The Most Ambitious StarCraft Mod Is Finally Released

Image: Kotaku

Ever since StarCraft 2 was first released, it feels like StarCraft Universe has been under development. If you've never heard of it before, it's basically one of the most ambitious mods you'll ever see with the StarCraft engine.

It started as StarCraft-themed MMO, built from the ground up using the StarCraft 2 editor. It's now more of an RPG, and it's taken around four years to build. But it's ready, and you can play it today.

StarCraft Universe was first called "World of StarCraft". It was a simple prototype, the brainchild of two developers.

But then it grew into something bigger. The development team expanded. The prototype grew into a much more ambitious mod that was billed as a StarCraft MMO. And then Blizzard's lawyers got involved.

As so often happens, however, Blizzard gave the project its blessing. A Kickstarter campaign raised more than $110,000, and after much toil and effort, the open beta for StarCraft Universe is finally out to all and sundry.

They've even put together a flashy CG trailer that looks pretty authentic, as far as Blizzard cinematics go.

Not a bad effort. As for the gameplay itself, here's what the moment-to-moment action looks like.

It certainly isn't the MMO that the creators were originally hoping to make from the outset, but it's still a bloody big RPG. The StarCraft Universe open beta can be found in the Arcade tab within StarCraft 2's UI, and you can find the game by searching for "SC Universe". For those that don't own SC2, you can still play the fan-made RPG with the free-to-play Starter Edition.


Comments

    This is something every other gaming company should be doing. Endorse fan creativity rather than suppress it, its where new ideas come from. Most of the FPS staples have come from fan mods back in the day, and its telling that there has been a dearth of ideas since lawyers started getting involved.

      Because they are actually profiting from this mod. They will sell more copies of SC2 for this. Just like how dota was during WC3

        More thinking of mods in general. Where they have been allowed to flourish, they've often ended up creating new ways to play games. Counter Strike is the big example along with DotA, but most modes in online FPS games started as fan mods as well.

        Its something thats being lost now as lawyers and profits have blocked fan efforts more and more, and its a shame. So to see something like this is great, and its something that should be embraced more, rather than blocked like it so often is.

        To use a different example, I always thought Guild Wars, with its small solo zone approach could have worked well if it had mods available. Give the players the tools to create their own content and see what they come up with.

        Maybe, maybe not. It can 100% be played using the free version of SC2 (as can any other user created mod) so there's no reason for someone to buy SC2 if they just want to play this mod. Sure they might get some more sales in a roundabout way, like people trying the mod out in the free version then wanting to play the real game, but I'd wager most people playing this would have the game already.

          True, it's not really a big loss since regardless people still have to use battle.net to login and play the game. I mean if you really want to get the game, it cost like $15 right now from EB anyway.

          Blizzard is good at long term game investment. Never go wrong getting a game and it will be supported / patched until end of life in 10-15 years.

    I know it isn't him, but goddamn that voiceover sounds like Peter Cullen.

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