Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 Blizzard's focus as StarCraft shooter game is cancelled

Image Credit: Blizzard

Blizzard has pulled the plug on what would have been new sci-fi shooter set in the universe of its hugely popular StarCraft real-time strategy game universe, according to new reports.

Kotaku states that the game, which was described as being "like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe," has been shelved in favor of shifting resources to higher-priority projects Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2.

Both titles are expected to be major draws at Blizzard's annual BlizzCon convention this year, which is set to kick off on November 1.

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A sure shot?

The thought of a shooter set in the same universe as the excellent StarCraft games sounds as if it would be a sure-fire hit, with its mountains of lore surrounding space marines and dastardly Zerg aliens.

And it was reportedly "looking quite good", with the project (codenamed Ares) beginning production back in 2017 under the guidance of Heroes of the Storm Director and StarCraft II lead designer Dustin Browder.

While Blizzard hasn't responded directly to the claims made in the Kotaku report, it did offer a statement saying that is always has "people working on different ideas behind the scenes - including on multiple projects right now" and that "as has been the case [...] numerous times in the past, there is always the possibility that we'll make the decision to not move forward on a given project."

Ares is not the only casualty during this round of cancellations, with the report also revealing an unannounced mobile title has been given the chop too. And it's not the first time a StarCraft shooter has been killed off – StarCraft: Ghost was revealed as a console spin off back in 2002, but was killed four years later as Blizzard shifted resources to focus on its record-breaking World of Warcraft franchise.

Still, at least the resources seem to be headed to good causes, with Blizzard looking to ensure Diablo 4 is a winner right out of the gate, given the muted reception to its previously-revealed Diablo Immortal mobile spin-off and the connectivity-plagued launch of Diablo 3 back in 2012.

As for Overwatch 2, the hero shooter is set to have some modes that take the series in slightly different directions, with the sequel to offer a "large PvE" component in the same vein as Valve's zombie FPS Left4Dead, according to sources.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.