Although Blizzard may have little financial reason to divert
its attentions away from its fantasy-based MMO cash cow, speculation during recent
months points to a possible return of the company’s classic sci-fi franchise.
Reports coming from Korean sources indicate that a StarCraft sequel could be making a public appearance sometime this
Korean pro-gaming site Fighter
claims that there will be a beta version of StarCraft
2 coming out before the end of the year. Furthermore, the site cites
Hanbitsoft, the distributor of StarCraft
in Korea, as being aware that the sequel will have a new race and additional
Korea’s apparent lead in information surrounding the classic
Blizzard sci-fi franchise may be due to StarCraft’s still-rabid following in
South Korea. Professional matches against celebrity StarCraft players are often
televised for the mainstream public, who seems to have a wide acceptance of pro-gaming.
E-sports and broadcast companies would likely need to know of plans for
StarCraft 2 so that they may make the appropriate preparations for the
transition to the new game.
Predictably, Blizzard is remaining tight-lipped on its
future projects, though the developer does plan to reveal a new product at the
Worldwide Invitational tournament next month in Korea. According to another
South Korean source, This
Is Game (translated),
Blizzard is inviting more than a hundred broadcasting teams from around the
world for this announcement.
"We do intend to announce a new product at the
Worldwide Invitational next month in Korea, and we appreciate the enthusiasm
and interest in getting an advance look at what that will be, but players will
have to wait until May 19th to find out more," read a statement that a
Blizzard representative provided to DailyTech.
Blizzard, however, is neither confirming nor denying that
the new product could be a new StarCraft
game, but does promise that the franchise will inevitably see a return. The
statement continued, "Also, we have a very strong connection with the
characters and settings of StarCraft,
and we do plan to revisit that universe at some point in the future, but we
don't have anything new to announce in that regard at present."
Worldwide Invitational will be held at the Olympic Gymnastics and Fencing
Stadiums in Seoul, South Korea on May 19 and 20.