StarCraft: Ghost Footage and Screenshots Leak Online from Cancelled Blizzard Project
The long-troubled project StarCraft: Ghost, which was officially cancelled in 2014, has surfaced online in leaked gameplay footage.
While the StarCraft series saw its most recent mainline installment in 2010 with StarCraft II (followed by its expansions), Blizzard previously experimented with other projects set in the series’ universe such as its cancelled third-person shooter/stealth game, StarCraft: Ghost. While the project never ended up seeing the light of day and was officially cancelled by Blizzard in 2014, videos and screenshots surfacing online from the game have given a surprising glimpse at what Blizzard seemingly had in development for the project.
According to Kotaku, several images and videos have arrived online from what is reported to be a leaked, playable build of StarCraft: Ghost, which seems to have originated from an original Xbox development kit. The build itself appears to have disseminated online, with several images and videos being shared that show what the game presumably looked like at some point during its development:
Who would have thought a month ago that Starcraft Ghost would leak in some form? pic.twitter.com/24wCp4XBsE
— Andrew Borman (@Borman18) February 16, 2020
While these are clearly showing the game in a work-in-progress state, it’s still a fascinating and rare look at an unreleased game, especially one with as troubled a development history as StarCraft: Ghost. Specifically, from the gameplay videos you can see how Ghost was taking the shape of a third-person shooter and stealth experience, with the first video showing the game’s main character, Nova, infiltrating a base, fighting off Zerg units, and searching for loot.
StarCraft: Ghost was originally in development by Blizzard Entertainment as a spin-off set in the StarCraft universe, which followed a Ghost character named Nova. The game started being developed in the early 2000s by Blizzard and Nihilistic Software for the Xbox, GameCube, and PS2, but had a notoriously difficult development cycle over the course of several years. Blizzard would bring on another studio (Swingin’ Ape Studios) to begin working on the project after an acquisition, but would see several delays past its originally-planned launch throughout 2004-2006.
Blizzard formally cancelled StarCraft: Ghost in 2014 alongside its troubled MMO Titan, which eventually would go on to become its hugely successful multiplayer shooter series, Overwatch. According to a report from Polygon, one of the biggest contributors to Ghost‘s demise was that the game was planned to debut in 2005 right before the launch of the Xbox 360, which would have required a substantial amount of resources and production time to shift development for the next generation of consoles.
Though Ghost ended up never being released, remnants of the project were released in other forms throughout the years. A tie-in novel called StarCraft: Ghost – Nova was released in 2006 by author Keith R. A. DeCandido that provides backstory on the game’s main character, while Nova is featured in a series of DLC for StarCraft II called Nova Covert Ops.