BlizzCon 2008: Starcraft II split into trilogy

Blizzard's Rob Pardo reveals sci-fi RTS will now be three separate products; Terran campaign Wings of Liberty will arrive first.

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ANAHEIM, California--For many, this morning's keynote address from Blizzard president Mike Morhaime was a bit anticlimactic. After revealing Starcraft II, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, and Diablo III at three consecutive events, Blizzard had nothing new to report on a new game from the company. That changed during the Starcraft II panel, as Blizzard's Rob Pardo revealed that rather than a single real-time strategy game, Starcraft II will now be released as a trilogy.

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After bemoaning the fact that Starcraft II was shaping up to be an undertaking far larger than the previous game, Pardo said the first game in the series--subtitled Wings of Liberty--will focus on the Terrans. Specifically, it will seek to resolve the conflict between Jim Raynor and Kerrigan, which was the crux of the original Starcraft. The second game, Heart of the Swarm, will focus on the Zerg, while the final game, Legacy of the Void, will be devoted to the Protoss.

Pardo noted that each release will be a fully fledged campaign, featuring 26 to 30 missions apiece. The celebrity World of Warcraft designer also noted that while the ending of each game will be set, the middle of the game will play heavily to player choice, allowing for branching storylines. Pardo also said that the second two releases could be considered expansion packs, but that "we really want them to feel like stand-alone products."

Unfortunately, Pardo did not reveal when the first game in the trilogy will arrive. For more on Starcraft II--now the Starcraft Trilogy--check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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

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    Avatar image for radtudor
    radtudor

    Erm, even if the story is top notch, won't it get a bit boring playing the same race in the campaign over and over again for 25ish levels? Bad move, in my opinion. I'd happily pay $120 for a single ultra-complex game than have to split it up in chunks. It's what sort of ruined the last instalment of Monkey Island for me, which comes in an episodic format from Telltale.

    Avatar image for maboroshi09
    maboroshi09

    all i have to say is...math anyone? ____ x 3 = ____?

    Avatar image for Monkeychild41
    Monkeychild41

    You guys didn't wanna wait for it to come out. Now they split it up and y'all're complaining. MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Do you want it now or wanna wait when it's finished?

    Avatar image for neodestroyer
    neodestroyer

    this also gives them an oppurtinity to change the story line based on fans reactions to the campaigns. As for the money issue. if they come out with the games at different times then i gurantee anyone will recover enough money to buy another game even with the economy. the only way this product should fail is if the game was worse off then expected. then it becomes a problem. i highly doubt that circumstance coming from blizzard. also if each is a full length of game, why not sell it for the same price as the effort put into it? its the same with WOW each had a few specs to it but no true differences that changed how WOW is played.

    Avatar image for Aametherar
    Aametherar

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

    Avatar image for Bracon901
    Bracon901

    Blizzard is releasing 3 "campaigns", not 3 games with 3 different races. You will be able to play each race, just not the campaign. This will offer (in my opinion) new units for each race to come out in the days ahead. Think of it as a real expensive book trilogy, you dont know what the story line will bring until the next release.

    Avatar image for Early-Dayz
    Early-Dayz

    wow so we have to buy all three different titles to enjoy each race :I u serious?

    Avatar image for Neosword
    Neosword

    Somehow I missed this little bit of news back when it was released. This has got me really excited. I just hope the quality of all the products are up to snuff.

    Avatar image for Superfunk2000
    Superfunk2000

    Rip off

    Avatar image for dNam3b
    dNam3b

    if the game comes out semi annual or 1 a year the battle chest will only come out in 2-3 years. I believe that each campaign is very complete and the graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, history are very good. Making it a trilogy, kind of make it more special! starcraft, if it comes out this year, will be the "game of the year"

    Avatar image for Kool212
    Kool212

    Wow. What a money grab.

    Avatar image for Dahlgren
    Dahlgren

    Well..., just another reason to wait for the 'StarCraft II Battle Chest'! After all, we've waited ~10 years since the last StarCraft addition -- what's a couple more?

    Avatar image for masterlu
    masterlu

    itzjchung; "The company Activision/Blizzard corportate executives just wants to take advantage of this game franchise and do something ridiculous in order to soley profit themselves." ...well... you just defined "business", well done. Of course they do it for profit, it's a company for pete's sake. Just because Blizzard historically has shown a tendency to base their business strategy around the concept of unwavering production quality and strong brand-building doesn't mean it's not a BUSINESS. Just the fact that you and others react so strongly to what appears to be more mercenary profiteering than usual proves the strength of their brand - Blizzard is effectively the good guys while this kind of move would be something the general public would come to expect from, say, EA...

    Avatar image for osiris
    osiris

    This is risky, for sure. I do, however, look forward to the always excellent work from Blizzard being used to supply 3 full campaigns to fully immerse us in the Starcraft world. Should be fun. Hopefully they set it up that it comes out on a yearly or maybe even semi-annually (I can always hope) timescale so we don't lose must interest.

    Avatar image for Kitsukage
    Kitsukage

    I doubt they took into account the state of the economy, when they did this. Moreover, I hope they don't charge full price for a third of the game, each time. Its nice that they're giving each StarCraft race their own game, but... as said, it just looks like a fleecing tactic. Since they're going to be 'individual games', I'm guessing we're going to have to wait for the latter two to be released, as well. Unfortunately, they'll be releasing the game dedicated to my favourite race last. Its a nice touch, but considering money issues and the already huge wait for this game, it wasn't exactly something done with the fans of the series in mind, really. Saying all that, though, I'll probably still get them-- eventually.

    Avatar image for itzjchung
    itzjchung

    So in order for me to actually play Starcraft 2 in full experience, they want to milk out $150+ for a game. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE KIDDING?? Cut the bullsh*t! The company Activision/Blizzard corportate executives just wants to take advantage of this game franchise and do something ridiculous in order to soley profit themselves.

    Avatar image for tespac
    tespac

    If the story line & the graphics are great. Plentiful mission play and new units. And hard to beat AI, why not? I go for it! I hope the AI is like chess. Every piece is essential on defensive and the downfall of the opponent. And most exciting is, research on enemy's weaponry and incorporate that of you units. And you can send reinforcement from the previous conquered map(s). Of course you have to spend resources to do this. And most of all, if you loss that battle the story continues on a different battle map. Until you have sufficient units and conquer or retake the map. I like to see multiple battle maps in real time. If you dont organized you units on one of maps your are F*#@$! big time! That would be nice, dont you think?

    Avatar image for Noodle001
    Noodle001

    Does this mean that the Zerg and Protoss are in the disadvantage in customplay and multiplay? or will they just split up the campaigns and leave the customplay and multiplay as it is? They sure got antention now

    Avatar image for mr111111
    mr111111

    it's the consumer stupid

    Avatar image for rockutd
    rockutd

    Lol.Blizzard just stabbed all loyal fans in the back.Well done.

    Avatar image for TehUndeadHorror
    TehUndeadHorror

    Somehow I think it would have been better if he didn't tell us this...

    Avatar image for ssj5_nick
    ssj5_nick

    And the award for the most "Arrogant Move By a Video Game Developer" goes to ... Blizzard.

    Avatar image for x-TwilighT-x
    x-TwilighT-x

    I remember starcraft, I remember the game comming out. I also very well remember being a loyal fan of the game and playing it as one of my main games for the past 10 years. I love starcraft, the gameplay the story, et cetra... However at 50$... 60$ a pop... 3 games to get the full effect of the game... Wow now that is a rip off my friend. I'm not sure if they're doing this for money or not. However let's take a look at the economy... enough said, we can't afford that. It's not as if Blizzards revenue from WoW Can't support releasing these at 20$ so that you can get all 3 for the expected price of a single game.

    Avatar image for ThresherJ
    ThresherJ

    I guess my main concern is: What's this going to do to the multiplayer? If it's going to be split into 3 games, each focusing on a different race, are we only going to be able to play as Terrans in the first game? Adding races as each of the next two come out :\ And if that's NOT the case, and we can play as all the races in MP right off the bat, that'll just make me sick, because then I'm going to want to play the campaign for that race!!!! AUGH!

    Avatar image for tudyniuz
    tudyniuz

    If Starcraft II doesn't deliver it will be the end of the series

    Avatar image for NandoSupes
    NandoSupes

    I really don't know what to say about this,I mean,is their game. if they want to split it into three,they can do whatever the hell they want. I won't be buying this because I don't play RTS'S but Blizzard, is one of the best game developers out there. they make great games no doubt. let's hope that the trilogy is worth it and that it does exceeds everyone's expectations,because theres a lot of fans that are not happy about this decision for sure.

    Avatar image for Kabals
    Kabals

    Blizzard should change their name to "Fleece." This is purely a money-grab stunt being pulled off. Pardo said "We really want them to feel like stand-alone products." Yeah, I bet Pardo, I also would be willing to take out a second mortgage and use that money to bet that you're going to charge full game prices for games 2 and 3. What a way to treat the fans of this franchise: "Hey everyone! We know you've been waiting patiently for almost 11 years now, so here's the deal: we're going to make you wait even longer to play the full game. We're going to release it a third at a time, all the while shoving our foot up your a$$." Go to hell Blizzard.

    Avatar image for ghost_orc_man
    ghost_orc_man

    I think its a pretty good idea plus each game has 25-30 missions which is like any other rts game.

    Avatar image for MatzeEdend
    MatzeEdend

    Well, I'll still get all three of them... call me a sheep (since I usually end up as one in WoW anyway:P) but these games are too good to simply pass on. Hopefully the releases are relatively close together, but that's probably just wishful thinking.

    Avatar image for fujimujiwuji
    fujimujiwuji

    I was there at Blizzcon at the front row and he specifically said that full multiplayer play will be released in the first game, Wings of Liberty. You WILL be able to fully play Zerg and Protoss, so anyone buying the game to play multiplayer will not have to worry about that. He also explained that they do not know what they would add to the next 2 games since full multiplayer will be available in the first game, but they will figure something out.~

    Avatar image for GolgoThirteen
    GolgoThirteen

    Pardo also said that the second two releases could be considered expansion packs, but that "we really want them to feel like stand-alone products." Yeah, with stand-alone price points too, no doubt.

    Avatar image for IMP_ACT
    IMP_ACT

    @ Cerebis: "Plus, they've already talked about their design that will prevent torrents from working, by requiring an online check-in after install, to register the cd-key to the product ID of your disc / discs." hehe, same as Company of Heroes, right? So how was that available as a playable torrent on it's official release? It'll be cracked (wrong as it is) as soon as it's released. Only multiplayer will require verification.

    Avatar image for syafiqjabar
    syafiqjabar

    The way I see it, one faction gets as much missions as the entire first game. That means, if they release Starcraft 2 as one game. You'll get it in 2013. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!

    Avatar image for Poedon
    Poedon

    If you take away the first few introductory missions for each faction, didn't the first starcraft only have around 30 missions? This one is going to have close to that for one faction. AND Blzz has to make up for all of the development money they lost on Starcraft: Ghost for the consoles :P

    Avatar image for canis_rah
    canis_rah

    Yeah, that sucks. Blizzard are going to milk this cash cow for all its worth, and splitting one game into 3 parts is a good way to extract every last ounce of revenue from the gaming public. Very disappointing.

    Avatar image for ff7cloudking
    ff7cloudking

    As long as the two "expansion packs" are cheap, and there is still online, this doesnt bother me at all.

    Avatar image for unr2
    unr2

    Even though I cant wait for the game to come, I think it absolutely sucks that they are diverging what is essentially one game into three different standalone releases. How long are we going to have to wait for each release? Typically, it will about a year for one pack to come after the first game is released. So, in theory, we have to wait a total of 3 years for the 'full' starcraft 2 game to released, are you kidding me? That just sounds stupid, especially that since the 'sequel' games are going to be more like expansions, hence meaning same game mechanics and graphics. From a commercial standpoint I think it may just work, seeing that the first starcraft is STILL played in large numbers around the world, but I'm just dissappointed that someone like Blizzard is going to be rolling out the same, but slightly varied products, for the 2 years following the Terran release. I just don't think I'll be interested enough to purchase the follow ups, especially if they come at full price.

    Avatar image for Bludlusted
    Bludlusted

    I dont care much bout dis, cause the first game will come out earlier and the multiplayer will b the same, if any1 has watched blizzcon they would know bout dis

    Avatar image for breed101
    breed101

    Great. Just great. I don't mind buying 3 different games, but shelling out at least $300 for them all is just stupid.

    Avatar image for Jackelz24
    Jackelz24

    I can't believe people are complaining about this "we really want them to feel like stand-alone products" just means that each game is going to be epic and enhance the game greatly. Frozen Throne was just as good, if not better then Reign of Chaos. Plus, now we won't have to wait as long for the game to come out. This sounds like great news to me.

    Avatar image for HoushiSama1l
    HoushiSama1l

    The only fools that would agree with this corporate decision are the most loyal butt-licking Blizzard fanboys.

    Avatar image for Cerebris
    Cerebris

    Starcraft had 4 expansions actually. They had 2 non related to blizzard expansions, as well as BroodWar, and a community mappack.

    Avatar image for UnknownPerson55
    UnknownPerson55

    LAME!! I wanted one ****ing game, not three... ...better not make it cost more, which is the only reason why I'd be mad.

    Avatar image for dzimm
    dzimm

    gamergallore: "Starcraft had 2 expansions?" There was an unofficial "expansion" released prior to Brood War that was nothing but a bit of shovelware where somebody gathered up a bunch of user made maps, slapped them on a disc, and charged for it. It's odd to think that people used to be able to get away with something like that.

    Avatar image for dzimm
    dzimm

    I guess after the success of World of WarCraft, Blizzard is rather fond of the idea of its customers paying for the same product multiple times. Let's just hope that kind of thinking doesn't worm its way into Diablo III, but I'm not optimistic.

    Avatar image for rikhan_z
    rikhan_z

    with increasing technologies in the field of computers and having something like 200GB free space and 8GB Ram chips and Windows Vista 64 bit to powering it on... it's a GOOD move from Blizzard I think to make use of all of this hardware... I'm looking forward to it.

    Avatar image for greedom
    greedom

    I'll wait and see for this game. Not thrilled that it's going to be 3 parts but it's not like this is any different than the way they've always presented their RTS's. Not to mention Blizzard has made some pretty fantastic games in the past leaving me with 100's of hours of entertainment.

    Avatar image for tekken0908
    tekken0908

    is it true they are in the making of warcraft 4?

    Avatar image for Vote_For_McCain
    Vote_For_McCain

    Looks like They just lost all of my money. I don't feel like paying over $100 for this game.