Everything We Know About The Next StarCraft Game

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty may have just come out but it's never too soon to think about what's next. There isn't a lot of information on StarCraft Ii: Heart of the Swarm, but we do know some things.

First of all, what is the next StarCraft II game? The middle chapter of the StarCraft II saga is called Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. It was announced at BlizzCon 2008 when Blizzard revealed that StarCraft II would be split into three parts.

Is it a new game or an expansion? Blizzard intends for Heart of the Swarm to be an expansion for Wings of Liberty. Blizzard's Rob Pardo explained in a Q&A last year, "Right now, the plans are to do something along the lines of a full singleplayer campaign and some additional features to the multiplayer side... we're looking at much more of an expansion-like feature set." Blizzard confirmed that to Kotaku today, explaining that Heart of the Swarm can be thought of as expansions, stocked with a campaign that is as substantial as Wings of Liberty's but with new content for multiplayer and a different metagame.

Will Wings of Liberty owners be able to play against Heart of the Swarm players? One school of thought is that despite the three games having different campaigns, the multiplayer sections of all three StarCraft II releases would be compatible with each other. That's not the case. A Blizzard representative told us to expect separate multiplayer ladders for Heart of the Storm, similar to how StarCraft Brood War had a separate multiplayer ladder from the original StarCraft.

Will it require a copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty? If Blizzard really does treat it like an expansion, then it might require owning Wings of Liberty. But without them saying for sure, it could be a standalone release like Wings of Liberty.

What will it be about? This instalment in the StarCraft II trilogy will pick up at the end of Wings of Liberty and focus on the Zerg and their quest to develop an empire. The campaign will centre on the infested Kerrigan's quest for power through mutations. The more power she has, the more Zerg she can control. The singleplayer is planned to play a bit differently than Wings of Liberty but we're not quite sure how yet. Lead designer Dustin Browder proposed that the player might use the Zerg armies to protect Kerrigan on the battlefield while she gains more power. This would imply it will have more of a RPG twist, similar to Warcraft III.

When will it be out? No one can be sure yet but it is looking like it will be out in early 2012, based on an estimation of 18 months from the release of Wings of Liberty from lead producer Chris Sigaty. Blizzard won't nail this down, of course. They're not big on promising release dates this far out.

How much will it cost? There is no definite answer for this but it has been suggested by Blizzard's Rob Pardo that it will be priced as an expansion pack. If we base this off of their World of Warcraft expansion packs then we're looking at around $US30 to $US40.

When can I find out more? Be on the lookout for any news coming out of this year's BlizzCon, going on October 22-23. Blizzard is likely saving a substantial amount of information about the next episode in their Starcraft II series for their own convention in the spring.

Additional reporting by Stephen Totilo.


    Judging by the end i doubt the story;

    "will centre on the infested Kerrigan’s quest for power through mutations."

    The ending of Wings of Liberty isn't really a lot of indication what the story might be for Heart of the Swarm.

    For one, the Heart of the Swarm story can be set as a "prequel" to Wings of Liberty, telling the story of the zerg all the way up till the start of Wings of Liberty events.

    It makes sense, if Blizzard wants a "happy ending" to have Zerg as a second expansion and Protoss as a third expansion ending with Protoss victory over the Zerg swarm.

      Good point ;)

        Thanks for the spoilers, guys!

      How is that a happy ending?
      Zerg Forever!
      I <3 Kerrigan

      uh... u obviously didn't pay attention to starcraft's story line. Without the swarm the Universe goes BLAM!! because the swarm is the only way to stop the Hybrids, that Mengsk was stupid enough to create.

    2012? You had better hope not.
    They don't need to really build any tech just add content so it should hopefully not take that long.
    And in 18 months a lot of people would have given up caring and moved on. Only the die-hards will buy it to continue the story

      Hah...this is StarCraft crazies we're talking about...

      They've been waiting years for this, 18 months would be a couple of days wait for them =P

    I very much doubt it will take 18months for the next installment. They were creating all three campaigns at the same time then decided to split them and flesh them out. Any longer than 6 months would be criminal.

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