Nazgul was particularly happy to see StarCraft in his evening paper. In his very own words, "That's nuts!!"
A loving lick of paint for StarCraft
The twenty year old StarCraft remains popular to this day. StarCraft: Remastered is developer Blizzard’s attempt to please primarily its oldest fans.
Many games have an expiration date: fans lose interest, technology becomes outdated. Yet the popularity of the almost twenty year old strategy game StarCraft seems to actually increase since 2016: the brand-new StarCraft competition ASL reached a peak of 100,000 viewers for the first time in December, twice as much as recent tournaments of the younger StarCraft 2.
Developer Blizzard considered the time ripe for a modernisation of the original: StarCraft Remastered.
In the late nineties, StarCraft in South Korea stood on the cradle of e-sports, competitive games. Korean fans birthed a professional sports world, full of paid superstars and television channels, which would act as blueprint for later e-sports. The weaker western StarCraft teams ended up dominating other games later, such as the Dutch Team Liquid, which on Wednesday bagged 10.5 million Euro by placing first at a big international tournament.
In 2010 a match fixing scandal (Korean top players turned out to have received bribes from gambling sites in return for a loss) and the arrival of StarCraft 2, which was a vastly different game than part 1, meant the end of StarCraft’s role on the main stage in the world of e-sports.
In addition, StarCraft suffers from outdated technology. Troops that fail to work to their destination in an efficient manner, soldiers that cannot be selected in larger numbers than twelve, it seems unthinkable nowadays.
When Blizzard first started work on Remastered, the StarCraft fans were unrelenting. The ‘bugs’ are a part of StarCraft. To not only see gamers fight against their opponent, but also against the game, that’s beautiful. The game’s appeal remains. For every soldier exists a perfect opponent. Every strategy, every game start, has a valid counter strategy. StarCraft is the chess of the gaming world: difficult, slightly elitist, timeless.
Blizzard must have thought: why change?
Remastered is meant for the loyal fans, not to win new ones. Blizzard added cinematics to the story, improved the old graphics and improved the audio. Every now and then this makes the game lose its ghastly atmosphere. Aside from that the game also adds a number of improvement, such as a new zoom function and a way to automatically match up against human opponents, instead of players having to find someone to play against themselves. Yet it remains nothing but a lovingly added lick of paint over an age old classic, which can even be removed with a single press of a button. The concept stays the same: the variable Terrans, the stately Protoss and the monstrous Zerg are still fighting against old constraints.
Translated by: VoganRL