StarCraft II Has A $US100 Million Price Tag

It's taken more than a decade and over $US100 million to get here, but StarCraft II will be hitting store shelves on July 27. And while that hefty development price tag may seem like a lot, well, it's not.

The Wall Street Journal puts StarCraft II's development costs above the $US100 million mark, but Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick says the investment will eventually bring in between $US500 million and a billion dollars for the publisher. In profit. Yes, building a new StarCraft game and an all-new service takes money to make money, but with international subscription fees, a $US60 price tag in the States and two more expansions in the works, a billion starts to sound conservative.

Perhaps the most positive sign of success for Blizzard and StarCraft II? "We've brought in a lot of new players in the beta testing who've been playing 'World of Warcraft' but have never tried Starcraft," Blizzard president Mike Morhaime tells the Journal.

We'll find out on July 27 if StarCraft II can live up to some of its expectations. Expect our review of the first entry, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, shortly after launch.

Update: StarCraft II Did Not Cost $US100 Million To Make.

Activision Bets Big on PC Game [WSJ - subscription req'd]


    It just occurred to me that someone who is 17, 18, or 19 now will very likely not have played the original StarCraft, as they were not even 10 years old when it was released! God I feel old...

      I'm 18 and i playe it :D


      I'm 19 and starcraft was one of my favourite games as a kid...

    I understand why it's being done this way, for profit and for timing concerns, but I still don't like this parsing of what I believe is a 'full' game into 3 different full-priced games.

    That said the cinematics as usual are perfect; justifying Blizzard being the pixar of the games industry, and the gameplay looks like a good 'upgrade' of SC1.

      Good work. I think my statement still stands though :P

      If I remember rightly, the reason it was broken up in to three parts was initially it was too big. So, it should still be three full games, just all focusing on the one race's campaign in each of them.

      I guess time will tell.

    Wait? Subscribtion fees? As in a WoW sort of pay plan for online? That's a dealbreaker for me

    And parts 2 and 3's price better reflect their status as expansion packs

    I'm very dubious, i hope that blizzard aren't picking up bad habits from Activision

      Only in Korea. You can choose to either purchase the full game (which most people will choose to do) or alternatively (not instead of) you can buy a wow-like subscription.

      Activision's already made a huge impact on blizzard. A lot of the features of battlenet 2 are a response to activision's new... paradigm, for lack of a better word. Things like facebook integration and realID are almost certainly due to activision flexing their power over blizzard.

      long version:

        Also I suspect the removal of LAN play would also have been at activision's urging.

    Still think the online compitition factor will be lacking compared to other multiplayer games out there.

      Right. Because 13 years of televised competitions, two major seasonal leagues (OSL, MSL) and the only game besides CS to be included in every WCG is 'low competition.'

      Hell, SC2 hasn't even come out yet and people are organising amateur competitions like the HDH International with cash prizes in BETA.

        The RTS genre is a really unpopular one for most gamers. Things like micro managing and memorising macro strategies are simply not fun for most people.

        Starcraft 2 will be a success because Blizzard has fans and like the article said, they are herding the sheep from WoW into playing this game. All it takes is the purchase and they've gotten their money.

        All those years of televised competitions were seriously crippled when Blizzard, in their greediness, removed LAN and disallowed the people who made Starcraft what it is today from doing the same thing for Starcraft 2. It's too early to tell how the competitive scene will handle this, there certainly will be one, but strong arm tactics Blizzard is using to control every aspect of how you play the game you paid for, any competitive scene which does develop will be dramatically different from the one that formed with the unrestrained Starcraft 1.

        The only people to blame this time are Blizzard.

          Interesting comment, however Blizzard have annonced tournament editions for competition specific play, licensing these editions out to independant tournament organisers as well as for official tourneys too. These will have LAN play and are specifically designed to boost their eSports cred.

          Similarly they've licensed television rights to gomTV as opposed to kaspersky, which is much more viewer friendly and in beta received an extremely large following in the west as it was telecast in english live from Korea. Blizzard have set up really well and you're right, they do control how their game is played, but the infrastructure they are setting up seems very solid and gives them a good foundation for the future.

          I hope they get off the ground and into the public eye.

          Look up hdstarcraft's channel on youtube if you want to see some good games :)

    $100 million development, yet they cant even add chat channels support, or even create your own custom game with passwords etc.

    This is going to make organisation of competitve games a hassle =(

      Chat channels support will be in the final game, they've announced it on their website, just isn't yet. Similarly why would you want passwords when you can just right click on your friends in the list and invite them straight to your game?

        of course for friends it has no needs, but for competitive play in online ladders etc, it makes it much easier without the need to add them to friends list or inviting to your party.
        And also the hassle of other friends joining your game when you don't want them to.

    I here and see a lot of talk about this game, but i still have no idea what its about.

    I don't actually know any one who plays games on PC though, so have never come across it. Same deal with WOW. I had heard plenty about it (mostly negative) but never really saw actual game play until the Southpark WOW episode.

    Is it like Command and Conquer or Age of Empiries?

    Can the game convert a console player to try to learn how to play on a PC?

      There isn't much to do to learn how to play PC. Starcraft is basically point and click. You don't need to remember heaps of keyboard shortcuts and junk.
      The only difficult part is knowing whether or not your computer can handle it.

      It plays sort of like the old Command and Conquer games, but with a focus more on making a base and gathering resources. You can probably pick up a copy of the original Starcraft for like $20. Your computer will be powerful enough to run it.

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