Starcraft II will no longer receive content updates

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Well, this probably doesn't come as a surprise, but... here it is:

Blizzard said:
To the StarCraft community,

StarCraft is one of a kind, and we’re committed to making sure that those of you who love this universe like we do have a home here for many years to come. With that in mind, we want to let you know about a development change we’re making for StarCraft II as we continue supporting it for the long-term.

As many of you know, Blizzard continues updating its games long after the initial release—some of you will remember that we were actively patching the original StarCraft more than 10 years after it first hit store shelves. This year we celebrated 10 years of StarCraft II with one of our largest-ever patches, with massive updates to the editor, Prestige Talents for Co-op Commanders, and gameplay improvements delivered to players worldwide.

We’re going to continue supporting StarCraft II in the same manner as we have with our previous longstanding games, such as Brood War, focusing primarily on what our core and competitive communities care about most. 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. On that last note, we’re not planning a Q4 balance update given that we did one a few months ago, but as always, we do plan to continue doing them as needed in the future. StarCraft II esports, which is part of the highest echelon of professional competitive gaming, will also continue going strong as it has been through our partners ESL Gaming and GSL.

We know some of our players have been looking forward to some of the things we’re moving away from, but the good news is 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.

StarCraft is core to Blizzard, and we’ve learned that it’s a game that can change the lives of people who devote themselves to it, whether as a player, content creator, streamer, or member of the community (or developer). The outcome of each match is in your hands 100%. To become better, you have to look inward, be honest about any flaws, and dedicate yourself to improving. StarCraft teaches us that that process of improvement can be a reward in itself, and it’s certainly taught us a lot at Blizzard over the years.

You are one of the most passionate, creative, and dedicated communities in all of gaming. We’re eternally grateful for your ongoing support, and we’ll keep you updated on any and all plans we have for future voyages into the Koprulu Sector.

Uhn dara ma'nakai,

Rob Bridenbecker

SOURCE: StarCraft II Update - October 15, 2020

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It's sad to see that the last Starcraft II patch, which also happened to be one of the biggest updates that the game has ever received, has proven to be the last substantial patch that Starcraft II is ever going to get. It's been a long road, filled with joy, excitement and just good ol' fun, but everything must come to an end one day.

If any stray Starcraft II developer happens to stumble unto this post - THANK YOU for all the amazing experiences you gave us and the fond memories your incredible creation left us with. You made a game that is and always will be one of the best to have ever existed. /bow

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As for what it means for the future of Starcraft and Blizzard RTS games as a whole, I'm afraid that while the former might be brought back in some form in the next couple of years, as reported by Jason Schreier from Bloomberg, Blizzard no longer sees RTS games as a worthwhile investment, so...

That's most likely it for Blizzard RTS games, at least for the forseable future.
 
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I've never played coop or bought any skins/coop commanders, so it's not a big deal to me, but I'm worried about future map editor support.

AFAIK, custom campaigns, advertised in the Anniversary patch as a highly-requested, "big comeback" feature, still lack proper implementation of saving/loading.
 

deepstrasz

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but I'm worried about future map editor support.
The SCII editor has everything it needs (mega patch update, remember?). They should only fix bugs now and then.
As I mentioned on another thread just earlier. The game needs a real community and one that makes content.

They also wrote they weren't letting melee/ladder go.

That's most likely it for Blizzard RTS games, at least for the forseable future.
Can't wait for Retera's Warsmash.
 
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Well, honestly, this doesn't come as a surprise. I was expecting this after the whole ten year anniversary thing.

But look if you thins really, really, really optimistically, this could potentially mean that StarCraft III is in the works. I mean Sc2 and D3 were developed at the same time......
And it's about time we got some more Jimmy Ol'boy in our lives.
 
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But look if you thins really, really, really optimistically, this could potentially mean that StarCraft III is in the works.
As much as I would like to play Starcraft III one day, I think it isn't just "really, really optimistic", but pretty much impossible with Activision being so focused on profit that they don't mind firing their Blizzard EU staff in the middle of the pandemic. I just don't see that they'd give a green light to Starcraft III now that RTS games aren't top of the profit charts. That said, I think we'll see a new Starcraft game announced soon, but it's going to be a shooter or something.
 
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That said, I think we'll see a new Starcraft game announced soon, but it's going to be a shooter or something.
Not gonna be a shooter, they've got Overwatch (and Overwatch 2) in the making. The rest I agree with. Howeveer there is one thing to credit them. With Shadowlands pre patch, they've made all expansions(except SL) free to play, even on Starter Edition, so who knows what they're cooking.
 
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I didn't specify - by shooter I meant something like a live service looter-shooter, similar to Destiny.
Doesn't Activision already have Destiny?

Anyhow I don't see how it could work for StarCraft. That would mean that you only get to play as a Terran, while Zerg and Protoss only get to be antagonists. So, that wouldn't really be StarCraft anymore.
I think it's far more likely we see something like:

StarCraft Immortal: Do you guys not have phones?
 
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The announcement is saying that Blizzard is not going to be producing additional for-purchase content anymore for SC2, and not that SC2 will no longer receive content updates.
It also says that it frees them to think about the future of the franchise, which means that the SC2 team will either be further downsized or the game will be handed over to the Classic Team. Moreover, with no more paid content, the budget and overall support for the game will be cut too.

Technically you're right - there might be a couple more content updates, but they will likely be few and far between, e.g. maybe once a year they replace a couple of melee maps or add something small to the editor. Other than that it's probably going to be mostly balance updates and bug fixes.

Doesn't Activision already have Destiny?
Destiny was only published by Activision and Bungee canceled that agreement a while back.

Anyhow I don't see how it could work for StarCraft. That would mean that you only get to play as a Terran, while Zerg and Protoss only get to be antagonists. So, that wouldn't really be StarCraft anymore.
Not necessarily - they could be creative and do something to have playable Zerg and/or Protoss. And even if they wouldn't then that isn't a problem either, there's no rule that every Starcraft game has to have all 3 races playable.

Actually, that would ruin everything. The point of the epilogue of SCII was that the story ended. Milking it WoW style would be lame fast food.
That I wholeheartedly agree with - if they were to do Starcraft III, it'd be a far better choice to bring a fresh cast of characters.
 

deepstrasz

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the SC2 team will
come to Warcraft III.

being autistic here :grin:

That I wholeheartedly agree with - if they were to do Starcraft III, it'd be a far better choice to bring a fresh cast of characters.
Yeah, only, they'd still get repetitive like Disney Star Wars or have to pull stuff out of the blue, I mean black, I mean dark, I mean void, ah...
For Warcraft it worked well from Orcs & Humans to including TfT and would have beyond until a point but for StarCraft, II pretty much made closure.
Either they create other races in other galaxies a la Mass Effect, Star Trek, Star Wars etc. or they leave it to a boring political conflict in the K-sec.
 
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Actually, that would ruin everything. The point of the epilogue of SCII was that the story ended. Milking it WoW style would be lame fast food.
That I wholeheartedly agree with - if they were to do Starcraft III, it'd be a far better choice to bring a fresh cast of characters.
If StarCraft III ever happens, I'm pretty sure Raynor will be the main protagonist. Not sure about Kerrigan, and her role, but Raynor would pretty certainly be the main protagonist.
The announcement is saying that Blizzard is not going to be producing additional for-purchase content anymore for SC2, and not that SC2 will no longer receive content updates.
Read HotS formula. The game was pretty much canned. Meaning team was reduced heavily, no more budget, and so on...... In Hots they release 1 or 2 heroes per year(down from 8), they release "balance patches" monthly, but they're mostly new main menu screen, and bug adding. Now the game is far buggier than before the canning. Something similar will likely happen to Sc2, so we can only hope it'll get as few "balance patches" as possible.
 

deepstrasz

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If StarCraft III ever happens, I'm pretty sure Raynor will be the main protagonist. Not sure about Kerrigan, and her role, but Raynor would pretty certainly be the main protagonist.
I'm not sure why you're so sure but I can imagine post episode VI Luke Skywalker-like plot.
Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, the same characters again will make for a cheesy story. Actually, most of any story will be that way since StarCraft II had closure to the whole deal.
They could do Nova Covert Ops types all they want but pretty sure it'll get boring fast if they don't somehow get creative with new stuff.
Now the game is far buggier than before the canning. Something similar will likely happen to Sc2, so we can only hope it'll get as few "balance patches" as possible.
Actually, if they won't add content, bugs won't spawn out of nowhere, so they won't be more.
 
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If StarCraft III ever happens, I'm pretty sure Raynor will be the main protagonist. Not sure about Kerrigan, and her role, but Raynor would pretty certainly be the main protagonist.
Raynor and Kerrigan got their happy ending at the end of LotV and disappeared. I don't see them coming back. It's more likely we'd get their kid than them.

I thought we've been through the fact that RTSs aren't so popular anymore? So more money isn't quite accurate.
Yes, RTS games aren't that big right now, but still - if Blizzard released Starcraft III, I'm sure they'd easily make profit from box sales alone. The problem is that RTS games are pretty hard to monetize post-launch compared to some other genres, so they would just "make money", not "all the money".
 
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Raynor and Kerrigan got their happy ending at the end of LotV and disappeared. I don't see them coming back. It's more likely we'd get their kid than them.
Well, Brood War ended in the same note. Kerrigan got her happy ending, while Raynor and Zeratul disappeared never to be heard from again.
Actually, if they won't add content, bugs won't spawn out of nowhere, so they won't be more.
HotS proved otherwise.
 

deepstrasz

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Well, Brood War ended in the same note. Kerrigan got her happy ending, while Raynor and Zeratul disappeared never to be heard from again.
That's not true. Zeratul and Raynor didn't die or were specifically shown to be missing in the sense that they might not come back.
Brood War did not conclude the StarCraft story it just ended with the end of the Brood War Zerg campaign. There were many things to solve and continue with.
HotS proved otherwise.
You just said, they add new content, like 1-2 heroes per year... That's a big deal.
 

Dr Super Good

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The question is... what would or could a StarCraft III bring new for nowadays standards apart from debatable better graphics?
Better multi-threading support for some aspects of the engine. New features, especially if built on top of the existing SC2 engine. Can also take their design principles learnt from StarCraft II and build around them such as the story, campaign and characters being built around coop-commander. Also could try for seamless map transitions or as good as 0 load time using up-coming direct storage API.

Not as big of a change as SC1 to SC2 was, but still a lot of incremental features and an up-to-date business model.

Of course they could just work on another RTS intellectual property using these same ideas. For example Warcraft IV, or something entirely new.
 
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Well, Brood War ended in the same note. Kerrigan got her happy ending, while Raynor and Zeratul disappeared never to be heard from again.
Starcraft ended with Kerrigan saying that she will test the resolve of her enemies, which directly suggested that she would be back one day. Zeratul went into a self imposed exile, yes, but his story ended with him discovering the Hybrid, a.k.a. the big cliffhanger of the game, which left a lot of room for him to come back. As for Raynor, sure - he vanished, but he still had a reason to come back - after all, he promised to kill Kerrigan one day and he still had a grudge against Mengsk, so his story was still open.

Starcraft II, though... Like it or not, Raynor's and Kerrigan's stories are done.

Throughout Wings of Liberty, Raynor stated that building a better tomorrow was for people like Matt, because all he wanted is to see things through. And he did. He got his revenge on Mengsk, reunited with his beloved and watched his protegee Horner ascend to a position of power in the now reformed Terran Dominion. His troops have either joined Valerian or went their separate ways. He has no reason or no real means to get involved again. Like I said, unlike Starcraft I - his story ended in Starcraft II.

As for Kerrigan... She's no longer infested, she payed for her crimes, found forgiveness, achieved revenge and reunited with Jim. Outside of Raynor, everyone thinks she's dead. The Swarm now belongs to Zagara and Sarah is probably just hanging out with Jim somewhere. Again, there's no reason why she would get involved again, unless Blizzard wants to repeat the same story of having Kerrigan reinfested and taking control of the Swarm for whatever purpose, but that would be horrible and boring writing.

Both Jim and Sarah found closure and achieved their goals. They don't have any open storylines or whatever. Their story in Starcraft II was clearly written to be the happy ending some people wanted. There's absolutely no reason to break that, it would not only be boring, but also disrespectful to the characters and their fans.

As I've said, their story is done and they're not coming back.
 
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pyf

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It's sad to see that the last Starcraft II patch, which also happened to be one of the biggest updates that the game has ever received, has proven to be the last substantial patch that Starcraft II is ever going to get. [...]

[...] As for what it means for the future of Starcraft and Blizzard RTS games as a whole, I'm afraid that [...] Blizzard no longer sees RTS games as a worthwhile investment [...] at least for the forseable future.
Quoting Blizzard, "We’re going to continue supporting StarCraft II [...], focusing primarily on what our core and competitive communities care about most". And for some reason, the whole announcement reminds me of something, no idea why...

Maybe everybody should imho start having a closer look at what the latest SCII update has to offer?
 
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Meanwhile, a bunch of ex-Blizzard developers have teamed up to make an RTS game:

Frost Giant Studios


The newly-formed studio is lead by "former Production Director of StarCraft II and C&C: Generals" 2 Tim Morten and "former Game Director of Wasteland 3, Lead Campaign Designer of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne" Tim Campbell. The list of devs involved also includes Ryan Schutter, "former Lead Designer on StarCraft II, creator of GameHeart", and Kevin Dong, "former Lead Co-Op Designer on StarCraft II, Project Manager for Team Liquid". They even got Micky Neilson (ex-"Publishing Lead and Senior Writer at Blizzard") onboard!

After so many competent people involved in making RTS games parted their ways with Blizzard, it's hard to stay optimistic and hope that any new RTS will ever emerge from the studio. Well, at least the talents of those who have left won't be wasted.
 
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We'll see how it goes. Recently there's been a couple new studios founded by ex-Blizzard developers, but so far none of them had anything to show, so... I think I'll remain cautious about Frost Giant. Still, I wish them all the best :)

What I find really interesting is how many developers have left Blizzard recently. Not too long ago people like Alan Dabiri, Chris Sigaty or Dustin Browder, all of whom were working on Warcraft III and/or Starcraft II joined Dreamhaven, now \another bunch of Blizzard RTS developers have created their own company. Then there are also people like David Kim, a.k.a. the lead multiplayer/balance designer on Starcraft II, who moved on to other projects, in his case Diablo 4.

I can't help, but feel that the Blizzard RTS is... well, let's just say that my hopes that we'll see one in the coming years is pretty much gone.
 
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