StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm At Least 18 Months Away?

The Zerg-centric second instalment of the StarCraft II trilogy should be expected in eighteen months at soonest, it seems project director Greg Canessa let slip during a talk at GDC Online in Austin yesterday, attended by GameSpot.

Speaking about future plans for Blizzard's online service, Canessa described features such as replay trading, broadcasting replays and upgrading profiles as "a main area of focus we're going to be seeing on the Starcraft [II] side over the next 18 months between now and Heart of the Swarm." No sooner than roughly April 2012, then.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will follow on from StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty with a Zerg singleplayer campaign featuring RPG elements. The Protoss instalment, 'Legacy of the Void,' will follow after that, boasting elements of diplomacy.

Blizzard has yet to reveal a release schedule for the Sc2 trilogy's episodes and stressed to GameSpot that there's no announced release window for Heart of the Swarm.

Speaking in October 2008 about the three chapters of StarCraft II, Blizzard VP Rob Pardo said "With any luck, it would be like a year for each successive one, but that's going to be a target date, that's not a promise."

Lead producer Chris Sigaty said back then that "With Warcraft III, we hit a year for the expansion. We'd love to hit that [for "Starcraft II"], but honestly, with how story mode goes and with the pre-rendered and in-game cinematics, I don't know how long it's going to take... We want to hit the shortest amount of time possible."

Meanwhile, updates for SC2: Wings of Libery continue to roll out. Only yesterday, Blizzard revealed plans for future multiplayer balance tweaks aimed at helping the Zerg.

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