Q&A session details Starcraft II

Blizzard Entertainment holds Western media press conference after announcing its highly anticipated sequel, covering key points about the game and its future.

SEOUL--After announcing that a Starcraft sequel is in the works, Blizzard Entertainment held a follow-up press conference for reporters from Asia Pacific, American, and European territories. The conference included a panel of the studio's heaviest hitters, including president Mike Morhaime, chief operating officer Paul Sams, vice president of creative development Chris Metzen, vice president of game design Rob Pardo, Blizzard Korea managing director Jungwon Han, lead game producer Chris Sigaty, and lead game designer Dustin Browder.

Paul Sams, Rob Pardo, and Dustin Browder field questions on the future of Starcraft II.

The panel answered questions on numerous topics, including Starcraft II's development history, which Pardo explained "started shortly after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne" back in 2003. According to Pardo, the game is "very far along" and is already playable in multiplayer with all three factions. When asked about the release date, Pardo gave the answer you may have come to expect from Blizzard: "The game will be released when it's ready."

According to the panel, the game is being developed by a team of approximately 40, though on the matter of the budget and the schedule, Morhaime simply said, "We don't really have a budget; we'll spend as much time and resources as we need to make this game great."

When asked about how Blizzard was approaching the challenge of making a game that would appeal both to hardcore and to casual players, the panel replied that the game will appeal to hardcore fans by being geared toward "highly competitive, skill-based gameplay," as well as by efforts to "continue to drive new features onto Battle.net," Blizzard's in-house online game service. Also, Blizzard is trying to encourage players to watch match replays to get into the "drama" and emotion behind competition, similar to the way that close-in cameras helped popularize tournament poker.

To address concerns from hardcore fans, Blizzard commented on questions specific to gameplay and the competitive community, such as the play speed of the demonstration videos, which didn't run as quickly as the original Starcraft. This is because, according to Pardo, the game played during the demonstration was set on a slower speed; Pardo suggested that Starcraft II will have multiple speed settings, similar to Warcraft III.

The panel also confirmed that the sequel will have only the three factions of the Protoss, Terrans, and Zerg; there will be no fourth faction. To address another question, the panel suggested that the resource-management system in the sequel will feature "some enhancements, but it will still be very similar to the resource management in Starcraft, and just as important."

When asked about system requirements, the panel replied that the requirements haven't been fully finalized, but the game will support Pixel Shader 2.0 graphics and PCs with either Windows XP or Vista. Given that the trailers shown at this morning's presentation featured cameo appearances from key Starcraft characters like Zeratul, Jim Raynor, and Kerrigan, creative development VP Chris Metzen confirmed that those three characters will definitely appear in the game. He added the sequel will definitely expand on the story from Starcraft and Brood War, but the studio would otherwise have to stay "tight-lipped" on further details.

The panel also fielded broader questions pertaining to the sequel's future and Blizzard's future. When asked why Blizzard decided to develop Starcraft II rather than, for instance, another Diablo sequel or another massively multiplayer game, Morhaime replied that Starcraft II was a project that much of the company had wanted to work on for years, and the current level of technology made the game seem like the right choice. Morhaime also pointed out that the new development proved that Blizzard "wasn't just a massively multiplayer company" that would rest on the laurels of the highly successful World of Warcraft.

Chris Sigaty, Chris Metzen, and president Mike Morhaime take questions from eager press from around the globe.

The panel also fielded a thorny question on the creation of new intellectual property (IP). Blizzard has become known for focusing on creating games only from a select few IPs it owns (Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo), and although several team members "would like to explore the creation of new IPs, [they] are still very much in love with the three." Also, with Blizzard's approach to developing games--that is, developing very few games at a time--the company often finds itself focusing only on these properties.

Morhaime also fielded a question on Blizzard's commitment to the PC as its primary game platform. He cited the "indefinite hold" status of the studio's console game Starcraft: Ghost as an impetus that eventually drove the company to focus on the PC as its primary platform. Morhaime said that decision "paid off in spades," given that Blizzard's new focus now lets it work on Starcraft II and World of Warcraft expansions.

The executive also suggested that Microsoft's new initiative to bring the Xbox Live experience to the PC in the form of Live Anywhere wouldn't change Blizzard's online strategy. The company remains committed to supporting and developing its Battle.net Web site for online play.

For more on Starcraft II, check out GameSpot's coverage of the official unveiling.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

363 comments
xxXxxMCRxxXxx
xxXxxMCRxxXxx

sounds like another massive and successful game

XERYON3
XERYON3

I check Starcraft 2 website everyday just to seek for some news because I just can't wait... BTW no matter how long they will work on it, there will be patches/updates anyway that's the way it is...

XERYON3
XERYON3

of course protoss are overpowered... they added so many good units for them.... as usual terrans get the worst new units... but still I will love this game no matter what... Can't wait for release... I will "BUY" it for sure!

DarkShadow-X75
DarkShadow-X75

This game is gonna ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

xspawn69
xspawn69

Actually, I'd love to see another REAL Warcraft game too. Since there hasn't been one since Frozen Throne.

budboarder
budboarder

Stop whining about Diablo 3 everyone. Starcraft is a much better game. Im glad they said it would not be released until its ready, too many game companies rush the game through to make a quick buck. Id much rather play a fine tuned and for lack of a better work perfect game.

blaster710
blaster710

Diablo 3, Diablo 3, where's my Diablo 3

Strongman98
Strongman98

I have never EVEN played or seen this series BUT then i Saw the TRAILER, my life was changed forever

Onenottoforget
Onenottoforget

At least we know what were waiting for now and that it will be perfect when it comes out

asdfpo
asdfpo

Amen to that, trickazzmark. Thats why some of the best games ever came from Blizzard.

trickazzmark
trickazzmark

thats good that blizzard will take the time and care to prepare thing game to be at its finest. unlike most game companies that rush things.

jensen_slipknot
jensen_slipknot

like SwampThing said, if a game needs lots of patches right away,then its not ready. so if this does need patches right away then they lied and made us wait for nothing

sieg6529
sieg6529

I love that no-BS statement "you get it when it is ready". We need more of that from game developers.

Psyfon
Psyfon

They're not going to pull a Mircosoft and release it before it's done. It would be a great way to flease more money out of people with bug fixes and such. LOL, seriously if they said that, sounds like fans just got impatiend.

doctorteeth
doctorteeth

Oh, bull. As long as a company is working hard on a new game, "when it's ready" is exactly when I want it released, and not a day before. The introduction to the internet for the PC long ago and recently for home consoles of course is fantastic, but with it comes the danger of updates and patches being an all too often used crutch.

HippyDestroyr56
HippyDestroyr56

"The game will be released when it's ready"--- Makes me mad

LordBelgarion
LordBelgarion

Don't think I'll care much about the price they'll be asking for this one. This is THE must have of the last decade.

fluffebunnie
fluffebunnie

When it is ready, I will be there buying it for sure. I will be repairing tanks and flaming bunkers.

homiebo
homiebo

Liked the game demo, would of liked a blinding nuke or just one that scared the earth. Still cool

AvIdGaMeR444
AvIdGaMeR444

nic4games...if you really think this game will be released 1st quarter of 2008, then you don't know Blizzard's track record well. They delay, delay, delay, then delay some more.

Leozt
Leozt

Very interesting gameplay video... Awesome Cinematic... the game looks great!!!!

ocdog45
ocdog45

the game will be ready when its ready

stealth89
stealth89

YOU REQUIRE ADDITIONAL PYLONS

NWA_31
NWA_31

I love Blizzard. ^_^

gafferoo
gafferoo

Got to love Blizzard and their "when it's ready" comments. People give Blizzard a bad rap because of their "when it's ready" mentality, but they have consistently put out top notch games. I, for one, can wait a little while longer for Starcraft 2, Blizzard has earned my respect.

hellso
hellso

This game will show up the Warcraft series for sure. It's been almost 10 long years and ever since the end of Brood War I have benn calling for a Starcraft 2 and here it is. Up with Starcraft down with Warcraft

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

LOL the classic comment of the blizzard entertainment, "will be out when it's ready"

nic4games
nic4games

i think this game will be released in the first quarter of 2008

Swampthing
Swampthing

"The game will be released when it's ready." OH is this a NEW policy? So often these days games are released when they AREN'T ready and require patches right away. So do we have their word, NO patches for several months after release? Needing patches means... it wasn't ready.

life4hire
life4hire

How do you think WOW sold to so many millions of people "globally"? It's because of Battlenet. I was playing Star Craft on bnet over a dialup connection from Japan and played wonderful games every day for years. Bnet has established a firm following.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

"When it's ready"? So this is coming out the same day Duke Nukem Forever comes out?

ntnimara
ntnimara

I think I must say that I agree with you agreeing with me... and I do think we think alike... ;P

Artemios
Artemios

ntnimara, you are reading my mind. But what can i say...great minds think alike. :)

ntnimara
ntnimara

Ah yes... indeed indeed..... but waiting has a tendency to take time...

Artemios
Artemios

I agree with ntimara...it's about time, but we must, once again re-enter our waiting stance that we once had....until it comes out that is...then we'll see. Don't u agree ntimara?:)

ntnimara
ntnimara

Thank Dog!!!!! It's about time to announce that at some point in the undefined future this game will be released... ...now I'll go back to waiting...

FilthyYamBag
FilthyYamBag

I'm willing to wait, i mean I've been waiting for about 10 years now, just get it right and don't disappoint. Wait this is blizzard the game will be fine get it done within a year

Proman84
Proman84

"The game will be released when it's ready."? I say this game better be ready when it's released! I know I will be...

DevinB9
DevinB9

Oh my god, I've been waiting forever for this.

gallmankids
gallmankids

I just cant wait will definately be in my Collection!

allnyda
allnyda

I have been anxiously waiting for this sequal more than any other Blizzard IP. Starcraft was tons of fun to play, there are still huge tournaments in Japan. I am suprised they have no intention to introduce any new races. Can't wait to get my hands on this.

GraveDiggerPL
GraveDiggerPL

I like starcraft as strategy,but they still should make MMORPG.But eh...Half of WoW gamers wouldn't play it anymore ^^

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Hehe, i like these guys, they don't care about the budget and release dates, just making great games! :D

NightRain
NightRain

Yeah... That's what you have to say to the millions of fans wanting for a release date and hoping the company will stay true to the date: "WHEN IT'S READY! STOP HARASSING US!"