Starcraft: Ghost in purgatory

Blizzard indefinitely postpones long-awaited shooter; shifts console development focus to next-gen platforms.

Back in the fall of 2002, when current-generation consoles were brand-spanking new and just starting to show what they could do, Blizzard Entertainment announced its first serious foray into console gaming, an action-oriented offshoot to its PC real-time strategy hit Starcraft. The new game, Starcraft: Ghost, was to be developed for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube.

Starcraft: Ghost was originally scheduled for release in 2003, but it endured a series of delays. First it slipped to 2004, and then Blizzard switched developers from Nihilistic Software to Swingin' Ape Studios, pushing the project back to 2005. Things were apparently going well with Ghost, since Blizzard bought out Swingin' Ape in May of 2005, but the game slipped off the 2005 release calendar, and the publisher eventually canned the GameCube edition.

Now the PlayStation 2 and Xbox look like they may be likewise canceled, as Blizzard has announced that it is indefinitely postponing production on Ghost to focus the company's console efforts on next-gen platforms. This doesn't necessarily mean Ghost is headed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Revolution, however, as Blizzard president and cofounder Mike Morhaime said in a statement.

"Like many in the industry, we've been impressed with the potential of the new consoles, and we're looking forward to exploring that potential further," Morhaime said. "In addition to allowing us to determine the best course for Starcraft: Ghost, this review period will help us lay the groundwork for our future console games."

This might not come as much of a surprise to fans of the company. A Blizzard product catalog that shipped with its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft over a year ago proclaimed that Ghost was "Coming soon to next-generation consoles." At the time, a Blizzard representative told GameSpot that the catalog listing was wrong and that the game was not going to make the next-gen jump.

GameSpot will have more on Ghost's future and Blizzard's next-gen console plans as they come to light.

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