Tencent wants to make the 'next great PC RTS'

starcraft 2 face
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Colossal Chinese publisher Tencent has founded a new studio with the modest goal of creating the next StarCraft—so naturally, it's brought on two former Blizzard developers to make it happen.

Spending much of his time at Blizzard on StarCraft 2 before moving onto Warcraft and Diablo, lead designer David Kim is one of two Blizzard veterans heading up Tencent's new LA-based Uncapped Games. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Kim called the offer an "opportunity of a lifetime", fulfilling a long-held desire to return to real-time strategy.

"I've always wanted to take a shot at another RTS game for a very long time now, maybe close to a decade," said Kim. "If we're making a sequel to an RTS, there are some things that have to be in that game to make it a sequel. But if we make it a brand new game, it opens up more possibilities on the game design side to be able to execute what we want to execute the best. That's the advantage we have here, I think."

Kim is joined by lead producer Jason Hughes, who comes out of lead producer roles on Diablo 3 and 4 (and before that, the criminally underappreciated Hawken). He added that there's "a lot of RTS interest" at Tencent—especially from the CEO, who "really just wants us to make a great game".

It's an ambitious dream, especially given the dire situation the genre finds itself in. The high point of the RTS was decades ago, and it's telling that StarCraft 2, now over a decade old, remains one of the most popular. Last year Fraser asked "can real-time strategy come back from the brink of death?" and didn't have much confidence. But who knows? Maybe Uncapped Games will be the one to change that.

Besides founding new studios, Tencent has been on an investment spree in recent years. The publishing giant put money into over 31 studios last year, and recently bought a majority stake in Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.