Today is the 5th Anniversary of Starcraft: Ghost. It was announced on September 22, 2002 at the Tokyo Game Show. We still mourn the passing of Nova, the Terran Dominion Ghost agent whose name is November Annabelle Terra.
Fans were able to play against each other through the multiplayer aspect of Starcraft: Ghost at Blizzcon 2005. Terrans and Zerg units were playable in that demo. Shortly after, the game was postponed. Some fans who have read the Starcraft Ghost: Nova novel wrongly think the novel replaced the game like Warcraft: Lord of the Clans did with the canned game Warcraft Adventures.
The Starcraft Ghost: Nova pocketbook and the Console game were meant to ship the same day as you may read in our interview with Keith R.A. DeCandido. Starcraft Fans were able to meet Nova’s past and backstory intimately through the pocketbook novel. The novel explores Nova’s past at age 15, when she becomes aware of her psionic gift. And culminates when she reached age 18, which marked her graduation from the Ghost Program after completing her first official mission.
After Christie Golden’s Starcraft: The Dark Templar trilogy, there is a strong chance that a sequel to Starcraft Ghost: Nova may be written. This was hinted by Chris Metzen in his letter included in the first pages of the Starcraft Ghost: Nova novel.
“I’m very proud of this book. I’m especially proud of what it represents. Sometimes, amidst the general insanity of the video game business, you just have to latch on to a good idea and follow it wherever it leads.
The game StarCraft: Ghost, on hiatus as of the time of this writing, has been in development for almost as long as the PS2 and other console platforms have been on store shelves. Designing and building this game was a pretty crazy process. While there were many reasons for the game’s development taking as long as it did, one key design element always stood out and gave us inspiration to keep pushing onward: Ghosts are very, very cool.
These nearly superhuman agents who stalk unseen across raging battlefields were a major component of the StarCraft mythos. Not only were these units fun to play with, but they seemed to have a certain mystique that made them stand out amidst all the other (bigger and more colorful) units in the game—I personally think it was the stunning voice-work. While we knew that a Ghost would make the perfect focal point for a console game, we were faced with a lot of options about how to bring our new Ghost character to life.
A lot of folks thought it would have been cool to see Sarah Kerrigan, arguably StarCraft‘s most famous Ghost, and have the game focus on her origins. While that could have been a killer direction (pardon the pun), we decided to create a new character whose origins—and more importantly, whose destiny—wasn’t yet set in stone.
Thus, young Nova was born. Her personality and visual design were the result of a lot of hard work by a talented group of people. The spunky, lethal Nova was one of the first characters we had ever created that would take center stage in her own game and really anchor StarCraft: Ghost as a new part of the StarCraft setting. Needless to say, we were immensely proud of how she turned out.
I’m very pleased that we’re finally able to tell her story and show the world just who this enigmatic young character is—and what events molded her into one of the most dangerous assassins in the universe.
Of course, this take would not have been possible without the amazing talents of Keith R.A. DeCandido. Keith seemed to have a deep affinity for this character, and he not only brought out all the dark, disturbing nuances of Nova’s past—but provided a fresh new look at the gritty underbelly of the StarCraft setting as well. I can’t imagine this story in anyone elses’ hands.
So, while we might not be seeing StarCraft: Ghost as a video game anytime soon, we will definitely be following Nova’s continued adventures through novels just like this one.
Enjoy! I hope y’all dig it!”
It is not written in stone, but I got word today that it is a possibility the sequel could be written once the license on the Dark Templar Trilogy is clear. Additionally, there “might” be a surprise from Tokyopop, bringing Starcraft to Manga, according to my source.
Back to Starcraft: Ghost – the game, Rob Pardo told Gamasutra that Blizzard still likes the concept of Starcraft: Ghost. It might return to the table at some point.
BIZ: So I have to ask about a new Diablo and the status on StarCraft: Ghost, which I believe you probably get asked during every interview…
Rob Pardo: Yeah, I do. I don’t think that anyone ever believes us. Either that or they think that I’m going to slip up one of these days in a casual interview. Diablo… we love the universe. I’m sure one of these days, we’ll revisit it and do something in that universe but that day is not today. And as far as Ghost goes, we love that game concept and we consciously said that we’re putting it on indefinite hold. The game didn’t get made because we didn’t love the character and we didn’t love the concept. It didn’t get made because it wasn’t coming together in the way we wanted it to and we wanted to focus on our other projects. As I said earlier, if we had a development team available and they had a passion to do Ghost, we’d probably let them do it. That’s what it would take.
At AGDC 2007, early September, Mike Morhaime told Gamespot there were no plans to return to console games, which might suggest Starcraft: Ghost could return as a PC game.
Gamespot: What happened with Starcraft: Ghost?
Morhaime: We were late to market with a game that was not shaping up to be competitive to some of the other top games that were coming out. We looked at it and realized that there was an awful lot of work we needed to do. Our window was closing on the older generation platforms, so we had to make a decision whether we would basically take what we’d done onto the next generation of hardware and start from scratch. Ideally, we wanted to release Ghost on the older generation and have our sequel come out on next-gen systems. And then we looked at all the resource needs we had on the PC side of the business with World of Warcraft and our other titles, and we just decided that the resources were spent better on focusing our efforts on our PC titles, so we put Ghost on indefinite hold.
Gamespot: Is cracking back into the console market still on the company’s list of objectives?
Morhaime: It is not.
Gamespot: Why was the console market worth getting into in the last generation, but now you’re backing away from it?
Morhaime: We thought we would be able to do it without impacting our PC teams. We just had to make a priority call when it became clear that we were getting late to the market with these things and we were not creating something that would live up to the Blizzard quality I’ve been talking about without additional resources. Now it’s pretty clear that we really could use those resources helping us out on World of Warcraft and other things. Ideally, you try to do everything, but one of my points this morning was about not trying to do everything at the same time and focusing on what’s important. And that’s what we did.
Hopefully, Nova will rise from the ashes like the Phoenix. Until then … we still remember you, Nova. Happy Birthday, in your 5th Anniversary. Here is a tribute.
- Order Starcraft Ghost: Nova – by Keith R.A. DeCandido
- Read our novel review
- Read our interview with Keith R.A. DeCandido discussing this novel