Frost Giant Studios made its formal debut on Monday and it is composed of several high-profile ex-Blizzard developers, with huge experience when it comes to making RTS games.
(Picture: Frost Giant Studios)
From the former StarCraft 2 team, there are Tim Morten (former Production Director), Jesse Brophy (former Lead Artist ), Ryan Schutter (former Lead Designer), and Kevin Dong (former Lead Co-Op Designer).
Then, there's Tim Campbell, a former game director of Wasteland 3 and lead campaign designer of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. He is the president of the company and a game director of their first (unannounced) project.
Joseph Shunk and Austin Hudelson, former gameplay engineer and server engineer on StarCraft 2, are members of the new studio as well.
(Picture: Frost Giant Studios)
With so many experienced people when it comes to the RTS genre, it is only natural that Frost Giant Studios is solely focused on revitalizing the former glory of a once-popular genre.
And that's exactly what they are doing. Their motto is: "We're launching a new game studio to build the next great RTS!"
This slogan you will hear several times in their introduction video below.
And while they say that they "respect the time-tested mechanics of RTS" and that they aren't planning to "radically re-invent", they also stated they want to "strategically expand the audience," which means they will probably try to create a game that has a broader appeal over a traditionally "hard-core" audience that is attracted to the RTS genre.
Frost Giant Studios raised $4.7M in seed funding led by Bitkraft Ventures, with participation from 1 Up Ventures, GC Tracker, Riot Games, and Griffin Gaming Partners. Seeing the name of Riot Games here is particularly interesting.
The company plans to use this money "to begin building a prototype for gameplay, conduct consumer research, and expand operations."
Frost Giant Studios is the second ex-Blizzard studio announced in recent times. Former Blizzard president Mike Morhaime and several other Blizzard veterans announced in September a new games company called Dreamhaven
Blizzard and the future of RTS Games
This year hasn't been a particularly good one for the fans of Blizzard's RTS games.
Once a bastion of real-time strategies, Blizzard of today mostly abandoned this once popular genre.
The highly anticipated WarCraft 3 Reforged turned fiasco on the launch, with clearly unfinished product stripped of many features that were originally present in the original game's client from 2002.
And while updates for WarCraft III Reforged are coming at a slow pace, the game is still far from being in a good state, and many promised features, like the ladder system, are still absent from the game.
Last Thursday Blizzard announced that they will no longer produce paid content for StarCraft 2, 10 years since the game's release.
This means there will be no new co-op commanders nor War Chests (Blizzard's versions of Battle Pass for StarCraft 2).
They will continue to support the competitive community with balance updates and seasonal patches, and the esports scene will continue at least until March 2023, since Blizzard and ESL have a 3-year contract to run StarCraft 2 ESL Pro Tour, but after that nothing is certain.
With so many RTS veterans leaving the studio in the past few years, it is unlikely that Blizzard plans to work on any RTS title in the near future.