StarCraft Universe is a StarCraft 2 mod which turns the isometric RTS into a multiplayer RPG. It’s fantastically ambitious and has been on our radar for awhile now. Especially after the prologue campaign was released in February. Developer Upheaval Arts have taken to Kickstarter to fund continued development of the project and to take it up to open beta stage.
StarCraft Universe falls into a weird space. It started life as a mod called World of Starcraft. When interest around the project picked up Blizzard’s lawyers stepped in and asked that developer Ryan Winzen change the name. He did so. Blizzard allowed him to continue working on the project – it’s a great showcase of the power of the StarCraft 2 mod tools after all.
Winzen formed a team and began work on the game proper. They eventually released the prologue campaign to spark interest in the community.
Upheaval aren’t going to be able to release Universe as a standalone title. It will only ever be playable with a copy of StarCraft. That’s not a problem, though: after Blizzard released the StarCraft 2: Starter Edition for free it now means anyone can get the files needed to play Universe.
Winzen and his team hope to develop the mod the the point of an open beta and then sell it through the Battle.net arcade. That’s where they’ll get funds to continue development of the game’s story content.
Like I said, it’s ambitious.
The team are looking for $80,000 to complete development of StarCraft Universe. This is likely the only way we’re going to see a StarCraft RPG. If Blizzard were working on their own they’d likely have tried to shut the project down. Meaning, even if Blizzard did start work on a similar game then we’re still years away from it being in our hands.
You can already give StarCraft Universe a try – the prologue campaign is still online. You can find download details over here.. If after that you’re looking to back the project then head on over here.