Like an undead monster refusing to stay quietly buried, talk of StarCraft: Ghost has once again surfaced from Blizzard. The newest comments concerning the long-stalled espionage/action game following Nova, a psionic operative working for the Terran Dominion of the StarCraft universe, offer little hope for the game ever seeing the light of day.
That being said, Ghost has never been officially ‘cancelled’ by Blizzard, meaning a future release has not been ruled out. Given the development troubles that StarCraft: Ghost has endured to this point, fans might be better off without it.The latest update from Blizzard’s Matthew Burger continues the company’s tradition of ambiguity, and reiterates claims from last year that while Ghost isn’t dead, nobody is working on it. In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, Burger once again passed up the chance to tell fans whether they can look forward to the game, or should give up hope. Explaining that “it is on hold” and that the game “has never been cancelled,” when asked directly if it might be released all Burger could offer was a “maybe.”
Before anyone gets too angry at Blizzard, or starts sending hate mail urging them to just finish the game and release it, it’s important to note why StarCraft: Ghost halted development so many years ago. Namely, because the product being developed wasn’t living up to their expectations. In other words: the tale of Nova may have been one that the developer wanted to tell in game form, but just couldn’t succeed in making it a worthwhile experience.
We won’t go so far as to propose that fans of StarCraft are better off without a broken or underwhelming game, but considering what Blizzard has moved onto in the time since Ghost was put on ‘pause,’ they’ve had other projects to worry about. And in case anyone hasn’t been keeping current on Blizzard’s unique timeline for releases, they’re not exactly operating with a sense of urgency.
The world will never know how many different incarnations of Diablo 3 were nearly completed, then scrapped, before the game we know hit store shelves. Where consoles are concerned (which StarCraft: Ghost was initially planned for) the laissez-faire attitude is even more extreme. Only now can we look forward to a Diablo 3 release on PlayStation 4, after as year earlier the company confirmed they were building a console team, and that a console experience would be as good as their fans expect, before backpedaling with claims that they were simply “experimenting” and “exploring” possibilities.
The workload on Blizzard’s numerous development teams isn’t getting any lighter either, with growing speculation over their next MMO Titan, and the next expansion for StarCraft 2 already in production. With those near-guaranteed financial successes – and whatever is on its way in the Diablo franchise – donating time and energy on a console third-person shooter saddled with years of troubled development doesn’t seem like a high priority.
Yet there may still be reason to hope that Blizzard’s success on consoles could turn the tide. For now though, we’d file StarCraft: Ghost under properties dead until proven living.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Official PlayStation Magazine UK