The Head Of Blizzard Explains The Death Of StarCraft Ghost

The Head Of Blizzard Explains The Death Of StarCraft Ghost

The makers of mega hits World of Warcraft and StarCraft II don’t seem to have many missteps, but they have had some tough decisions to make over the years.

Despite their tremendous successes with World of Warcraft, Blizzard still has to pick and choose what to try and make and what to kill, said Blizzard head Mike Morhaime.

“We have to choose, we can’t do everything,” he said during a panel last week at the Design Innovate Create Explore summit. “Our vision for what’s possible directs that. We like complex games and we like casual games.”

Those choices sometimes lead to killing a game in progress.

“They were working on StarCraft Ghost the same time we were working on World of Warcraft and StarCraft II,” Morhaime said, “World of Warcraft exploded and we needed to make some resource decisions. It just wasn’t an environment in which a project like (StarCraft Ghost ) could succeed.”

Fortunately, not all of Morhaime’s decisions are followed.

The head of Blizzard said that he initially fought the push for a context sensitive interface for one of their games, because they were done with it and ready to ship.

“The entire programming staff said absolutely not, and I said absolutely not,” he said. “Adam went around me and went to a programmer and had him add it on his own.

“It luckily worked and it was very elegant. In retrospect it would have been a disaster if I had won that argument.”


  • Er… maybe it’s just me, but this story (maybe it’s a preview for a later article?) seems a little disjointed and lacking context (i.e. it’s incomplete).

    Is there a link to a full transcript or something…?

  • I don’t get this article. It sounds like Morhaime wanted to kill it for good reason. Then it says they went around him and killed it. Then he’s saying it’s a good thing they went around him and killed it? I’m lost. Can we get the whole article/interview?

    • yeah, they said he killed starcraft ghost and that was a good thing, but then some menu thing he wanted to kill, he got walked over on.

      completely disjointed and no sense at all, especially as we dont know what the hell the menu is

  • It’s quite simple, if I’m reading this correctly.

    Mike states that Starcraft Ghost was a game that needed to be axed, as WoW was beginning to bloom as a project and required more resources than it had at the time.

    It then goes on to say that sometimes, Mike’s decisions in the company are fought, exemplified in the push for “a context sensitive interface in one of our games (Not Starcraft Ghost)”, which he felt was unnecessary.

    Mike reflects on the fact that it was good that he didn’t have his way with that decision, as “it luckily worked and was very elegant”.

    Makes you wonder if he was wrong about killing Ghost as well.

  • Wait, how does axing an entire game that they sunk months worth of work designing, programming and writing for compare with changing a menu in another game.

    This article also also fails to provide a reason beyond “it felt like the right decision”. Nor does it give insight as to why the project hasn’t been continued now that SCII is out (at least one chapter, and therefore the fundamentals) and WoW has proven to be the largest cash cow in the gaming industry

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