When Blizzard Entertainment unveiled Starcraft II earlier this month, the reaction among the original fans was apoplectic. Though the game's official release date remains "when it's ready," there was some hope that it might arrive by the end of the year.
Such sentiments came in part from a GameSpot video interview with lead producer Chris Sigaty. In it, he said that Blizzard usually takes "three and a half or four years to finish a game" and that Starcraft II would enter alpha testing later in the year. Since the company has publicly said that Starcraft II had been in development since 2003, that led some to believe the game could come in 2007.
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Speaking with MSNBC, Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo ruled out any possibility that Starcraft II would join the crush of titles coming out this holiday season.
When asked about the game's release date, Pardo said, "The only thing I can give you [that's] concrete is it's not going to be this year. Some people were hoping, because of how advanced the game looks, that we'd have it out by Christmas, but that's definitely not happening."
Pardo also dropped a hint at the scale of Blizzard's future plans, saying that the 40 developers working on Starcraft II are "one of the smaller teams." Job listings on the Blizzard site have indicated it is working on a "next-gen MMO"--which the company said will not be another World of Warcraft. Also, rumors persist that Diablo III is in development.