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See Blizzard’s cancelled StarCraft: Ghost in HD video

Surprise leak offers clearest look at StarCraft’s stealth-action game yet

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Screenshots and footage of StarCraft: Ghost — Blizzard Entertainment’s abortive attempt to crack the console market at the turn of the century — surfaced unexpectedly this morning. The assets appear to be legitimate although their provenance is unknown.

The video above is one of three found and shared on social media and forums this morning. It’s a 720p capture of the first seven minutes of the game. StarCraft: Ghost was supposed to be a third-person stealth-action game spun off from Blizzard’s RTS franchise. It was announced at Tokyo Games Show in 2002, placed on “indefinite hold” in 2006, and in 2014 Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime finally confirmed it had been cancelled.

Another video, from YouTube user Leerz Meneses (first spied by Kotaku) shows StarCraft:Ghost running on a modded Xbox 360. Meneses says it was leaked online by “some guy who found this on a devkit.”

Then ResetEra users spotted this video, uploaded in early January, of three minutes of footage from the StarCraft: Ghost build. The uploader’s user name matches one on a folder from Leerz Meneses’ video.

The leak seems to have been first noticed on social media when Andrew Borman, of The Strong National Museum of Play, posted four screenshots to Twitter.

Borman, who works in video games preservation for The Strong, immediately said he had nothing to do with the leak and that it was not a part of his work, but he had seen the build “posted anonymously throughout various Xbox groups.”

StarCraft: Ghost was announced at Tokyo Game Show in September 2002 and was intended for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Nihilistic Software originally led development for Blizzard Entertainment; Blizzard then put another studio it had bought, Swingin’ Ape Studios, in charge.

Video from StarCraft: Ghost has made its way into the wild before, so this is technically not a new discovery — although the 720p video at top does give the cleanest look to date of what Nihilistic had in mind.

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