Blizzard has reportedly canceled a StarCraft project it has had in the works for a couple of years, a decision that, according to sources speaking to Kotaku, was driven by the desire to have more hands on upcoming Diablo and Overwatch games.
While it's not uncommon by any means for studios to cancel games before they see the light of day, the reasoning behind the cancellation speaks to the direction Blizzard is taking its core franchises in the coming years.
Kotaku’s sources say that an additional, unannounced mobile project was cut along with the StarCraft project, and that no one was laid off due to the cancellation. Instead, two of those sources say staff were told both projects were being cut in order to move their development teams onto upcoming Diablo and Overwatch games.
While Blizzard notes it doesn’t typically comment on unannounced work, the studio did send Kotaku a lengthy (but vague) statement on why internal cancellations happen, and how those can be a healthy part of game development.
“We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes – including on multiple projects right now – but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development,” reads part of Blizzard’s statement to Kotaku. ”Announcing something before we feel it’s ready stands the risk of creating a lot of frustration and disappointment, both for our players and us, not to mention distraction and added pressure for our development teams.”
“The work that goes into these projects – whether they ship or not – is extraordinarily valuable. It often leads to great things and helps foster a culture of experimentation here.”