Some of the Blizzard studio legends now work at an independent studio association and you will have RTS from the hand of the former team but no Starcraft 3.
Blizzard has some of the most beloved franchises in the industry, but in recent years it has rearranged its priorities. Overwatch, Diablo, and Warcraft are cultivable, while the rest are left in limbo. Among those IPs is Starcraft, a true RTS icon rooted in the company’s most tender era. But then again, there seems to be no gap between parent company Activision Blizzard’s plans.
Be it Starcraft or a traditional Warcraft, according to a recent report by Jason Schreier for Bloomberg, it appears that some Blizzard employees wanted to do RTS again at some point and were answered with a negative. This is how SC2 director Tim Morten left the company’s offices to found his own team, Frost Giant Studios, which recently confirmed to be working on a new strategy game with Unreal Engine 5.
Interestingly, it is not at all the first time we have heard such a story. To give a few examples, Hearthstone director Ben Brode left Blizzard in 2018 to found Second Dinner and is now working on a Marvel game . Even co-founder Mike Morhaime wound up with his own studio, Dreamhaven. Jeff Kaplan has also followed in those footsteps after his work on World of Warcraft and Overwatch, although it remains to be seen if he ends up doing a study.
According to Schreier, all these studios – based in Irvine, California, just like Blizzard – have formed a conglomerate that he nicknames “Blizzard 2.0” where some teams support each other. “Dreamhaven operates two in-house development studios and has partnered with other former Blizzard worker companies, creating a network of cooperative veterans,” he explains. In this way, some act as consultants for others or participate in test sessions of external games.
“We are super friendly with each other,” says Ben Brode. “We try to stay afloat, we do what we can, we help each other to carry on.”