Since 2001, developer Blizzard has being releasing WarCraft titles non-stop — which, as website Gamasutra points out, is longer than the company spent making all the other games for its three main franchises.
So what it like to be working on StarCraft II, which is not a WarCraft game?
"I don't think it has anything to do with anything," StarCraft II lead designer Dustin Browder tells Gamasutra. "It's just all about scheduling and resources and what happened. World of Warcraft was not something this company expected to be this successful by far. They were hoping for a couple hundred thousand subscribers. That was what had been done in the past — "If we could equal those numbers, we'd be fine."
Browder doesn't believe there was any sort of conscious decision to focus on a particular — it was just a matter of the different teams at Blizzard (Diablo III, for example) getting to a point last year where they could show what they had been working on. Browder goes on to say he and Blizzard wishes they were shipping StarCraft II instead of still working on the title. "So, I think it's just that these games are taking longer to make than we'd like," he adds. The WarCraft team is working from an established toolset, so they are able to release expansion in a timely manner.
"Certainly, we're hoping, as we're developing this new engine [for StarCraft II], that once we get to that point, we'll be able to maintain a higher rate of speed than we have in the past, but I think up until now it's just the way it's worked out.
The Design of StarCraft II [Gamasutra]