Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Does Starcraft 2 mean no Starcraft MMO?

This guy seems to be very optimistic about potential "World of Starcraft"... Maybe he's right? Time will show...


Starcraft 2 was announced last Saturday and most gamers around the world took notice of the event. Blizzard especially made sure everyone who played World of Waracraft was aware by including several advertisements on the WoW homepage and login. While some people were annoyed by the promotional announcements most players were happy to hear about the sequel. Even if a gamer isn't a fan of the RTS genre they will still probably pick up a copy of Starcraft 2 due to the buzz about the game. Blizzard redefined the genre when the released the original version and the sequel looks like it will also have a huge impact.

The week before the announcement had seen a lot of rumours flying around as people speculated the nature of Blizzard's new game. The two most popular rumours were claiming it was either Starcraft 2 or a Starcraft MMO. Since the announcement was to take place in Korea, which has a well known obsession with the decade old game, most rumours accurately guessed which Blizzard universe was being revisited. However, just because Starcraft 2 turned out to the be the winner in the rumour contest doesn't mean that a Starcraft MMO is out of the picture.

Look at how Blizzard made use of Warcraft 3 to expand the warcraft universe and add multiple characters and story lines to the franchise. This fleshed out the RTS game with enough background that the transition to MMORPG was possible. The early warcraft games had a nice complicated plot but were missing the massive amounts of names, places, and races that a MMORPG requires. Most MMOs require this critical mass of story lines and characters to construct a tangible fantasy world. Think epic fantasy series like The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth or even Tolkien's books which all seem to create a semi-believable universe.

In my opinion Blizzard might have decided to go with Starcraft 2 so that they had plenty of time to add more lore so that a Starcraft MMO would be possible. I'll be keeping a close eye on the plot lines from the single player campaigns to see if it looks like they are expanding the starcraft universe. Already I can see how Blizzard might have different races within the factions of Starcraft. The Protoss are the most obvious since they have very different "light" and "dark" units. The Terran and Zerg are a bit more difficult but could be based around which leader they followed. For example there could be Terrans with better technology from the United Earth Directorate and Terrans with better survival bonuses from the Colonies.

Its all speculation at this point but I firmly believe a Starcraft MMO to be Blizzard's hidden weapon against Warhammer which looks to be a strong up and coming opponent to WoW.

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