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Jim Raynor art remade for the concept and theming of StarCraft Frontiers

StarCraft: Frontiers was a cancelled attempt to create a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG in the StarCraft universe. It was formed from the cancelled Project Titan, but would be scrapped in favor of Overwatch.

Development[]

In 2010, Blizzard confirmed they were working on a new unnamed MMO, however codenamed Titan,[1] as well as a fifth game, which used the World of Warcraft engine for testing purposes.[2] Titan ended development in the summer of 2013.[3] The cancellation of Titan eventually gave way to Overwatch, but in the intermediary period, three separate game ideas were conceived. One was an MMO set in the StarCraft universe, as the team wanted to be able to tell stories in the setting that one couldn't in an RTS format, such as what life was like for civilians on the various planets of the setting.[4] Team 4 found the setting compelling enough to do something similar to World of Warcraft.[5]

Artwork from the cancelled MMO project

This new project would become StarCraft: Frontiers. The concept was that it would take place on the fringes of space, where prospectors would battle one another over claims. Concept art of Jim Raynor from the StarCraft manual was used as the central point of thematic inspiration for the project, giving the team the idea that there could be a rough life out on the fringes of space, and was reimagined for the project. Though many pieces of concept art were made, the project was eventually scrapped in favor of Overwatch. However, leftover concept art for Prospector Logann would be the basis for the character of McCree.[6]

Rumors on Other MMOs[]

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The subject of this article does not physically exist. It exists only as a rumor or a popular imagination but is discussed often enough to keep track of.

In light of the success of Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft series, it became common to question and speculate as to whether an MMO game would be developed for Blizzard's other major franchises of StarCraft and Diablo. In 2008, Frank Pearce commented that while a StarCraft MMO would be "cool", Blizzard's game development staff were (at the time) spread thinly throughout the projects that Blizzard is working on. An MMO for StarCraft was not something that existed on a short or even medium-term horizon.[7]
He further stated that the success of World of Warcraft would make it difficult to create a StarCraft MMO because the bar has been set so high, and that it would be a lot of work.[8] However, it was later clarified Blizzard believes the StarCraft universe is deep enough to do whatever they want to do, even if it's an MMO.[9]

In a May 2019 interview, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack commented that World of Warcraft had a "technology stack" that could be adapted for "the next thing" in IPs such as StarCraft. However, he specified that a StarCraft MMO would be "a difficult challenge", and that they were focused using the technology to support both WoW and WoW Classic.[10]

StarCraft Online[]

In 2008, rumors of StarCraft Online emerged. The name came from the claim that Chinese online games operator NetEase had acquired the rights to make such a game.[11]

Blizzard Entertainment confirmed the rumor as false, stating the game will be using a new IP.[12]

Blizzard Logo1.gif 12th May 2009—StarCraft MMO Rumor False

by Zarhym

Games take years to develop from concept to release. Diablo III was in the works for years before being announced. StarCraft II was announced two years ago and isn't even in Beta yet.

We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it's a shell of a game thus far. We've already stated it'll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It's an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this.

GameSpot also confirmed the rumor is false.[13]

References[]

  1. Medievaldragon. 2010-12-17. Frank Pearce Confirms Blizzard’s Next-Gen MMO Codenamed Titan. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2010-12-17.
  2. Medievaldragon. 2009-03-24. Fifth Blizzard Game In the Works Update. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2009-03-24.
  3. 2015-05-27, BlizzCon 2014 – Overwatch Origins Panel Transcript, p5, Blizzplanet.
  4. 2017-11-05, OVERWATCH ARCHIVES PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-19.
  5. 2017-05-11, BlizzCon 2017: How Overwatch rose from Titan’s failure. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2017-11-05
  6. Neilson, Mickey. Forging Worlds: Stories Behind the Art of Blizzard Entertainment (hardcover). Blizzard Entertainment, January, 2022.
  7. Frank Pearce, Leord, AusGamers. 2008-09-19. AusGamers Video Interview with Frank Pearce. IncGamers/AusGamers. Accessed 2008-09-19.
  8. Wesley Yin-Poole, Frank Pearce. 2008-08-21. Blizzard: WoW success makes StarCraft MMO 'difficult'. Videogamer.com Accessed 2008-09-02.
  9. StarCraft Source staff, Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco. Interview with Frank Pierce and Bob Colayco. StarCraft Source. Accessed 2008-09-02.
  10. 2019-05-14, Blizzard Entertainment President Interview On Priorities, WoW: Classic And Diablo. Forbes, accessed on 2019-05-20.
  11. 2008-01-31, StarCraft Online rumored for Chinese online operator. Games Industry. Accessed on 2008-08-28.
  12. Forum quote: "People are saying that there is another MMO in the works at Blizzard. Seriously, if there was, they would be advertising it already."
    Forum answer:
    "Games take years to develop from concept to release. Diablo III was in the works for years before being announced. StarCraft II was announced two years ago and isn't even in Beta yet.
    We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it's a shell of a game thus far. We've already stated it'll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It's an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this.
    "
    Zarhym. 2009-05-12. Blizzard going the way of SOE? World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forum. Accessed 2009-05-12.
  13. TomM_GScom. 2008-02-01. 'Starcraft Online' confirmed? GameSpot. Accessed 2009-03-18.
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