Pour one out for the Koprulu Sector — StarCraft 2 to stop producing new content
We’re only a few months past the tenth anniversary of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty‘s release, but the end has officially come — Blizzard quietly announced today that they would be ending the production of new for-purchase content like Co-Op Commanders and War Chests. While Executive Producer and VP Rob Bridenbecker doesn’t state specifically what’s next for the team, he does specify that this move sets the stage for future content in the StarCraft universe.
There are a lot of reasons why this is likely happening right now. For one, the tenth anniversary added a ton of gameplay content for the existing slate of Co-Op Commanders by adding Prestige options that alter each commander’s gameplay in various ways. Without going into a lot of detail about it here, it’s a great swan song for Co-Op, which has been considered SC2‘s most popular mode outside of the pro SC2 scene. Speaking of development successes, rumors circulated last year of a StarCraft FPS project that was shut down so that resources could be focused on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, both of which were subsequently announced at BlizzCon 2019. If a new StarCraft project is in the works, drawing the final resources away from SC2 might be part of supporting that effort.
Mike Morhaime‘s departure from Blizzard likely factors into this as well, as he was a very prominent supporter of StarCraft‘s development and really nourished the pro scene, both for the original game, its expansion Brood War, and the entire SC2 project.
Part of the story is the end
With all that said, it has been ten years of StarCraft 2, and that’s a solid run. The SC2 pro scene isn’t going anywhere, so there’s still going to be a live ops team doing bugfixes and necessary balancing to support that effort, just as there has been for Brood War and Warcraft 3. At some point you’ve got to weigh what kind of value you can get from continuing to generate new content on an outdated platform, versus the value you can get if you invest in a new platform and generate new content there. I think that’s the stage Blizzard is at with StarCraft and they picked the best time they could given, well, all the things.
So raise a glass for StarCraft 2 and while this is one ending, let’s see what the future holds for the Koprulu sector. I’m certain Blizzard isn’t done with mech suit cowboys, space wizards, and Giger-esque nightmare creatures.
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