In the video game world, there are few terms as heartbreaking or as loaded as ‘vaporware’. The term is used loosely to describe games that started production but were canceled before they were released. There have been many games and pieces of hardware that come to mind. Nintendo 64’s lost expanded disk drive. Everquest 3. Command and Conquer Generals 2. Norman Reedus and Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills. Of course, some of the most high profile vaporware games comes from a high profile video game producer…Blizzard! They were able to re-purpose Titan into Overwatch but what of Starcraft: Ghost and Warcraft Adventures?
I don’t have any real answers for Starcraft: Ghost but it looks like we might finally have a chance to understand what happened to Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Warcraft Adventures followed Thrall who you may recognize as a huge part of the Warcraft universe from Warcraft 3 and on. Serving as the Warchief, Thrall lead the Horde into an age of prosperity. However, where did this character come from? Of course we’ve had his background filled in but his original story played out in a point and click adventure from the late 1990’s!
Way back on May 22nd, 1998, Blizzard released the following statement:
“Blizzard wants to take a minute to respond to the Warcraft Adventures petition that is circulating on the Internet. First, we want to express our gratitude to the Warcraft fans that took the time to organize such an effort. We recognize that the cancellation of Warcraft Adventures has disappointed some of our customers, and we appreciate that they have shared their opinions with us.
Secondly, we want to let you know that stopping development was not a decision that was taken lightly. It was a hard call to make, but each of us knows that it was the right choice. The cancellation was not a business or marketing decision or even a statement about the adventure genre. The decision centered around the level of value that we want to give our customers. In essence, it was a case of stepping up and really proving to ourselves and gamers that we will not sell out on the quality of our games.
And finally, we hope that Warcraft fans will consider our track record and trust our judgment on ending the project. The cancellation of Warcraft Adventures does not signal the demise of Azeroth. We have every intention of returning to the Warcraft world because there are still chapters to be told. We will keep you informed as we announce future Warcraft plans.”
Just like that, Warcraft Adventures was canceled and long lamented about. What was it like, the Warcraft game that never was? Well, thanks to an astute Russian, we may finally have a chance to know! Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was leaked online over the weekend. Blizzard hasn’t issued a takedown notice yet, but for those of you out there that are interested now is your chance! Nothing like a point-and-click animated, black comedy adventure game from the 1990s starring Thrall, right?