I woke up this morning to the chatter on my timeline that at this weekend’s I <3 StarCraft event in South Korea Mike Morhaime announced that, sometime this summer, you’ll be able to buy Starcraft and Brood War as a completely updated and remastered, high quality product. Most importantly, you’ll be able to play it from the Blizzard Launcher (formerly the Battle.net launcher) which I suspect began rebranding last week in anticipation of exactly this announcement.
Although I have no real interest in this game, it is a shrewd move for a company which, like it or not, made this title almost a national pastime in South Korea. However, it does not take a genius to grasp that if this title has been rescued from 1998 and revamped nearly twenty years on, this won’t be the first title to be salvaged… one suspects it was probably first because it was the least amount of work to ‘refresh’ I predicted this when King was absorbed into the ActiBlizzMegaCorp: you’d either see tablet versions of this title (and I’m still not 100% convinced that won’t still happen in some form) or indeed we’ll see old titles remastered, that you can play on the Launcher like it was yesterday.
We all know what that means, right?
No, I mean the OTHER thing… ^^
It won’t just be this either: Diablo and Diablo II are probably ripe for a do-over, and we know last year the Company advertised for someone to help do this. With the launcher looking more and more like Blizzard’s version of Steam on a daily basis, one assumes you’ll see access to more and more content via this ‘portal’ going forward. Maybe Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing will yet see the light of day, who knows?
Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. I’d confidently predict that old titles are only the first stage of the journey for the Launcher. Looking at what Steam and Discord are currently achieving with a self-contained ‘program’ for gaming, one logically assumes that the Company will be following suit… and that will mean an increased esports component going forward. I also wonder if, assuming Starcraft Remastered is a massive success, that you might yet see ‘classic’ tournaments offered to players, or at least the means for them to organise such events for themselves.
The possibilities going forward are virtually endless.