Starcraft is one of Blizzard Entertainment's biggest titles and its legacy is undeniable. The gaming community actually owes Starcraft a lot considering it served as one of the first platforms for global eSports. Beyond that, it has also brought one of the most significant formulaic changes to the real-time strategy (RTS) genre of gaming.
Suffice to say, Starcraft fans and veterans are eager for more especially after Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void concluded the series three years ago. Now, since Blizzard Entertainment is one of the top game developers at the moment, we can safely assume that Starcraft 3 is a question of "when" instead of "will they?" With that said, Blizzard is quite secretive about its projects and is known to take their time with sequels. In fact, the gap between Starcraft and Starcraft II is a staggering 12 years. Still, there is definitely hope as long as there are fans and as long as Blizzard still exists. To keep the flame alive, here's what we can expect for Starcraft 3.
8 IT WILL PROBABLY NOT CONTINUE THE STORY
Anyone who has finished the final standalone expansion, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void will know that the story has been concluded. Kerrigan became a god. The Protoss found their footing again. Raynor was... well, still Raynor but lonelier. A supposed peace was established between the three warring factions of the Terran, Protoss, and Zerg. How is Blizzard going to follow that up? They most likely won't. It's not as easy as continuing where they left off because everything has been tied up. Starcraft: Brood War's (expansion to the first game) ending, for example, had plenty of potential sequel setups, meaning the saga was still undone.
Our bets go to Blizzard starting from scratch with new lead characters to drive the story. The best case scenario is that they introduce a new race or distinct faction. That ought to set it apart from the first two Starcraft games. We can expect something similar to what Bioware did with the Mass Effect franchise when it released Mass Effect: Andromeda.
7 IT'S GONNA BE A LONG WAIT
Any Blizzard fan will know this. However, to reiterate the obvious, we're not quite nearly there. Heck, we're not even halfway there. We did mention the 12-year gap between the two Starcraft titles, right? Based on that release er, "frequency" for Starcraft, a decade more before Starcraft 3 arrives is us being generous with our assumptions. There's just no way around it; Blizzard Entertainment sequels require time and refinement before they get released.
This could be a good thing, as you can bet that the next game will be good and polished. Really, it's a win-win situation for the most part with the only downside being the long wait.
6 BLIZZARD IS PROBABLY NOT WORKING ON IT YET
Each and every developer in the video game industry is different. Some follow up a successful game release by announcing their work on the sequel right away. Others tend to stay silent as it can add to a big surprise reveal at a conference. Blizzard is often among the latter and the fact that there has been no official announcement, teaser, or cryptic developer tweet means they're not busy with Starcraft 3 at the moment.
There is also the fact that it has only been three years since the last Starcraft game was released. In terms of Blizzard years, that's like three months ago just as how human years are longer than dog years-- totally not implying that we're the dogs, by the way. That isn't to say we should stop waiting for surprises every year at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) or BlizzCon, or even Twitter. After all, leaks are bound to happen. Who knows, we might get an "announcement" later down the year... or the next decade.
5 IT MIGHT NOT BE AN RTS
Let's face it, the RTS genre is not as popular as it was a decade ago. For some, it is either facing a slow death or has become relatively too small and niche. Thanks to other genres of gaming that have blown up, such as Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) or even battle royale, big-name developers and publishers probably think they're missing out (on income) if they're not making those.
Of course, you can't blame gamers for wanting something more accessible or simple. After all, the RTS genre arguably has a higher skill ceiling and learning curve for the casual crowd. Think of the Starcraft games as chess with MOBAs or battle royale games as snakes and ladders. Only a few people will want to play chess with you because it requires mastery, meanwhile, all your other friends are having a blast with snakes and ladders. Hence, expecting the unexpected is not entirely too far-fetched and assuming that Blizzard might adjust Starcraft to be more popular among the MOBA or battle royale crowd is worth an anecdote. That's assuming the MOBA or battle royale genre hasn't fizzled out yet by the time Blizzard is ready to start with Starcraft 3.
4 ITS RELEASE COULD DEPEND ON THE eSPORTS SCENE
eSports owes a lot to Starcraft and eventually, Starcraft II. Starcraft was up there among the granddaddy of eSports tournament titles along with Counter-Strike and Street Fighter. Needless to say, it plays a big role in eSports ever since it blew up back in 2002 as an eSport staple in South Korea. Starcraft II, despite not being as revolutionary in eSports as its predecessor, still has a spotlight. These days, however, eSports is mostly dominated by MOBAs thanks to the popularity of DotA 2 and League of Legends with tournament prize pools reaching a whopping $20 million. By comparison, Starcraft II's tournament prize pool last year was $200,000.
It can be interesting what approach Blizzard with Starcraft 3 in regards to its eSports viability, especially now that competition is tougher. It is worth noting that Hearthstone, an online trading card game also developed by Blizzard, is also a huge eSports title with a prize pool that went as high as $1.9 million at one time. Sad as it might be, reinventing itself other than an RTS in eSports might be the only way for Starcraft 3 to compete or stay relevant. As of now, it's still too early to tell.
3 IT'S NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Despite belonging in an overshadowed gaming genre, Starcraft still remains a strong title and a household name among gamers. Moreover, it is an unforgettable title and will likely stay as such in the annals of gaming history.
For that matter, and as we have mentioned before, there will be a game with a Starcraft title. Also, even if it drops the RTS format, Starcraft is Starcraft. It simply just won't disappear off the face of the Earth after Legacy of the Void. Even now, all three Starcraft II versions are still compelling games on their own. We can sleep soundly every night knowing there is always bound to be a new Starcraft game on the horizon. Unless a worldwide apocalypse happens.
2 IT MIGHT GET A MOBILE VERSION
What? Do you guys not have phones? Jokes aside, we have seen Blizzard demonstrating their "recognition" of the mobile gaming market with titles like Diablo Immortal. Diablo is among the big three legacy IPs (intellectual property) of Blizzard along with Starcraft and Warcraft. Like both games, Diablo also had lengthy development gaps, and now it is getting a mobile version.
We're not saying Starcraft 3 is solely going to be a mobile game, just that it could get a mobile version or they might release a Starcraft game for mobile phones. The possibility is not remote too, other RTS game developers/publishers have started doing it for mobile. One notable example is Red Alert Online which is a mobile revival of the Red Alert IP, one of Starcraft's biggest competitions back in the RTS heyday. No, this is not an out-of-season April Fools joke. It could happen-- and when it does, feel free to protest and voice out your woes to Blizzard.
1 OTHER SEQUELS MIGHT COME FIRST
The beauty of being a Blizzard Entertainment mainstay is that you aren't just confined to one of their titles. You actually get to enjoy three similarly interesting game titles (Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo) which are regarded as their crowning achievements. Then, there's also Overwatch and Hearthstone but those are limited to multiplayer.
What we're getting at here is the possibility of Blizzard making sequels for either Warcraft (Warcraft 4) or Diablo (Diablo 4) first before even considering Starcraft 3. Because if the backlash for Diablo Immortal is anything to go by, it's that there are legions of Diablo fans that expect Diablo 4. The latest rumor regarding Diablo 4 is that Blizzard might actually be hiring designers for it. That came from a now deleted job posting from Blizzard. While that doesn't confirm that they are working on Diablo 4, there's a higher chance they'll work on it and release it before they do Starcraft 3. As for Warcraft, the best we have at the moment is a remaster of Warcraft 3. Stay tuned for announcements from Blizzard, though. You never know.