At one time, Blizzard was synonymous with real-time strategy courtesy of franchises like Warcraft and StarCraft, but for whatever reason, the studio has largely abandoned the genre. Sure, there have been half-hearted attempts to revisit it with products like Warcraft III: Reforged, but for the most part they’ve allowed others to advance the genre.
Well, that may change if Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through. In a recent interview with Wired, Xbox boss Phil Spencer expressed excitement about the prospect of sitting down with Blizzard to discuss StarCraft and Warcraft, even if he’s careful to mention he’s not free to start any discussions just yet.
“So this is all just kind of talking and thinking about what the opportunity is, but you're absolutely right. Not only StarCraft, but Warcraft, when you think about the heritage of RTS games that we're talking about here, specifically from Blizzard. And I don't have any concrete plans today because I can't really get in and work with the teams. But StarCraft was a seminal moment in gaming, right?
I'm excited about getting to sit down with the teams at Activision and Blizzard to talk about back catalog and opportunities that we might have. So I will dodge the question other than to say it's not something I can actively work on right now. But the thought of being able to think about what could happen with those franchises is pretty exciting to me, as somebody who spent a lot of hours playing those games.”
Of course, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard still isn’t a sure thing. The deal still has to be approved be regulators all over the world, with some insiders of the opinion it could still fall apart. So, don’t get excited for more StarCraft just yet.
Activision Blizzard has faced a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story here.
What do you think? Hoping to see StarCraft and Warcraft return? Or is that era too far gone?