It’s an unfortunate reality in the gaming industry that developers can only support their games for a limited amount of time after release. Studios can only devote so much of their resources towards a product that, for the most part, has already earned enough revenue to justify its development cycle. Some projects see a couple of years of fresh content and patches, while others only receive maybe a few months of attention. Still others serve their product up on a platter of high expectations and vague promises and, the moment the dust settles, vanish in a gust of disappointment.
Then, there’s Blizzard.
Known for only a handful of games released over the last decade, Blizzard Entertainment is characterized by their total devotion to their products. Titles like World of Warcraft follow a subscription-based model that allows their developers to continue supporting them for a seemingly infinite amount of time with regular expansions and updates, while games of a smaller scale like Hearthstone still receive consistent support and content.
Such is the case with real-time strategy (RTS) game StarCraft II which, despite having received its third and final expansion nearly two years ago, is still updated on a regular basis. The latest in these efforts, Patch 3.13.0, recently previewed an upcoming new map.
The Scythe of Amon will be the latest cooperative mission for StarCraft II. The map will feature a series of void slivers that are being utilized by the antagonist group Amon’s Forces in order to summon a powerful void shade. The objective of players will be to destroy these slivers while evacuating the local population in a limited amount of time.
The announcement of this mission has come as a surprise to much of the RTS’ fan base, many of whom did not expect such an impressive release so soon. It speaks volumes of Blizzard’s ability to capitalize on the mentality of quality-over-quantity – that, even with a 7-year-old title, they can not only boast of a sizable fan base, but please it as well.