Some days it just doesn’t pay to be a console gamer:
has announced plans to “indefinitely postpone” the release of Starcraft: Ghost, the company’s long-awaited foray into console gaming for its popular Starcraft game series.
In announcing the postponement, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime said that the company was taking a close look at the new generation of video game consoles. Short of actually announcing that development on Starcraft: Ghost would shift to new consoles, Morhaime said that Blizzard was using this “review period” to “lay the groundwork for our future console games.”
Starcraft: Ghost’s development has been fraught with setbacks since first being announced in 2002. Envisioned as a tactical action shooter that takes place in the Starcraft universe, Starcraft: Ghost is a decidedly different take than the real time strategy games that have preceded it. The title refers to advanced human soldiers who act as covert operatives, combining stealth and skill as they dispatch their enemies.
One major difference between Starcraft: Ghost and other Blizzard games is that it was planned from the start purely for video game consoles, rather than as a Mac or PC game, like Blizzard’s other titles. While Blizzard has its roots in console gaming, the company had long shied away from the console market, instead emphasizing on PC and Mac games. Starcraft: Ghost was planned for Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2.
Development of Starcraft: Ghost was originally contracted to Nihilistic Software, creators of Vampire: The Masquerade — Redemption. In 2004 Blizzard announced that the development of Starcraft: Ghost had been turned over to Swingin’ Ape Studios, a developer that Blizzard has since subsumed. Blizzard indicated that the game would be complete in 2006.
Since then, Microsoft has released its Xbox 360, and Sony and Nintendo both plan to have their PlayStation 3 and Revolution consoles out some time this year. Major game publishers and developers have already shifted their focus to this new generation of video game consoles, which have more power, better graphics and new features.
Blizzard said it plans to announce “further specifics” about Starcraft: Ghost at a later date.