Speaking to StarCraft 2 production director Tim Morton and lead co-op designer Kevin Dong at BlizzCon earlier today, I had to ask: Are you making StarCraft 3? Blizzard announced numbered sequels to two of its biggest series this week, after all, so it's not out of the question.
Morton's answer didn't suggest that StarCraft 3 is secretly in production—though he could have an excellent poker face—but did suggest that he'd very much like to build it.
"The best way for us to figure out our future is to hear from players," said Morton. "So, I think if there's an interest in seeing more RTS games, sending that message to Blizzard would be a wonderful thing."
I asked if they were waiting for the right time, then. "Ultimately, the team that works on StarCraft 2 is incredibly passionate about real-time strategy as a genre," said Morton. "I can certainly say it's my favorite genre to play and so far it's been my favorite genre to work on."
Dong agreed, and we talked about the genre a bit. Morton brought up recent independent games in the genre like Tooth & Tail and They Are Billions, as well as Microsoft and Relic's work on Age of Empires 4.
"I actually think there's a great opportunity there in the future, but yeah, we'll just have to see what the future holds," he said.
Morton is clearly happy to be working on StarCraft 2, which still has a very dedicated base of both competitive and cooperative players. The cooperative mode is actually StarCraft 2's most popular mode now, he tells me, as it keeps non-competitive players who might've left after the campaign around. I also discussed with Dong how DeepMind AI competitions are causing players to question the meta. There's a long held tradition of using 16 workers per mineral mine. The AI, however, recently used as many as 21, and players are wondering who's right.
But it sure sounds like Morton is up for StarCraft 3, if Blizzard gave it the green light—and it sounds like demonstrating a bigger market for new RTSes is the key to that.
We didn't get into what such a sequel would look like, but maybe Diablo 4's new engine could be put to use in that respect.