Another Hint that Starcraft MMO is in the Works

This year at GDC Blizzard dropped some more hints that indeed a Starcraft MMO could be on the way. At the “Future of MMOs” talk, President of Blizzard, Rob Pardo, had this to say when asked “Can sci-fi be as successful as fantasy in the MMO space?”

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Kim stated that IPs that are easy to identify, like Star Trek or Star Wars, make this problem disappear. Players know what to expect in a Star Wars universe, and it could be successful. Looking sidelong at Rob Pardo, he indicated that a Starcraft MMO, for example, would be immediately understood by players and, “I’d probably play that instead of WoW.” (both the panelists and the audience laughed at this exchange.)

Rob Pardo had a tinge of palpable disdain for the question. He reminded everyone that in the 1970s, people thought sci-fi couldn’t be successful on TV or in the movies. “Then a little film called Star Wars came along and it revolutionized everything.” According to Pardo, a big, successful sci-fi MMO simply hasn’t been seen yet. You just have to have the right product, and it could easily be just as succesful as WoW.

I have to be frank in saying that three staffers attended this panel discussion, and Pardo’s comments had the three of us raising our eyebrows and looking sidelong at one another. It wasn’t simply the answer he gave, one that was very strongly in support of the idea of a big sci-fi MMO. It was the tone he took when answering it. While we can’t say that Pardo was intending to drop a hint about Blizzard’s unannounced, in-the-works MMO, it is obvious that Blizzard thinks that a sci-fi MMO like Starcraft could be a big success.

With World of Warcraft showing its age, Blizzard knows that if they want to continue being kings of the MMORPG world they will need to branch out. Doing a Diablo MMO might make more sense in the fact that Diablo is already a RPG, so turning it into a MMORPG would be a natural transition. However by doing a Starcraft MMO, Blizzard can really do something completely new. A Starcraft MMO would most certainly be very very different from WOW. Only time will tell, but as I said months ago, I’m putting my money on a Starcraft MMO.


  1. I don’t think WoW has started showing it’s age yet. It would actually have to stop growing for that to happen, and for whatever reason, that has not started happening yet.

    Also, a Starcraft MMO could be exactly like Warcraft, just set in the Starcraft universe. Actually, it is not like Blizzard to waiver far from the norm when it comes to developing games. If a Starcraft MMO ever comes to light, it will NOT dramatically alter the successful equation set down by World of Warcraft.

  2. I don’t agree with that. While WOWs formula works, its already been copied more than enough times. If they did make SC similar to WOW, I think it would be a huge disappointment. I think with SC, they’ll have a chance do get away from what everyone else is doing. A Starcraft MMO would have massive potential for PVP play. And as MMOs seem to be going towards that, AoC and Warhammer, I think Blizzard will want to make there next MMO heavy on PvP.

  3. I’m pretty leery of Blizzard doing a Starcraft MMO, if only because I don’t think people are going to see a compelling need to switch from WoW unless . . .

    unless Blizzard lets players paying their WoW subscription fee flip between MMORPGs. Other than that, I predict if the next MMORPG from Blizzard is Starcraft-based we will only see the same level of success as other non-WoW MMORPGs.

    That’s just my thought.

  4. I think it could be a massive success. Europe and Asia have a soft spot in their hearts for Starcraft, and the Asian region hasn’t really taken to WoW as much as the rest of the world has (though WoW’s numbers are surprisingly good for the region). I think a Starcraft MMO could be just the push needed to empty out Asia’s pockets.

  5. I’d bet a SC MMO would work for the simple fact (which was stated above) that the fantasy world is used over and over and over again, and is getting stale.(in my opinion)

    Terrans vs Protoss with zerg as the NPC enemy. There are rival factions within each race, and the Protoss/zerg hybrid race that was hinted about in the brood wars expansion could be incorporated. Even the zerg had heroes that could be used as player classes.

    I’ve played Eve, but being strictly inside ships gets old. Anarchy online and SWG never really took off, at least not in the way WoW did. I bet if Blizzard stuck to the casual player as their target audience and worked in the same fantastic pvp/arena system it would work like a charm.

    Although A diablo MMO would be sweet, and Diablo fans are due a game, its almost the same setting with regards to classes and skills as the fantasy setting in most MMO games.

    I’d be interested in seeing how they would handle vehicles in the SC MMO. I’d love to have a/be a siege tank…but doesn’t seem like it would work out.

  6. I’ve been saying the next MMO from Blizzard is going to be a Starcraft MMO for a long time. Now I’m almost sure of it, here is my reasoning.

    Blizzard made Warcraft 3 in 2002, but they had to be making WoW at the time (knowing how long it takes to make an MMO and WoW came out in 2004). Their making Starcraft 2 now, so they’re probably in the mist of making a Starcraft MMO. Also like Warcraft 3 put Warcraft in the minds of players again, I think one reason for making Starcraft 2 is to bring Starcraft into the minds of players. Most kids never heard of Diablo, just like they haddent heard of Starcraft until the tailors started coming out for Starcraft 2. So thats why I’m pretty sure a Starcraft MMO is coming out.

    I think a Starcraft MMO could be great, it would have more PVP, probably mostly PVP. I could see having a little RTS in there in the way you can build your own city, and in that city you can build your own vehicles and such. I could see it mostly skill based, but not fully. If done well I can see a Starcraft MMO taking a lot away from WoW, especially if they have something like and all access pass.

  7. WoW, as we all know, was a huge success. But all good thing must come to an end. I think the creation of a Starcraft MMO would be a brilliant move by Blizzard. The attempt at Star Wars online failed for various reasons but Blizzard’s experience in WoW combined with seeing those failings could allow them to create a massive and in-depth game. Its time to move on from WoW, I mean how many new expansions can they legitimately due?

    I think people would switch from WoW to a Starcraft MMO. The ones worried about money would likely wait for their current memberships to expire. But lets be realistic folks, most true gamers don’t care about the cost or owning different games. Its all about the new game and the experience it brings. Blizzard knows this and will eat up the market even if Starcraft 2 doesn’t go MMO. Go Blizzard, I look forward to Starcraft 2 regardless of how the game turns out as far as MMO is concerned.

    Now, what is in the works for a new Diablo or Diablo type game?

  8. well there is slightly more restriction with the starcraft universe yes?? on top of the aversion to range attacking over melee, at least from what my noobish self can tell

    also the terran forces, being composed mostly of convicts would be at loss of choice

    and yea, im that guy thats waiting for a new EVERYTHING from blizzard

  9. I am a huge fan of starcraft and warcraft, and although the prospect of a starcraft MMO – WoW style – is absurdly attractive, the more I think about it the less it really makes sense. Like, in starcraft, there are three main types of ‘units’: person with weapon, person inside vehicle with weapon, and person inside giant flying ship with lots of weapons that kill everything (in the case of the zerg it’s a little different, but you get my point). Would the character in a MMO starcraft game be limited to just being a person with a gun? Because that would be ignoring the majority of the starcraft universe.

    Also, if you have a gun, what’s to stop you from standing really far away and just shooting everybody? It would be really, really different from warcraft because it’s set in the future, so it’s beyond the average gamer’s ability to suspend their disbelief to limit the range of the guns to a few meters. If everybody’s just running around and shooting each other from a distance, maybe with the occasional mele action from around a corner, isn’t that the same thing as Halo?

    Other perplexing questions: There is no magic in Starcraft. How, then, would you be brought back to life every time you died? It seems like they could not afford to give up the aspect of character-controlled flight in another MMO – would the aircraft be able to attack from mid-air? If not, why the hell not? If so, how would a character on the ground stand up to an attack from an aircraft? Many similar questions present themselves readily with much thought about such a game.

  10. Well honestly i dont think it should be anything like wow. When desingning a new game u need to think outside the box a little. In the rts game its mainly a game where u fight the other factions so why not make it a fully pvp game where it looks and feels exactly like the rts. You basically make it where u all start out on your home worlds as a main character type lets take terran for example. So lets say you’re a marine in your capital city and u have the immediate option to go to any planet in conflict and any area to aid in the realm war i suppose u could call it. All these places are instanced so u go in with maybe 50 vs 50 or 100 vs 100. You are then at your base and your main goal is to defeat your opponents by destroying all of thier base. Of course u want to defend your own because u have npcs building it up bigger and stronger over time just like in the rts. All your STVs are mining and getting gas and adding new structures. This said as new structures are going into place and u start to gain new unit types, also vehicles. Of course all of these take resources from your sides pool and time to build. This could sway the battle in your favor if your base stays up long enough to lets say a battlecruiser is built…. All across your battlefront u hear “battlecruiser is operational” at this point u can acess it with your single unit and possibly 3-4 others to control and fire it. You could have so many strategies in fighting these huge battles. You could try to zerg them before they build thier super units or u could maybe cut off thier resources as your STVs and factories build your teams vehicles and upgrades giving u an all out advantage. Eventually just like in the rts your side could move in on your siege tanks and blow your opponents and thier bases to bits. I dont see this style of game being hard to imagine at all because its basically the rts game except you are one of the individual units. When u die u respawn at your base until its destroyed by the other team. If your bases structures are damaged STVs would run to repair them or rebuild them if they are completely destroyed all depending on your resources they’ve collected and wether there are any STVs up to fix them. If you lose then a region of the universe falls under enemies control and the instance shuts down. vice versa if u win. Of course it takes allot of the rpg out of the mmorpg. But who says every damn mmo has to be a mmorpg.. just a thought. Sad to say my idea of how the game would work is more of a scenario based halo style shooter then what most people call a mmo today. No crafting, living, leveling, economy, or any kind of free rien but oh well. Your a military unit not a citizen so what would all that crap matter.

  11. Hmm. I’m opposed to them making Starcraft II a trilogy, but if, IF Blizzard executes it right, I will play it. Now, I have jokingly said things along the lines of “DURR World of Starcraft HUR HUR”, but it looks like I was right all along. :P

    Remember how Starcraft: Ghost is indefinitely postponed? The graphics were very good on it, so I would expect WoS (shudder) to look similar. Hey, who can say they weren’t making SC:G as a pilot for a SC MMO? I mean, a FPS camera, graphics, enemy AI, etc, is *very* similar to an MMO…

  12. I see both potential and obstacles for a WoSC (sounds better than WoS) MMO.


    WoW is starting to show its age because of the increasing leveling cap. Right now I have friends who do not want to get into WoW because they don’t want to grind to 80. Sure, they made the grind between 20 and 60 faster but it is still quite the time commitment. And when you consider alts… the only audience Blizzard has left are those with no lives. With all these expansions, I think Blizzard is starting to lose market.

    There were three Warcrafts and the expansions follow the series pretty well (WoW = Orcs and Humans, BC = WC: The Dark Portal, WotLK = Reigns of Chaos/Frozen Throne). This might be a good time for Blizzard to say, “We’re done with the game. We might patch the current content and add a few things for Arena seasons but otherwise we’re coming out with WoSC.” Knowing Blizzard they’ll milk all the money they can out of it, possibly while either allowing a WoW account to coincide with WoSC or reducing the monthly fees to ten bucks for the die-hards with hopes most Blizzard fans will transition to WoSC. So, WoW pays for itself and then some while all the resources are put into making WoSC the next big hit.

    There is already familiarity with the Starcraft brand name and I think word of mouth from the WoW community will be all the advertising Blizzard needs to kick it off with 5-10 million instant users. Remember when WoW was hopeful it would cross the million user mark? Laughable.

    WoSC is also a safe bet. For most other companies, coming out with an MMO is a gamble. Either people will adopt it (nothing like WoW yet) or they’ll reject it and that company fails and is nitpicked on how they should have been more like WoW in several different ways. But for Blizzard, if WoSC fails — which it won’t, this is Blizzard after all — the users will go reactivate their WoW accounts and Blizzard is safe to go, “Hey, instead of focusing our resources on WoSC, we’re putting them back on WoW.” They shorten the grinding path again and do some gimmick to get people back (Scroll of Resurrection, zebra mounts, nerfing bosses 30%, whatever it takes is Blizzard’s motto). Either way, they’ll get the development money back but if it flops they still keep their fan base. “It is good to be the King.”


    The two factions of WoW worked well because the races of Orcs, Humans, Knight Elves, etc. were quite similar. You had your warriors, your mages, your warlocks, your Paladins, etc. You learn one race, it was very easy to transition to a new one as there were very few differences. But there are three factions in Starcraft that are completely different. For one thing, what is the sense of playing Zerg unless you can, well, zerg and outnumber your enemy. To make them similar will deflate the excitement that surrounds Starcraft. To make them completely different will become a balancing issue Blizzard would have to deal with… an issue they might fail in.

    But let’s go back to the number of factions. Three? Heck, two is too many sometimes especially when I can’t play with my friends because they’re a night elf and I’m a blood elf. But with three, battlegrounds will get a lot more complex (which can be good and bad). Leveling on a PvP server will be hell, you’ll always have twice as many people hunting you down as defending you. And to learn that WoSC will be more PvP centric.

    Plus with three fundamentally different factions, instances will be harder to design. What works well for one faction might be a nightmare for another, unless they tweak instances depending on which faction is inside. Drops would be altered like MC/Ony/BWL of old for each faction. That will certainly make WoSCHead interesting (should I reserve that domain now?).

    UNLESS!!! The factions somehow work together then I CAN play with my friends. Then you do battle against other realms or something. That could make things interesting. And it would be new and fresh and just the gamble Blizzard needs to set a new standard.

    Somebody mentioned making WoD next which would make sense on a few levels. One, it is already an Role Playing game and you don’t have to worry about fundamental faction differences. It already has a fan base that is still active today. They are coming out with the third one, just like Warcraft. Maybe there is a pattern.

    One thing that makes me think none of this will happen is that they said that in future expansions, WoW will have additional hero classes which tells me that they are already looking forward to the next WoW expansion probably slated for late 2010 or early 2011. Can WoW fully support two MMOs? Even if they allowed access to both with one account, is there time to handle a level 90 WoW character and a level, what 50-60 WoSC character? But I don’t see that happening because Blizzard would need to support two MMOs while getting the revenue of one game… maybe the fan base would increase things a bit but not enough to justify the second MMO. But I don’t see WoW fans also paying for a second WoSC account. They could give the option to play both on one account for, say, $20-25 a month but would people do it? There are only so many hours in a day. Blizzard could be asking for too much from people. Most people, I should say.

    My prediction: WoW will be the bread and butter for Blizzard until the user base begins to shrink and Blizzard needs to make a new entry into the market. WoD will be less risky than WoSC because it is fantasy based AND is already a role playing game. But in the end, this is Blizzard we are talking about and they’ll do anything they damn well please.

  13. I think a WoSC would be awesome. just a few problems, their is allot of stuff in SC, like how in WOW it’s “gold, silver, and copper.” but in SC you woulod need minarals and gas… and and my secend reson is that the factions (classes\races) are all completely diferent. like a zergling vs a zealot and the zealot will pwn him. nadi don’t think we will whant to control 5 zerglings at a time. but hey, who knows it may just be a hydralisk or somthing but i don’t think blizzard will whant a battle cruiser and all the more fun stuff into WoSC. or an ultralisk or mutalisk. we will only have the basic units of SC if there is a WoSC. but that is all i’m saying many people may disagrea with me. but these are just my thoughts on WoSC. it would be fun, but after awhile you’ll whant different units now just 3 different things. but hey, mabye blizzard will make it so as you level farther you evolve into diferent things like a marrine might do some quests and stuff and get high level and then he can advance to a different level by training by a skill trainer, buying it like a mount like in WoW. or somthing allong those lines. so i would lie it if it where like that. leveling up higheer and getting higher units. but if not i think if we just had 3 units and you would have to stay as a zealot, marine, or zergling all the time and would never advance. it would not be allot of fun. you’re ganna whant to advance realy high and blow every thing up and feel like you have the power. these are just some of my thoughts i think it would be awesome.

  14. James D, I think you’re over-analyzing a few market obstacles and you’ve got this idea that WoSC will be something like a WoW copy. There’s a lot of possibilities with this one. They could do away with the leveling system all-together if they wanted. They could make it heavy role-play or heavy PvP. Either way it’s gonna be baller.

    I can see it now. You’re a marine exploring a crashed battle cruiser for surviving comrades. You turn the corner and–Oh no!–it’s a zergling! You spray him with your assault rifle.

    You’re a Dark Templar spying on the Terran’s outpost. Suddenly they pick you up on radar and begin firing. You call back to home base to have the arbiters warp you to safety.

    Oh the possibilities. Blizzard needs to hire me.

  15. If you look at the job list for blizzard theres at least 10 diffrent postions that are looking for help with a next gen mmo and a story writer

  16. I really like Starcraft, but it it doesn´t have such a wide background as WC 3 had… and if WOW look did not too much like WC 3, a Starcraft MMO wouldn´t remember the original at all, because of the enormous quantity of background that would be inflated.

    I also hope they don´t get even more far away the original´s dark, cyberpunk atmosphere.

  17. WoSC would outrange WoW my a marigin . Of course blizzard hasnt even half-way done with SC2 or Diablo 3 , but the WoSC could be the next HUGE thing . ASIA , EUROPE , AMERICA . we’ve all seen SC in these places and remember the great times we’ve had with the RTS . next tiem you play a SC game think of this …..
    “What if i were THAT marine” ….or…. that zealot…… or …… THAT ULTRALISK …. these thoughts are what makes the WoSC wait no UNIVERSE of starcraft so great .

  18. All i have to say is wow… we havnt even gotten starcraft II out the door and people are looking for a Starcraft MMORPG. Dont get me wrong… it would be sweet. And i hope they do… but i doubt anything will happen with that for another 12 years at least.

  19. WoSC could work u could have 2 fictions the Terran would be the 1st with the classes “marine, flamethrower, Ghost, and medic” with the 2nd one the Protoss with the classes “melee fighter, dark templar, light templar, and cyborg” both fighting there common enemy the zergs “which is unplayable” and each other for supremacy with the Xel’Naga and the earthen humans can be introduced as a neutral fictions.

  20. I would like to see a starcraft mmo. Although WOW is still doing well i’ve grown tired of the Never ending expansions. I do understand that it would be the same way with Starcraft, but im very ready for something new. NTM it will be like a restart. I can become one of the best again just by starting when it comes out and just advance with the game. I think the classes should be set up without the zerg as a faction. Zerg would simply be NPCs and with the Protoss/Terran maybe 3 basic starting classes that you can evolve to be 9-15 diffrent types of charecters like you can start out as a zealot and work up to dark templar or even an archon. I think the first thing blizzard would have to do is realise that theyre going to have to implement much more into an mmo when it comes to classes.

  21. Sorry to be a buzzkill, but Blizz already stated months ago that the unannounced MMO in the works was not going to be based on any of their current IPs. That rules all of these theories out.

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