Blizzard was apparently working on a massive StarCraft first-person shooter, at least until Blizzard canceled the project. The decision was apparently made so developers could be moved over to Diablo 4 as well as Overwatch 2, which is also in-development according to a new report.
Kotaku has reported the cancellation of project "Ares," a big first-person shooter described by one source as "like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe." Players would control Terran marines as they fight enemy Zergs. Playable Zergs were apparently being experimented with before the project was canceled by Blizzard's higher-ups.
Development on Ares was reportedly two years in and the experimental builds for the game were apparently "looking quite good," according to one anonymous Blizzard employee. News of the cancellation of a StarCraft shooter is reminiscent of StarCraft: Ghost, a third-person stealth shooter Blizzard canceled in 2006.
Blizzard didn't specifically mention Ares in its statement to the report, but responded: "We always have people working on different ideas behind the scenes–including on multiple projects right now–but the reason we tend not to discuss them publicly is because anything can happen over the course of development. As has been the case at Blizzard numerous times in the past, there is always the possibility that we'll make the decision not to move forward on a given project."
Instead, Ares developers are being moved over to Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. Both games are apparently being timed for a BlizzCon announcement this year.
While there have been previous reports about Diablo 4, this is the first time we've heard mention of Overwatch 2. The sequel will apparently have a large PvE element that some Blizzard sources liken to Left 4 Dead.
Overwatch has been dealing with dwindling player counts as of late, as interest seems to be waning for the three-year-old competitive shooter. Former Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer once told USG that Overwatch was being developed as a "forever sport," but it appears that releasing new characters as a substitute for sequels has hit a wall.