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Why The StarCraft Remaster Isn't Available For Consoles

The Zerg invade Starcraft

With the remastered version of StarCraft now out in the wild, some folks have started questioning why more wasn't done to the core formula and, more than anything, why this latest iteration of the series wasn't made available on consoles. According to one Blizzard exec, there's one very good answer to both of those questions; they didn't want to change too much.

The folks at GameSpot recently had a chat with Blizzard's VP of technology strategy and planning, Robert Bridenbecker. He's been with the developer since 1995 and, since the original version of StarCraft launched in 1998, it's safe to say he's got a unique understanding of the game and what its fans want. When asked why the remastered StarCraft did not launch on consoles, Bridenbecker didn't exactly rule out the possibility in the future. For now, though, he said the team at Blizzard just wanted to stay as true to the source material as possible.

While the industry has evolved and you've got tablets and you've got hybrid consoles where you've got touch screens attached to those consoles, there's definitely a lot of areas that we could be looking at. But then we also start having to go back to that other statement I was making where the first rule of StarCraft is you don't break StarCraft. And if you try to take StarCraft over to something that it wasn't originally designed to be on, it's no longer the original StarCraft. Maybe it's something different. Whether or not something different is something we'd explore, well that's for us to figure out in the future.

That's some pretty sound logic. There are two types of remakes; those that boost the visuals, sound and maybe make a few tweaks in order to keep the game as true to form as possible, and those that are more worried about keeping the "spirit" of the game intact while modernizing as much as possible. The upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake is a good example of the latter, as Square Enix is building that particular game from scratch while upgrading the various systems and, according to the most recent reports, completely changing the combat system. We're not saying that's the wrong way to go about these things, but they're running the risk of alienating a group of their fans. Some folks are happy with the direction of the new FFVII because the game is super antiquated at this point. Others, though, would prefer to play the exact game they remember from nearly two decades ago, but with graphics that don't make your eyes bleed.

Bridenbecker said Blizzard decided to go that first route based on player feedback. One of his anecdotes revolves around introducing hotkeys to the remastered version of StarCraft, a quality of life change that many would likely appreciate. The feedback they got, though, was that it was too drastic a change from the original flow of the game, so they took it out.

Bridenbecker adds that Blizzard could have easily introduced all sorts of other systems that would have modernized the game without changing it too much by some standards, but the core fans made it clear that they weren't interested in that. So along with not getting improved enemy AI or rebalanced systems, we've got a faithful upgrade that just wouldn't feel at home on consoles.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.