It looks like StarCraft: Ghost may be forgotten but not actually gone: Blizzard has apparently tried, and failed, to register the name in China as an e-sports brand.
StarCraftWire.net is reporting that Blizzard’s attempt to register the name was turned down by China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce, which ruled that the title contravenes “socialist morality” and would promote “feudal superstition.” The trouble comes not only from the presence of the word “Ghost” in the title but also because of “StarCraft” itself, which the state agency seemingly interpreted to mean astrology.
Blizzard appealed the matter to the Beijing Municipal First Intermediate People’s Court, saying the name itself bears no relation to feudal superstition and that the registration is for e-sports, videogame news and “other projects trademarked for the company’s Battle.net online game service platform,” none of which were being set up or used to “disseminate feudal superstition or engaging in superstitious, illegal activities.” Nonetheless, the Court rejected the appeal, saying the language could easily cause “adverse effects” among the people. Blizzard has appealed that decision as well.
What does it all mean? Two things: One, China is a very strange place. Two, Blizzard, by all appearances at least, still has plans for StarCraft: Ghost. First announced in 2002, StarCraft: Ghost was originally intended to be a third-person action game centering around a Terran special operative known as a “ghost.” The game was indefinitely postponed in 2006, but as the report notes, never actually canceled. At this point Blizzard could take the property in any direction it wants and since the company is known to have a second MMOG in development, rumors both hot and heavy should start flying any day now.