Frost Giant announced. Speculation: No RTS in the Horizon from Blizzard?
Recently, Blizzard Entertainment executive producer Rob Bridenbecker announced StarCraft II is going into maintenance mode with the halt of production of for-purchase content (no more co-op commanders or war chests).
That was October 16th. Today, merely four days later, a new company has been announced: Frost Giant.
Frost Giant is co-founded by Tim Morten (StarCraft II production director) and Tim Campbell (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne lead campaign director).
Joining them are Ryan Schutter (SC2 lead designer/senior game designer), Jesse Brophy (principal artist/ SC2 lead artist), Joseph Shunk (Blizzard senior software engineer), Cara LaForge (Blizzard senior program manager), and Austin Hudelson (Blizzard software engineer).
Frost Giant revealed right off the bat they are developing a new RTS game and its lore will be written by Micky Neilson (former Blizzard senior writer/publishing lead).
We have seen the rise of Dreamhaven by Mike Morhaime, and other small gaming studios by former Blizzard developers.
There is no concrete evidence that someone decided to pull the plug on RTS development at Blizzard Entertainment, but you have to agree that the timing between the October 16 announcement and the launch of Frost Giant leading with “we are making a new RTS game” is concerning.
New studios normally don’t reveal on day 1 what game nor specifically what genre they are going to develop.
So let’s speculate upon this “no RTS from Blizzard” speculation.
We know from October 16 that the StarCraft II team is moving on to other project for what is next in the Starcraft franchise. That was very specific. That tells us that this specific team isn’t going to develop a Warcraft IV RTS.
We also know that Chris Sigaty (SC2/Heroes of the Storm executive producer) and Dustin Browder (SC2/Heroes of the Storm game director) left Blizzard Entertainment over a year ago.
Dustin Browder is currently working at Moonshot Games and Chris Sigaty at Secret Door — both studios under the Mike Morhaime’s Dreamhaven umbrella.
If there was no Warcraft IV or StarCraft III RTS games in the horizon, what exactly is the future of the StarCraft franchise?
An MMO? A Battle Royale? An FPS multiplayer like Destiny 2? A mobile ARPG?
Difficult to say, but then again this is speculation. Let’s hope BlizzCon Online 2021 sheds some light on what’s next for StarCraft to either re-energize RTS enthusiasm or to reveal whether the StarCraft story evolves into a different genre altogether.
With all these StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm developer talent moving away from Blizzard Entertainment and no new hirings to replace them — it sure fuels conflicting thoughts.
Right now there is zero job openings for StarCraft producers, designers, etc. The StarCraft category is non-existent right now in the Blizzard Careers page. Not exactly, what you would expect to hear.
Links to some of the press around the Frost Giant launch.