Blizzard has reportedly canceled two projects, including a StarCraft FPS, and poured those resources into upcoming major entries in the Diablo and Overwatch franchises.
A Kotaku report says that the StarCraft FPS, codenamed "Ares," was meant to be "like Battlefield in the StarCraft universe." The project was canceled after two years, with one source saying it had been "looking quite good" and another describing its cancellation as a "massive shock."
A second game, an unannounced mobile title, was also canceled at the same time.
According to the report, no one was laid off in the wake of these cancellations and employees were moved to other projects instead. Many were allocated to the Overwatch and Diablo teams, which may both be working on new entries in their respective franchises for announcement at BlizzCon later this year.
Blizzard shared the following comment on the cancellations with Kotaku:
"We don't generally comment on unannounced projects but we will say the following:
"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 to not move forward on a given project. Announcing something before we feel it's ready stands the risk of creating a lot of frustration and disappointment, both for our players and us, not to mention distraction and added pressure for our development teams.
"We pour our hearts and souls into this work, and as players ourselves, we know how exciting it can be to see and know with certainty that a new project is coming. Knowing that changes or disappointments can happen doesn't make it any less painful when we have to shelve a project or when an announcement doesn't go as planned. We always make decisions about these things, regardless of the ultimate outcome or how things might be interpreted, based on our values, what we believe makes sense for Blizzard, and what we hope our players will enjoy the most. The work that goes into these projects - whether they ship or not - is extraordinarily valuable. It often leads to great things and helps foster a culture of experimentation here.
"With all that said, we're very much looking forward to revealing other things we're working on when the time is right."