Tragically Cancelled – Investigating StarCraft: Ghost

It had been four years since Blizzard released StarCraft, and its expansion, Brood War for the PC. The science fiction-themed real-time strategy game proved to be a critical and commercial smash upon its release in 1998, drawing in millions of players around the globe to battle for the fate of humanity – or rather, the “Terrans” – in the game’s riveting single-player campaign, and trade wits in its competitive multiplayer mode. It was a revelation for both casual and professional fans of the genre – and they wanted more.

Their wishes would be answered when Blizzard and Nihilistic Software would reveal StarCraft: Ghost, an action-stealth game set in the StarCraft universe, for home consoles. Centered on Nova, a powerful and deadly psionic warrior, Ghost quickly became a highly anticipated game due to its ambitious and varied combat system, and for offering a novel new way to experience a beloved universe.

However, despite a strong initial showing, Ghost would spend the next several years fighting for its life. Revisions, delays, and a change in development studio would push the game further and further into the periphery – before disappearing entirely. Ghost would become its very own namesake; always up in the air in the sea of possibility, but never tangible. And yet from its corpse, Nova would survive, slowly becoming one of the StarCraft universe’s biggest characters thanks to a litany of multimedia appearances.

This is the story of StarCraft: Ghost.