation in 2014. Much of Starcraft: Ghost’s influence can still be seen, with the protagonist, Nova, now one of StarCraft’s most recognizable character. This is due to the novel of the same name, published in 2006 as a prologue to the ill-fated game, as well as her involvement in StarCraft II.

Ares is reported to have been quite far along, with the development team having created functional demos in which the player controlled a Terran marine pitted against Zerg. Kotaku’s anonymous sources say that the game was “looking quite good” and are shocked at the cancellation.

“We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes… but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development,” says Blizzard’s full statement on the cancellation. “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.”

Despite the cancellations, Blizzard hasn’t laid off or otherwise removed the staff working on the Ares project. Instead, the teams have been shifted over to two other projects.

Overwatch 2 continues to be in development, and much of the team has been reassigned towards that sequel. Additionally, the next game in the Diablo series, codenamed “Fenris” but publicly referred to as Diablo 4, has seen their resources bolstered as a result of the laying off.

Devout StarCraft fans may not find much comfort in knowing that the other projects have been bolstered. The Overwatch and Diablo franchises already enjoy much of Blizzard’s attention, whereas StarCraft hasn’t seen any new content since a single-player DLC three years ago. This lack of content could be explained by Ares being in development over the last two years, leading Blizzard unwanting to devote any extra resources to the franchise.

Blizzard closes their statement optimistically, saying the following: “With all that said, we’re very much looking forward to revealing other things we’re working on when the time is right.”