On June 22, Blizzard Entertainment dropped a double bombshell. First, it announced that Starcraft: Ghost, the third-person tactical shooter set in the Starcraft universe, would not be released until 2005. Second, it confirmed that the game's developer, Nihilistic Software, was no longer working on the project.
Today Blizzard announced that it has hired Swingin' Ape Studios to finish the "collaborative development" of Starcraft: Ghost. "The team at Swingin' Ape Studios is a very talented group of developers with a proven ability to deliver extraordinary games," said Blizzard's president and cofounder Mike Morhaime. "We're confident that this partnership will result in titles that achieve the level of quality that players have come to expect from Blizzard products." Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Based in the Orange County suburb of Aliso Viejo, California, Swingin' Ape was founded in summer 2000 by three veteran Midway Games developers: Steve Ranck, Mike Starich, and Scott Goffman. Ironically, the company's only title to date is another third-person sci-fi shooter, the moderately successful Metal Arms: A Glitch in the System.
The Blizzard-Swingin' Ape announcement did not reveal any other details on Starcraft: Ghost, other than that the game will still be released on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. GameSpot will have more details as they become available.