Speaking from a panel of MMO experts at the Hollywood Games Summit, Pardo elaborated on Blizzard's philosophy of maintaining quality, while noting that the company would one day like to revisit their most recent misstep.
"With [Starcraft: Ghost] we were very stubborn," Pardo said, according to Next Generation. "I still believe in that game and the characters, but we were not able to execute at the level we wanted to... Rather than work on that we had to focus on our other games. We're hoping one day to return to it."
When Ghost vanished into thin air, Blizzard officials were decidedly ambiguous about the project's status, referring to the game as "indefinitely postponed."
"In addition to allowing us to determine the best course for StarCraft: Ghost, this review period will help us lay the groundwork for our future console games," said Blizzard president Mike Morhaime last year. At the time it was thought the game might be carried over to next-generation systems, but no news of any such project has surfaced.
Starcraft: Ghost was billed as an action title based on the universe established by Blizzard's popular RTS StarCraft (PC, N64). Focusing on providing stealthy, tactical gameplay, Ghost was initially set for release on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox platforms. Development of the title eventually switched hands from Nihilistic (Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects) to Swingin' Ape Studios (Metal Arms: Glitch in the System), the latter company being transformed into an internal Blizzard team before production on Ghost was finally halted.
Not the first time Blizzard has given up on a project, the company's attempt at a PC graphic adventure game, Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, met a similar end. Another spin-off based on a Blizzard RTS--this time its fantasy-themed Warcraft series--Adventures was to tell the story of an orc named Thrall by way of hand-drawn art and voice-acted characters. While not living up to expectations, elements of the game's story were included in subsequent Warcraft titles.
Pardo explained that the secret to Blizzard's nearly-flawless backlog of quality titles is the company's ability to kill its own children.
"We're just willing to cancel the products that fail," he said. "That's important to our brand. We're willing to bite the bullet and write off those expenses. Sometimes six months into development, the idea doesn't flow."