Another StarCraft shooter spin-off will never see the light of day.
According to a report by Kotaku, Blizzard has quietly scrapped an unannounced StarCraft game codenamed Ares. The new title had been worked on for two years, but was still far from complete.
Ares was meant to be a first-person shooter based on the classic RTS series. Gameplay would have been along the lines of the Battlefield series with players controlling Terran marines and battling against the Zerg. Kotaku’s sources stated that progress developing the game was slow, but that it was “looking quite good” before its cancellation.
Though the game was never announced, Blizzard gave a statement to Kotaku that functionally acknowledged its existence and cancellation.
“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,” the company stated. “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.”
The news conjures memories of StarCraft: Ghost, another ill-fated StarCraft spin-off. The stealth shooter was set to be one of 2003’s biggest console releases, but the development ran into trouble on multiple fronts.
Initially planned for release on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo Gamecube, repeated delays in development saw its projected release date pushed back beyond that of the upcoming Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game bounced back and forth between outside studios while Blizzard was busy handling the rollout and explosive success of World of Warcraft. Though StarCraft: Ghost was never officially cancelled, its development was shelved by Blizzard and never picked up again.
The news of Ares’ existence and cancellation likely stings for fans that were excited for StarCraft: Ghost 15 years ago, but Kotaku’s report sheds light on what is to come from its cancellation.
Uncovering Ares would have made Kotaku’s story notable on its own, but what’s even more interesting is the fact that it breaks a bit of news on “Overwatch 2.” The report doesn’t definitively label the game as a sequel to the popular hero shooter, but it’s clear that it is linked to the game in a meaningful way.
Minimal details are given, but there is an interesting note that states it will feature a “large PVE element” akin to the Left 4 Dead series. It is unknown whether Overwatch 2 will take the series in a very different direction, or if it might actually be some manner of spin-off that builds upon Overwatch’s limited-time Archives game modes.
Fans won’t have to wait too long to find out more. The game will reportedly be one of the major reveals at BlizzCon 2019, which takes place in November.