OPINION: The Brood War HD rumor and why I’m worried for SC2

opinionThere’s a not-so-confirmed rumor going around that Blizzard will be announcing a Brood War HD remaster during Blizzcon. This rumor has been starting up hype-trains left and right including mine. I never played BW and I would really want to check out the single player. With that said, it’s leaving me a little bit worried particularly towards the future of Starcraft II.

Blizzard has been actively supporting Starcraft II. The weekly Community Feedback threads does a lot to communicate the active development process even beyond Legacy of the Void. The constant stream of DLCs (Nova Ops, Co-op commanders) alongside really cool updates to the base game (co-op mutations, emotes) is really appreciated.

My worries are more centered towards how the general gaming public will be perceiving this move by Blizz. It’s bad enough that Starcraft II is known as dedgaem. It’s not really dead. It has never even died in the first place. What really happened was that Starcraft II was once top dog of the eSports world and now it’s not, as with all other popular games. People are just really suffering a bad case of schadenfreude. As a result people thought SC2 is dead, contributing to the decline of the playerbase.

So on one hand you get people who inexplicably loves to jump on Starcraft II’s health, and on the other, Blizzard possible announcing a Brood War HD. Can you imagine the circus? A Brood War HD remaster announcement would appear as a sign of giving up on SC2 and going back to Brood War. Not to mention the elitist BW crowd who would love nothing more than to see SC2 die. People who are potentially going to be interested in SC2 will be put-off. While you and I know that that is far from the truth, it wouldn’t matter if it’s the truth or not. Memes are effective. Memes hurt SC2 before, memes could hurt SC2 again.

I really love SC2. I didn’t like Brood War’s clunkiness then and I wouldn’t like it now, even with modern graphics. It could be a better game objectively but I don’t see myself playing it. What I would love to see is Blizzard using BW HD to get people to check out SC2 too. Perhaps a free SC2 multiplayer ladder code that goes alongside every BW HD purchase alongside a multiplayer-only client?

To be fair, we don’t even know it the rumor is true. For all we know, it could just be a patch to the old BW to make it compatible on modern systems like what they did with Warcraft III. That said, I trust that Blizzard knows what they are doing.

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “OPINION: The Brood War HD rumor and why I’m worried for SC2

  1. SC2 caster did confirm it’s coming though Blizzard did say they don’t know when it’s coming and that it’s likely a long way away. I agree that SC1 elitists will jump on this but I think so few people remember that SC1 sold incredibly well outside Korea but had almost no eSport scene and I’d imagine that would be the case for SC1HD, it would sell well everywhere but it’s competitive scene would likely be limited to Korea. Also that assumes Korean streamers and PC bangs make the switch to SC1HD.

    In the end I think this will sell well purely because it’s SC1 but I don’t think it will impact the player base or eSports side of SC2 long term, though short term there could be a dip. Now that’s reality, reddit on the other hand will claim differently but reddit also says SC2’s player base is only a few thousand people (despite Blizzard saying SC2’s player base has stayed about the same for years).

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    • Good points. I think this move by Blizz is in response to what looks like a failing Korean SC2 scene. Best case scenario would be both scenes coexisting assuming Korea switches to BW HD and SC2 stabilizes after the post-release dip. Here’s hoping.

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      • And even if SC1HD doesn’t catch on as an eSport it will still likely make Blizzard a lot of money (assuming they sell it with a campaign and such, we know little about their proposed model) and encourage them to remake their other older games like WC1/2, D1/2, etc.

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  2. I really enjoyed it back in the good old days, but now the community sucks, the game is full of gimmicky units, Dustin Browder has gone off to work on Heroes of the Storm and a lot of my favourite pros have retired. I watched as the Barcraft attendance dropped from overcrowding the venue to just a handful of people.

    I’ve simply stopped playing the game, just playing it brings back too much nostalgia, and too much grief for what it has become.

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    • I think that SC2 is bound to wane in terms of size due to it being an RTS. I guess arguments can be made in terms of design and player-retention techniques but I believe those arguments are secondary to what really caused other games to overtake SC2 in terms of eSport popularity: it’s an RTS. RTS games have never really been as open to the mainstream as other genres.

      Still, don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad it happened and all that jazz.

      Also I believe SC2 as a game is the best it has ever been!

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  3. I see Brood War and SC2 as two independent games. I believe Blizzard will support SC2 competitively through its WCS system, and I doubt the same attention will be given to BW. SC2 competitive scene shouldn’t become worse because of BW. One thing for certain though, I will play my first BW game when it’s out.

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