Next Starcraft II "very unlikely" to come out this year - Report

Game director says there's only a slim chance that Heart of the Swarm will arrive this year.

Last October, Battle.net project director Greg Canessa took the stage to talk about the future of the encompassing online service Battle.net. During his presentation, he said that it would be 18 months until the next Starcraft II installment, Heart of the Swarm, would see the light of day. That timing would put the release of the hotly anticipated pseudo-sequel to the critically acclaimed real-time strategy game in either March or April 2012.

Blizzard says it's "very unlikely" the next Starcraft II will ship this year.

This week, Canessa's timing of the next Starcraft II was seconded by another Blizzard Entertainment employee. Speaking with Eurogamer, Starcraft II game director Dustin Browder was asked when he expects Heart of the Swarm to launch.

"I don't know the answer to that," said Browder. "I don't think you'll be playing it this year. That seems very unlikely to me. But we're pounding away on it as fast as we possibly can."

As for the current installment of Starcraft II, Wings of Liberty, the game earned awards for Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay and Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year at last night's Interactive Achievement Awards, held in conjunction with the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. For more on that game, check out GameSpot's review.

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293 comments
Falcon084
Falcon084

I would rather they take their time, than to rush out the game filled with bugs.

GrimmyTea
GrimmyTea

Spent much less time on the WoL campaign than the original, but that's okay. There were times when the slow methodical missions in the original felt plodding. As I am much busier now than I was 10 years ago, I appreciated the tighter mission schemes. If it takes them an extra year and a half to get the next installment done, then so be it. Let's be frank here--WoL is an outstanding game. Everything from the presentation to the gameplay was honed to a very high level. They must do an enormous amount of in-house testing to get everything so finely-tuned--and this takes time (although 12 years for WoL was a bit much). Of course Blizzard is all about money--all businesses are. What makes Blizzard special is that they put much more care and effort into producing a quality product than many other software houses. For this I am willing to reward them financially. Normally I won't buy a game until it has come down at least 50% in price. This sometimes takes 1-2 years (I didn't buy the original SC until late 1999). There are two software houses I buy early from--Blizzard and Bioware--because they consistently make high-quality products that I enjoy and I want them to continue doing so.

Gibbersom
Gibbersom

I don't understand why they would break the sequel into 3 parts and then release it at (what's looking like) a 2 year gap between each part.

Alex_09
Alex_09

@spooky57571 I didn't give you thumbs down, and I got it, the point was you were trying to make him look stupid while correcting him like the usual... "intelligent" people on here do, but you mispelled 'an'. I just thought it was a bad attempt since you screwed up that's all. People like him should just remain ignored, but that's my opinion. @Exorte My point was WoW is one of the biggest milking schemes in gaming history, I wasn't talking about the length of time it took to make. And come on, every single Starcraft fan owns the sequel, how could they not? I bet Blizzard could have 1000 replies on their homepage if they asked for suggestions for improvements in a matter of hours. The game has been played tons since release, everyone should have a good feeling of what needs to be improved and what they perfected. I'm just saying an expansion usually consists of adding a bunch of new skins and maps, and a new campaign, it's nothing like developing an entirely new game from scratch. Not to mention Blizzard actually supports its games with patches whenever problems arise so they can be trusted when they release a game quicker than usual.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Considering it took then 12 years for sc2 to com out it's not surprising. We'll get to see the protoss one by the end of 2013 at the least.

PERVERTOR
PERVERTOR

they're gonna loose momentum, if it has not been lost already.

Ellanier
Ellanier

Ugh. Meh, user content will last me forever.

Evil_Noodles
Evil_Noodles

I don't really understand why, but whatever. When it's ready! Nice one Blizzard for keeping up appearances.

jollybest1
jollybest1

i said it many times, wow is still making money for them and a lot, so why would they rush a game that became a sport and everyone knows about it, and as one guy from here said don't remember his nick why should they release the second part of sc2 if they know sc2 is played and still offers some surprises to players and probably Blizzard receives feedback from the players about bugs and new enchantments that should be added, please note that the first sc was played until sc2 was released......so good for Blizzard, why should they release an expansion when sc 2 is a hit

george43
george43

If it's as short as WoL, I probably won't buy it. What's blizzard going to do? Make people with no HotS go without any new units introduced in multiplayer?

tommynj
tommynj

Got milk ? They gonna stretch every single penny out of Wings of Liberty before we see Heart of the Swarm.

kengetz321
kengetz321

Everyone that is hating on Blizzard right now is still gonna buy SC2 HoS when it is released and they are gonna love it, just like they loved WoL. Does anyone remember "Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans"? A game that was nearly completed but scrapped because Blizzard didnt think there was a market for adventure games anymore. (FYI Peter Cullen was cast as Orgrim Doomhammer) I was very dissapointed that the game never came out but still respected Blizzard as a company. It's that attitude of "We are not gonna release a $H!Tty game that has kept fans hungering for more titles.They also have to time their releases. It doesnt make much sense to release SC2 xpacright around the same time as D3 (rumored for end of year) I wouldnt know what to do if both games came out at same time. My social life would be tossed out the window.

dre256x
dre256x

Gives us Diablo 3 already.... StarCraft 2 was awesome but the xpac can wait...

2chase
2chase

@juliano001 U mad bro? For starters, WoW has weekly maintenance updates that have teams of employees behind them constantly trying to make the ever complexing World of Warcraft balanced and bug free. Blizzard makes extremely sophisticated games that are widely recognized as the best in the world, every time. They also provide for a much better online experience than most (if not all?) companies. They take higher precedence over game play and customer service than most (again, if not all) companies I've ever encountered. All of this requires resources. They're better than BioWare because they know how to bring in the resources better than BioWare. In conclusion, let me ask you this... When you start a game of 1v1 or 2v2 in SC2... what's the first thing you do? =P

01-cannon-mpc
01-cannon-mpc

Dont realy care. Sins there are so many other games to play thats out or comin out soon.

steve4123456789
steve4123456789

@juliano001 If only people had as much sense as you.

juliano001
juliano001

As expected. Its a shame that will have to wait problably 4 years to finish the remaining 2 parts of the game. I considered Blizzard 5 years ago the Best company among all others. Then i started to play wow and i had the time to reconsider my decision. All they care is money, money and more money. They will play the same formula to exaustion. It happened with wow and it seems the same with SC. Thats why i am deeply in love with Bioware now. I will not say Blizzard sucks, but with sure they dont fascinate me no more.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Is this a surprise? It took them 10 years to re-release the original SC...except they chopped it into more pieces so they could get more money from the franchise. People are willing to pay so that's not a slam, but Kotick must be so proud of his monetizing Blizzard proteges.

Pr3acher
Pr3acher

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

danny_dm_moore
danny_dm_moore

At least I know I have plenty of time to actually finish Wings of Liberty...

seriousplayer_d
seriousplayer_d

Like i expected. Blizzard only releases their games when they're absolutely sure it's finished.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

"We'll release it when it's ready" - the Blizzard motto and why their games never suck. If only more devs were allowed the same freedom to develop at their own pace and release products that are finished. I'm so glad that Blizzard have been allowed to operate free of Activision's usual procedure: bully dev until it spits out an unfinished game, sell game despite bugs/exploits, release marginally different sequel, rinse and repeat.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

@davidsworld - i just typed a paragraph where i defended blizzard against your remarks. but then i deleted it. why? because you make a few valid points. while i still think "masters of disappointment" is too harsh, ever since the release of WoW, the people who didn't jump on board that bandwagon have been left in the cold waiting for the next diablo or starcraft. and what do we have to show for it? 1/3 of starcraft 2. sure, it's VERY good despite clinging so close to the original but it's not a complete package AND it cost $60. success has changed blizzard, they got too fat and content on WoW and while they still put out good content, they don't hold the same level of respect i once had for them. but i'm sure i'll change my tune when diablo 3 comes out

Urworstnhtmare
Urworstnhtmare

@davidsworld3 Masters of disappointment? Every Blizzard game I have played has exceeded my very high expectations for the company...

Urworstnhtmare
Urworstnhtmare

@Musambani We are not even sure if Blizzard will end up using the leaked ending. Game devs don't just set a story in concrete, they may change it later.

vinhnt1
vinhnt1

sc2 is not a great game, that's what i can say it's pretty good with campaign or multi but it's nealy the same with sc1 , some news units don't make a change in gameplay ... and it's no more creative in sc2 , no new strategy , always same BO , so boring T : always MMM , Z : 95% ling roach & bane, arrrrggg , that's sux

davidsworld3
davidsworld3

They are worse at releasing games as the duke franchise took 14 years for forever to come out but that game looks awesome this series hasn't improved at all. I see no reason to care for this series.

davidsworld3
davidsworld3

shnull you sound like a fanatical fanboy really they probably finished most of it just waiting so they can get more money. They are masters of disappointment. I mean they couldn't even release Nova which looked awesome.

shnull
shnull

very like Blizzard to not release a product before it is really finished and thoroughly tested. They have the money to do so, and the patience as well plus mad skillz, and some dried out mmo to keep 'em warm during winter

Exorte
Exorte

@ Bigbudd0045 Well what else can they work on? Former Blizzard north worker wrote they work on a sequal in their resume, while the only game they produce under the name Blizzard north was Diablo. However, Blizzard north version of Diablo 3 was scraped and work ground up again. So this version of Diablo 3 took 6 years. Note: the other game they ever worked on is "Justice League Task Force" back when their name was Condor. It seems unlikely they will make another "Justice League Task Force", therefore it should be Daiblo 3.

Bane_09
Bane_09

18 months eh? Why torture me so blizzard?

spooky57571
spooky57571

@Ardiendo_1 @Alex_09 Jesus Christ, the very last thing I wrote in that comment was, that this is for trolling purposes (I thought that instantly raised the flags of "don't take this guy seriously"). He tried to attack Starcraft fans with a comment of smug superiority so, I attacked him with a comment of pretentious stupidity (ya' know, satire, trolling hims for lulz, etc..). Nothing in that comment was meant to be taken seriously and based off of the thumbs down that comment received I'm guessing it's safe to assume you guys weren't the only one who misunderstood it. I apologize for annoying you.

Bigbudd0045
Bigbudd0045

@Exorte Saying Diablo 3 will take 11 1/2 years assumes they started working on it the minute the second expansion was done. Which I somewhat doubt, aside from some possible early brainstorming.

Exorte
Exorte

@ DaIamar You do understand that Diablo, starcraft and WoW is worked by different teams, right? Starcraft 2 was made by the RTS team. and WoW is by the WoW team. No connection what so ever. Also do you think Blizzard can afford developing Starcraft 2 (took 6 years) and Diablo 3 (probably will take 11years(2000 -2012) ) at the same time without WoW's income?

Exorte
Exorte

@Alex_09 Actually Blizzard themself talk about that. It is widely believed in the industry that announcing games too early have a negtive impact on the game's sales (due to people's three second attention span). However, Blizzard said they doesn't believe that. They say it allow more time for feedback from the people. By the way, I fail to see how the maker WoW can make games faster. WoW itself took 6 years in making. SC2 took 6 years. Diablo 3 presumable will take 11/12 years.

johnmaso
johnmaso

A lot of complaints here..So what if the it has been moved to a later date? (1) It gives them more time to perfect balance issues [i.e. Zerg late game, Terran early game, etc.] (2) It gives them more time develop the game to near perfection (3) PEOPLE HAVE NOT EVEN MASTERED THE META-GAME OF SC2 YET. I hate to all caps, but i hope that was clear enough. If you play the ladders and watch the GSL (or other league of choice) you can see that the meta game is still evolving. Only recently has mech been used extensively against mid-game toss. Only recently has P v P been more than 4 gate micro wars, we now see 2-gate expand to robo in PvP. TvT, perhaps the most understood match-up, is even evolving in the asain and us ladders, as well as in competitive play. As great as SC2 is, and as much as I love SC2, there are still balance issues (ever wonder why a lot of terrans are doing a Marine/SCV all in vs. Zerg? Yeah, because zerg has crazy end game macro). I am all for giving blizzard more time. I am humble enough to say that I have not mastered the current iteration of SC2. And if you say you have, I dare you to beat IMMvp. or Nestea. or Jinro. lastly, as for the campaign, which the article is about, I personally enjoyed the campaign. It was short, but it brought back good memories: zeratul, raynor, kerrigan. So, more time = hopefully a more polished campaign. I have been a blizzard fan since diablo, WC3, and SC1. I have been active in WoW for the longest time. So far, Blizzard, has not disappointed! Have faith, enjoy the game! See you all in the ladders!

Musambani
Musambani

Well, the first game was pretty bad to begin with and failed to stay true to the series, I'm not looking forward to the further ruination of the series. And at least the ending of HotS was leaked, so I don't even have to acknowledge it now. The game's story is little more than a 15-year old's fan fiction writing.

Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

@spooky57571 Actually he used the correct form of 'too'. If you want to be condescending towards someone at least do it right. As for the report, if true, I'm surprised. With Diablo 3 not due this year I was pretty confident this would arrive at some point before 2012.

Hladilnik
Hladilnik

If only Activision would take so much time to make a Call of duty game...

Memoryitis
Memoryitis

They better make the story better in HOTS, the ending was horrible and pissed me off.

Alex_09
Alex_09

And am I missing something here? You guys think it will actually be worth the cost and take that long to make? I think they are relying on the free advertising known as hype to help the next release. Remember these guys are the ones that created WoW and MMOs as we know them today.

Alex_09
Alex_09

@spooky57571 And F? What a horrible attempt at correction. Trying to be a smartass can have negative consequences it seems.

Laza-rus
Laza-rus

As Diablo 3 has also been taken off the 2011 radar, i guess there's no big release this year then.

spooky57571
spooky57571

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

smbius
smbius

As long as StarCraft doesn't come out as often as Call Of Duty. I'm good.

FedCom
FedCom

From my understanding I played SC2's multiplayer a decade ago in 2D and I got bored with that pretty quick. Granted the new tools look nice, since pre-WoW Blizzard stories were good though I might grab this when they do the obligatory trilogy package. No hurry I guess.

FedCom
FedCom

From my understanding I played SC2's multiplayer a decade ago in 2D and I got bored with that pretty quick. Granted the new tools look nice, since pre-WoW Blizzard stories were good though I might grab this when they do the obligatory trilogy package. No hurry I guess.