May 19, 2007 11:00 AM PDT

'Starcraft II' warps into Seoul

'Starcraft II' warps into Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea--Crowds of fans and press file continuously into the Olympic Gymnastic Stadium in the Gangnam province of Seoul to await the announcement of Blizzard Entertainment's new game title.

The big-screen monitors onstage, which previously showed looped footage of tournaments held at last year's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, now show only the logo for this year's event, which takes place today and tomorrow. The anticipation and excitement in the air from the crowds of fans and international press are palpable.

The announcement session is underway, and the lights are up. The Korean emcees are making announcements about the tournaments and music concerts that will also be held at the event. Blizzard Korea managing director Jungwan Han has taken the stage to deliver the opening remarks, greeting and thanking Blizzard fans worldwide for their support. He takes his seat, and the emcees briefly introduce Blizzard's top brass, including Mike Morhaime, Rob Pardo, and Chris Metzen.

Next up are the introductions for the professional gamers, who are greeted with great fanfare by the audience as they're announced individually and step onstage. First are the Starcraft players, introduced by their name, faction played (protoss, zerg, or terran), and country of origin. These are followed by the World of Warcraft III professional players, also introduced by their name, played faction (humans, orcs, undead, or night elves), and country of origin. After the players are brought onstage, they are brought forward individually to take an "oath" of fair play.

Press from around the world arrives at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event.

Once the players are ushered away, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime takes the stage to make the big announcement, noting first that this year's event will host more tournaments than any previous event (including competitions for Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft), then introducing a video montage with footage from Blizzard's previous games (such as the original Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft) and previous tournament events. Morhaime is finally getting closer to the announcement...the crowd cheers in anticipation. Says Morhaime, "When it came time to make this announcement, it was easy to decide where it should take place." The president praises the enthusiasm and support of Korean game players, then introduces a video trailer for the new game.

The pro gamers took the stage to tremendous fanfare.

The trailer begins with a spaceship, lowering a coffinlike object. The camera cuts to a chamber, then to a gigantic metal gate that cranks open, and finally cuts to a man with a cigar in his mouth, wearing shackles on his ankles. The man steps into mechanical restraints that lock around his ankles and the platform around him rises. The cofflinlike object sprouts metal pincers that brace his wrists while the champers reveal whirring turbines that sprout metallic drills and rivets, which fit metallic armor on his body. The figure is a Terran soldier, and the camera pans up his body, cutting to scenes of Protoss and Zerg warriors rushing to battle. The new game, as rumored, is Starcraft II.

Morhaime then introduces the lead designer of the project to discuss it--none other than former EALA designer Dustin Browder (who worked previously on The Battle for Middle-earth and Command & Conquer series). The video screen cuts to a demonstration that shows a fleet of Protoss ships that disembark several zealot infantry units, then cuts to a scene showing Terran transports touching down and becoming base structures, spouting infantry and vehicle units. Browder points out that this demonstration is in a very early stage of code. As we see in the demonstration, the new game will add abilities to existing units--the Protoss zealot, for instance, will now be able to charge into battle to quickly close the distance against Terran gunners. The Terrans retaliate by bringing in siege tanks to shell the Protoss from a distance. The Protoss respond by commissioning "Immortals"--heavy-duty tanks with powerful energy shields.

Blizzard's Mike Morhaime can't help but grin as Starcraft II is revealed.

The Terrans then commission reapers, medium infantry with jetpacks that can jump barriers to raid enemy bases more effectively. The reapers leap into action against the Protoss base to attack the pylons, but have a new series of structures that help the Protoss be much more resilient when attacked at their base, such as phase prisms, which let you quickly move units from place to place. The Protoss stalker unit has a "blink" ability that lets them jump anywhere they can see, and makes them excellent pursuers.

CONTINUED: The Zerg have mutated…
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16 comments

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uhh
this article sucks. To fix it you could i) remove the quotes in the headline, and ii) do more than just narrorate the videos.
Posted by jason13086 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
...
You were beaten senseless as a fetus, weren't you?

Why so bitter? The fact that the rumor is now truth should make EVERYONE happy.

The thing I'm not happy about is the fact that Ghost never got made.

I was really looking forward to it, too.

Besides, did you ever stop to think that maybe they didn't have permission from Blizzard to include video? There IS a procedure for a lot of this - most news agencies get the video ahead of time - bloggers do it somewhat questionably.
Posted by `WarpKat (275 comments )
Link Flag
Starcraft MMO far behind?
Does this mean they will make a Starcraft MMO soon? After Warcraft3 came out World of Warcraft was soon to follow :)

GamerTex_com
Posted by TexasMo (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not up to third release yet...
Once Star Craft 3 is released, then I'll expect Planets of StarCraft. But really, how would that work? WarCraft was based around heores, but what would we play? Zerg Mutalisks? There isn't a system available.
Posted by ben::zen (127 comments )
Link Flag
I wouldn't hold my breath
It's unlikely that a Starcraft MMO is on the drawing board, if for no other reason that there simply isn't a good business case for creating the game. When it comes to games that make the lion's share of their profits on unit sales, bringing multiple games of similar genres is not necessarily a bad thing, provided the market can absorb the increased volume. When dealing with MMOs, on the other hand, the vast majority of your profits comes from the continuing subscription charges that your player base shells out every month. Releasing a Starcraft MMO could only draw from World of Warcraft's player base, cannibalizing its profits. Unless they make WoS more expensive than WoW, there is no realized benefit from subscriptions.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a good Sci-Fi MMO. (And Anarchy Online wasn't it.) I'm jonesin' for one, but I don't see Blizzard putting it out there until WoW has had its full run. At 8 million members and climbing, I'm not sure Blizzard's done with all the things they want to see done to World of Warcraft.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
both of the above are true
i heard that there *is* going to be a starcraft MMO. dunno if this is confirmed from bliz but i assume it's a possibility. i know someone who graduated from school to make CG graphics for video games and he said that they had a speaker from the video game industry who said that bliz had SC2 done for a long time (or at least in the works i imagine) but it wasn't economically feasible for them to release it because SC1 was so popular they are *still* making money off it.

personally i think they woulda made a lot more money if they had released SC2 a long time ago and made three or four of them. i think they probably just didn't have the manpower to make that with Warcraft 3 and WOW going on. I mean, look @ SC Ghopst. I woulda bought all of those SC games. now, even though i know SC2 is going to be awesome, it's been so long since SC1 came out that i don't play a lot of video games anymore and might not buy it.

BTW i agree that that article was terribly written.
Posted by timmy2997 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The problem with SC1...
...is that it's so repetitive. I dunno, maybe it's me wanting some kind of linear storyline or better team-based scenarios that just move forward, but I stopped playing it a long time ago because it just got too 'old hat.'

What I WOULD like to see is something along the lines of:

StarCraft Arena: A multi-player tournament-based game where you can choose to play any of the races, any class, and play different styles of games: CTF, DM, Invasion, Bombing Run, Spank the Zergling, etc.

WarCraft Arena: A multi-player tournament-based game where you can choose to play any of the races, any class, and play different styles of games: CTF, DM, Invasion, Bombing Run, Spank the Goblin, etc.

Now THAT would be so flippin' kewl.
Posted by `WarpKat (275 comments )
Link Flag
You believe everything you hear obviously
It doesn't matter what you heard. What matters is what has been
announced by the company. They just announced SC II and have
given no indication whatsoever that they are planning an MMORPG
based on the franchise.
Now that doesn't mean they wont make one, but just because you
know a friend of a friend that has a brother that knows someone
that works at Blizzard, that doesn't give what you "heard" any
credibility.
Posted by Zatoichis Sword (29 comments )
Link Flag
WoW III
"These are followed by the World of Warcraft III professional
players, also introduced by their name, played faction (humans,
orcs, undead, or night elves), and country of origin."

There is a WoW III already? Guess I'd better catch up since I'm still
on WoW I. For the Alliance!
Posted by Chiatzu (105 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh, you hadn't heard?
WoW III has been out for at least three weeks. We're already on version 1.74.

Notable differences of WoW III over WoW and WoW II (which was a dating simulator, and did not garner much attention):
-Female players are gender-verified and, as such, have access to a /skip command that animates and digitizes said girliness.
-As suggested in previous WoW I patch notes, Mac players have finally had their /smile, /laugh, /grin, and /wink commands disabled. In fact, the only emote that works on Macs is now the new /smarmy, which usually results in these players getting kicked from their groups fairly quickly.
-Flight masters now offer frequent flier programs, with rewards benefits.
-Along those lines, the Goblins, never ones to ignore the opportunity for competition, have gotten into the air industry by offering fast and efficient individual rocket transportation. As with all Goblin Engineering, there's a risk of catastophe, but hey, it's for SCIENCE and PROFIT!
-New playable races include murlocs, Legolas, mucous elves, hemoglobin elves, tissue elves, and supermodels. All are Horde and all are decidedly "pretty" as per user request.
-Goldspammers are immediately electrocuted through their keyboards. The legality of this is disputed, but 50 million players aren't complaining one bit, so litigation is (indefinitely) pending.
-The Alliance is no more. It was deemed weak in the closing months of WoW I. FOR THE HORDE! :)
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
WoW /=Warcraft III
Word of Warcraft and Warcraft III are not the same games. The
warcraft series of games came first and then a MMORPG (WoW) was
created based on the stories associated with the games.
Posted by Zatoichis Sword (29 comments )
Link Flag
WoW 3 = Next expansion
WoW players are currently running 2.0.xxx with the 2.1 patch coming out very soon. aka WoW 2.

With the next expansion, it will become WoW 3, then possibly WoW 4.0
Posted by ericwoodford (12 comments )
Link Flag
...
You were beaten senseless as a fetus, weren't you?

Why so bitter? The fact that the rumor is now truth should make EVERYONE happy.

The thing I'm not happy about is the fact that Ghost never got made.

I was really looking forward to it, too.

Besides, did you ever stop to think that maybe they didn't have permission from Blizzard to include video? There IS a procedure for a lot of this - most news agencies get the video ahead of time - bloggers do it somewhat questionably.
Posted by `WarpKat (275 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Copyright
I hope H.R. Gigier or Marvel Comics doesn't look too close. One of
their beasties looks just like "Alien" or the "Brood" (from the X-Man
comics).
Posted by Gromit801 (393 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hi
ur article sucks like dipshit
can't u hire someone who actually knows how to speak english?
and plus, you don't seem to know **** about starcraft... the survivors of the last battle were ghosts idiot
and most of your lines are unsuccessful imitations of dustin's explanations...
**** you man haha u ******* suck at english and prolly at starcraft too.
Posted by menotbug (93 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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