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Over 10 million expected to sell this year

The original StarCraft real-time strategy game was released twelve years ago, and went on to revolutionize computer gaming. The use of three distinct races with their own unique units and gaming strategies led to an explosion in LAN gaming, especially in South Korea. Over eleven million copies of the games have been sold, with millions more illegally copied. A dozen novels centered on the game universe have been written, and it is still one of the most popular in the world.

StarCraft is particularly popular in South Korea, where professional players and teams earn sponsorships and prize money through competition in televised tournaments. Over 10% of the country's population of nearly 49 million still actively plays the game.

Blizzard Entertainment hopes to recapture that success with today's launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the long anticipated sequel to the original masterpiece. Development on the sequel started in 2003, but had been stalled due to the resources needed for the World of Warcraft MMO. The company eventually decided to split the game up into three parts: Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void.

Wings of Liberty follows protagonist Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the Terran Dominion following the events of StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion pack. The non-linear single-player campaign has the player taking on mercenary jobs for money in order to buy additional units and upgrades. There are key missions that will appear to explore the storyline and keep it linear.

The expansion packs will feature Zerg and Protoss single-player campaigns to complete the storyline, as well as additional unit and multiplayer maps. Full multiplayer gameplay with all three races is available out of the box.

Graphics are of course much improved over the DirectX 2.0 standard of the original. Unfortunately, the drawn out development process meant that the game was targeted for DirectX 9.0c, and lack the features of DX 10, 10.1, and DirectX 11. While the game looks good, it doesn't look as good as it could be.

The game is still capable of challenging graphics cards, especially at higher resolutions like 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. ATI Eyefinity multi-monitor technology is supported, and players fortunate enough to have a Radeon 5870 HD Eyefinity Edition can game with up to six monitors.

Heavy use of the Havok Physics engine and ability to use more units also means that the game is more likely to be CPU limited. Although StarCraft 2 is not multi-core optimized, players will still see a boost from using dual- and quad-core systems.

The original StarCraft game made heavy use of LAN gaming as internet usage was not prevalent or fast at the time of its release. Broadband internet access is now readily available, so Blizzard has made the decision to remove LAN gaming support. Gamers will be required to connect through Blizzard's servers in an attempt to crack down on piracy.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is available for sale in retail standard and collector's editions, as well as for digital download directly from Blizzard. MSRP for the standard edition is $60, while the collector's edition sells for $100. It includes a 176-page hardcover art book, a 2GB dog tag USB flash drive containing copies of the original StarCraft and Brood War expansion, a soundtrack CD, and a DVD with interviews and additional cutscenes.

In an unusual marketing move, Blizzard announced that South Korean players would be able to play StarCraft II for free as long as their World of Warcraft subscriptions are active. Retailer K-Mart is currently offering a $20 gaming coupon on in-store purchases of the game through the end of the month.

 



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I was all smiles till..
By solarrocker on 7/27/2010 10:20:06 AM , Rating: 5
I was smiling till I read this

"Blizzard has made the decision to remove LAN gaming support. Gamers will be required to connect through Blizzard's servers in an attempt to crack down on piracy."

While I understand the need to fight piracy, I hate the fact that it has no LAN support. Me and my mates do play a lot of LAN games when we hold our small LAN parties. For this not to have it, and the need for internet access just makes this game less desirable. Starcraft always has been a Battlenet\ LAN game, think I played single player campaigns maybe 2-3 times in the original and brood wars. All other play was LAN and some Battlenet.

I hope they will come out with some kind of patch, or hopefully somebody will develop one.




RE: I was all smiles till..
By Asmordean on 7/27/2010 10:33:05 AM , Rating: 3
It's their form of DRM. They won't patch it out and will probably sue anyone that tries.

When it comes down to it though, how many places do you and your mates play LAN games that lacks any sort of net connection? From what I understand validation and match setup is performed via net and the actual game data is peer-to-peer meaning even a 3G phone connection shared could probably handle a few people running a game from their home.

I would prefer it not there at all but in the end I understand the reasoning and accept it.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By solarrocker on 7/27/2010 10:40:41 AM , Rating: 3
I seem to be missing the old days more and more, where you could just ring up a mate and ask to "Borrow" one of their games to play. I remember my Dune 2 disks (Yes actual floppy disks) that went from one to another till we all had the game.

I wonder if this game will be available on Steam for download, anyone? As the problem is I life on an island in the Caribbean and getting games here is a pain at best.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By zeratul2010 on 7/27/2010 10:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
@solarrocker

I'm in Barbados and we will have it on store shelves in a couple days I am sure as we are under the US distribution. If you want it can be ordered from here.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By solarrocker on 7/27/2010 11:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
zeratul2010,

I'm in the lower Antilles, things do not get delivered that fast here :)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 2:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
We ended up getting it a good 12+ hours before the Americans, one of the first on the planet in fact. (Australia.)

We are locked into the Asian server currently, through the Singapore POP.
So we have to "Register" our copy of StarCraft with Blizzard, then download the game again just so we can play with our American buddy's.
Talk about a big stuff around... One thing I liked about StarCraft 1 was that it was simple, just install, patch and game on your server of your choice.
Now they added in several more steps right next to a long install process and removed functionality like LAN gaming, Server Choice etc'.

Also, I wasn't exactly impressed either by the fact after spending $100 AU on a copy of StarCraft 2, that they couldn't even put the game in a proper CD case, nope, it's in a cardboard sleeve, talk about cutting costs.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 9:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
In S.Korea here and got the US copy. Game locked down until the US release. Doesn't help when we're like 18 hours ahead.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By zmatt on 7/28/2010 8:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, there isn't a Korea specific version? Wow, that's surprising considering how popular the game is.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/28/2010 6:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
There is a Korea specific version, but I'm US military. AAFES gets us the US version.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By zmatt on 7/28/2010 7:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
I know how you feel. The state of the gaming industry is sad. The other day I dusted off my old Civ 3 disk and installed it for some nostalgic gaming. I didn't need to "register" or require a "serial" or have to call home or anything. It installed and let me play. Even though the direct support for the game has been gone for years now and I doubt they still have any servers from the publisher. The same with starcraft, my copy just works. Be it with a little tweaking with the .ini's to get the resolution right. Game devs wonder why they aren't selling like they used to, I can point directly to this as to why. I bought starcraft and Civ 3 years ago. I could have pirated them, but they were good games and priced well, there was no need to. When they charge $60 for a game that doesn't have a complete single player experience and no lan play they have lost my business. I can find entertainment elsewhere. And just to set the record straight net ply is inferior to lan play. From a technical standpoint I have someone else's server to worry about, people can join that I don't want to join, and I don't have full control. On Lan play, it's faster, you decide who gets in and out and you have full control.

Anyone who still buys this game at this point is just bending over and taking it as far as I am concerned.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By ninus3d on 7/28/2010 9:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
The amount of hours in the campaign was larger than most other RTS's ive played and faaaaaar less repetitive than the original.
It also contains a "buttload" of content, anyone calling this game incomplete just havent tried it :)

Might be me and spoiled with internet, but I havent used LAN in a game that has a proper onlinefunctions in yeeears, and b.net is pretty darn proper :)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By zmatt on 7/28/2010 10:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well call me an misanthrope but I don't like playing with people I don't know. Online play was ruined for me a long time ago.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Akrovah on 7/30/2010 6:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
There is absolutely nothign that says you can't play with only people you know.

I haven't actually tried themultiplayer portions of the game yet (trying that this weekend), but ther is a big shiny "Form Party" button that looks like it will let you link up with friends and get your Starcraft on together.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Aenslead on 7/31/2010 3:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
You, sir, are a misanthrope.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By cdwilliams1 on 7/27/2010 1:44:11 PM , Rating: 2
It won't be available on Steam for download.... Blizzard has their own, competing, online store available thru their service - battle.net. You can purchase a digital copy over there just like steam.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By rburnham on 7/27/2010 11:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
Having become used to Steam, the BattleNet thing sounds fine. Sure, we'd love to do things the way they were done 12 years with LAN play, but things have changed. It sounds like they are adding some neat features to their online system, so they are at least throwing us some bones as they try to fight DRM. People just need to relax. It's just a video game.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By HoosierEngineer5 on 7/27/2010 12:00:45 PM , Rating: 1
With no broadband connection available, I can't play it. SC 2 is a non-issue for me. Oh well, guess they don't need my money.

Tried Steam, doesn't work on my machine. Valve couldn't fix it.

Hope everybody else enjoys the game!


RE: I was all smiles till..
By yxalitis on 7/27/2010 7:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but broadband is more a less a requirement of living with the modern Internet, complaining that one thing or another doesn't work with dial up (I assume that's what you have) is not reasonable. GET broadband, even Wireless will do if their are no fixed lines provided to you location.
Really, that's like saying "I can't buy nice cars, the roads here are unmade, and they get chipped too easily" the problem isn't the cars, but the lack of proper services to your location.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 9:07:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone can get broadband. My parent's house can't get broadband. It's all 56k, which connects at 28.8k.

Also why isn't the game at fault? It's fully capable of making it a lan game, but they don't. It's like selling a truck that has a tow hitch for a regular trailer and not a gooseneck trailer. Not everyone is going to have a regular trailer.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By someguy123 on 7/28/2010 2:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
Well, in this case it's more like buying a car and complaining it uses unleaded gas when only leaded is available in your underdeveloped area.

The game is designed completely around its multiplayer. Just playing the single player really doesn't justify the cost, but most people will be spending hundreds of hours on the multiplayer.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/28/2010 6:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
If it's centered around multiplayer, then having zero LAN support makes even less sense. You'd assume they'd add in as many options to the player as possible and throwing in LAN support doesn't take much work.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By someguy123 on 7/29/2010 11:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it would take them no work, since bnet is merely hub that connects you via a peer2peer connection. You're essentially playing LAN if you play only with people at a lan center, you just need to go through bnet to verify the copy of your game.

The reason they've left out LAN is because many lan centers were just buying one (or downloading) copy of starcraft and just installing it on every computer since the lan feature requires no verification.

I won't argue about whether or not this was fair, but it's what happened.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By dusteater on 7/27/2010 12:42:23 PM , Rating: 5
The issue is that even to play single player you need an internet connection. I work overseas in Iraq sometimes and have no access to the internet but alot of down time. So guess what... no gaming. That's what really kills me, these companies are directly attacking our service men/women over seas. Disgusting if you ask me.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 9:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's all good. Pirates will help us military folks.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Bryf50 on 7/27/2010 11:04:26 PM , Rating: 1
Thats not even true. You don't need internet to play the single-player. Pretty said people will use any excuse to justify being a cheap bastard and pirating.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Bryf50 on 7/27/2010 11:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
sad*


RE: I was all smiles till..
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 11:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
After your done with your single-player campaign, what else you gonna do, but LAN party it up? I wasted many an hour in Pakistan doing that.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Akrovah on 7/30/2010 6:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
It is true, actually. You ahve to log into your bnet account almost before you even get the title screen.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By n0ebert on 8/2/2010 11:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
No it isn't. I just disabled my internet connection and started the game. It prompts you saying it can't connect to battle.net and asks if you wish to quit or play offline. In offline mode you can't (obviously) play multi-player and cannot earn achievements. Otherwise, play the single player and enjoy the story.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By w1z4rd on 7/29/2010 4:26:50 AM , Rating: 2
I bought the game, i feel like such a hypocrit - i knew it wouldnt have LAN and now i'm suffering because of it. i didnt know this but you absolutely HAVE to have a internet connection (working) in order to play the game, even offline mode you have to connect to battlenet!
this irritates me - now due to THEM wanting to cut down on piracy, im going to suffer when they update there servers, or when my ISP is down (i live in a 3rd world country it happens ALL the time)
And this whole LAN thing makes it worse on the side that most my friends dont have internet. i live in a house where we LAN everyday too - that plus the fact it took me 6 hours to install the game because of a bug in the installer (dont do any windows updates!!) Blizzard are going to get a hate mail from me. Good thing i've got an 8 hour flight tomorrow to write up the mail. I'm sorely dissapointed with the execution of this. sorely dissapointed in blizzard as a whole, i've loved everyone of there games. this is the first time i've actually said "F*ck this sh*t" i want a refund!!


RE: I was all smiles till..
By HostileEffect on 7/27/2010 10:45:57 AM , Rating: 5
The moaning about piracy has driven me from gaming as well as from buying just about everything I don't need. Starcraft 2 looks great but the lack of love from Activision/Blizzard for Starcraft 1 and World of Warcraft tells me to seek life elsewhere.

Milking Starcraft into a trilogy, lack of LAN, Battle.net/DRM, I'll pass easy. Developers are not entitled to my sale and there is no law (yet) that says they are.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Iaiken on 7/27/2010 12:38:02 PM , Rating: 4
Nor are you entitled to anything for free.

You don't want to pay for it, that's fine, live without.

That's how I operate even with non-DRM software because I am a developer by profession and not a friggin thief. :P


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Taft12 on 7/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: I was all smiles till..
By KCjoker on 7/27/2010 7:24:58 PM , Rating: 3
If you take/use a product without paying for it you ARE a thief. If you don't think the game is worth it's price or don't like it doesn't have LAN fine...that doesn't justify downloading the game and playing/using it for free. Software is nothing like free speech.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Taft12 on 7/29/2010 10:35:31 AM , Rating: 3
You can calling illegal copying theft all you like, it will never make it true. The infinite number of copies producible at ~$0 is the difference.

You seem to be unfamiliar with open-source software and the GPL which is where the "free as in speech" expression comes from (and the BSD license which is "free as in beer"). Might I suggest you broaden your horizons given the profession you are in?


RE: I was all smiles till..
By raelalt on 7/29/2010 12:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
No it is you that is obviously unfamiliar with the GPL. It only applies to those software developers that sign their projects onto it.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Taft12 on 7/30/2010 11:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Having written GPL software myself, I am intimately familiar with it.

Watch your terminology, please - the license doesn't apply to software developers, only code (developers must follow the terms, of course)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Sunner on 7/30/2010 9:48:13 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously you are the one who are unfamiliar with open source, given your faulty description of the two most common OSS licenses.
Also, people who actually contribute to open source tend to be far more respectful of others rights to their property than people who merely want to use open source because it's free as in beer. You certainly seem to belong to the latter, you neither understand the ideals behind open source, nor do you respect others right to keep their software closed if they so choose, all you want is a free lunch.
Go away, neither camp wants you.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Taft12 on 7/30/2010 11:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I am very respectful of property rights, which is why I am very particular about not applying the word "theft" or "steal" to illegal copying. I already pointed out the difference which you surely understand as well. You might have me pegged as a purveyor of illegally copied software which couldn't be further from the truth.

Indeed I do contribute to GPL projects and am quick to point out there "nothing is free" is completely false and that there IS such a thing as a free lunch! Unfortunately, you may also know as I do that these opinions don't go over well on this site.

I'm not sure where you think my description is faulty - "free as in speech" and "free as in beer" are the most common layman's way I know of that describe those two open-source licenses and I've heard them in conversation hundreds of times in person and online... Where is my mistake?


RE: I was all smiles till..
By derricker on 7/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: I was all smiles till..
By skyyspam on 7/28/2010 4:01:13 AM , Rating: 5
I'm probably going to pirate until it's out in a "Gold" or "Battle Chest" edition that has all three for $4.95 on Steam. Hopefully by then, someone will have patched the lack of netplay, whether it's Blizzard or someone else.

That's if I even want to play it. I've never enjoyed RTS much, and certainly not random online play with cheaters from Korea or who knows where. Actually, I only EVER liked Starcraft when playing it over the LAN way back in the dorm days.

Have fun paying $100+ total for all three parts of the game.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By tedrodai on 7/29/2010 3:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by skyyspam on July 28, 2010 at 4:01 AM

I won't even like the stupid game, so I'm just going to waste my time playing a pirated version to teach Blizzard a lesson. That'll show em. As long as you don't really even WANT to play the game, it's OK to not pay for it.

I sure as heck don't want to play against those dweebs that eat, sleep, and breathe Starcraft every day, because what fun is that? But in all honesty, I'm just too lazy to bother making private games and inviting my friends to join.

Have fun paying $100+ total for all three parts of the game.


Uh, sure...that may not be what you were meaning to say, but that's how it read to me.

But yeah, I probably will have lots of fun paying over $100 for all 3 games if the last 2 are as good as the first. The Terran campaign is awesome, and I feel like I've gotten more than my $60 worth compared to the other crap games that reach blockbuster status these days. I'm not even an RTS fan myself...haven't played them (or wanted to) since the days of Warcraft 2, C&C: Red Alert, and Starcraft.

Of course, I won't jump at the next 2 unless/until they're decently priced, because the replay value is in the multiplayer, afterall.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2010 8:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Have fun paying $100+ total for all three parts of the game.


Thanks, I am having fun.

But sorry, it's not "a" game. There is way too much content in this release to call it anything other than a full game. I mean, maybe if you had it and knew what the f you were talking about, we wouldn't be having this convo.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Ammohunt on 7/27/2010 2:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
I am in the same boat Starcraft I was Warcraft II with space tiles compared to games like Total Annihilation(the all time best game of the genre) at the time it wasn't that great of a game IMHO. Now Diablo III thats a different story all together.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By ninus3d on 7/28/2010 8:31:21 AM , Rating: 2
trust me hostile, this isnt "milked" :)
Just completed the wings of liberty campaign after playing it intensively for over 30 hours since i got the game and it sure as hell wasnt lacking ;)

If the other 2 are as good as this then christ o'mighty, ill be happy!

So much story and intensitivity crammed into an rts campaign, if you like rts then you should treat yourself to this!

But hey, by all means, "try before you buy" :P But youll end up buying this if you try it i think ;)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Slaimus on 7/27/2010 10:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
Another SC1 feature that did not make it is the "Spawn Install" feature. That lets you play LAN and even Battle.net games with only 1 CD key, provided that the spawn installs connect only to the host the has the spawn CD key.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By AnnihilatorX on 7/27/2010 12:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Spawn install was great in the old days. I remember TA multiplayer also had spawn install.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 2:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another SC1 feature that did not make it is the "Spawn Install" feature. That lets you play LAN and even Battle.net games with only 1 CD key, provided that the spawn installs connect only to the host the has the spawn CD key.


You do get a few cards in the StarCraft 2 box with 2x 7 hour/14 day StarCraft 2 trial cards.
But if I remember correctly, I don't think Brood War had the Spawning ability either, did it? I know the original did.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By callmeroy on 7/27/2010 12:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
I was miffed at the not having LAN thing when the decision first was announced....but I've moved past it now.

I've not only read up like crazy on SC II, but I was in the Beta (although in Blizzard's strange sense of humor they sent me my SC II Beta invite 72 hours before the Beta closed...), from what little time first hand I had with the game (not much to be honest)...it actually impressed the hell out of me. Of course I enjoy RTS games, if you like RTS games you'll be blown away by SCII...if you don't then well...nothing special for you here.

The new Battle.net is a huge improvement btw...matchmaking is phenominally easy and much better at finding like-skilled opponents.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: I was all smiles till..
By Pirks on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: I was all smiles till..
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2010 2:51:32 PM , Rating: 1
The Wall Street Journal mis-quoted the figure, I just Googled and discovered this. So actually we have no idea how much it costs. Blizzard hasn't released the figures.

But in typical Pirks fashion, you talk about of your ass. What version of DirectX a game uses has nothing to do with the impact of the art and musical costs of development. Comparing Crysis to Starcraft II development costs?? Are you serious!?


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Pirks on 7/27/2010 3:12:35 PM , Rating: 1
Developing simple rendering engine for older DX revisions is much cheaper then large scale R&D effort required to build a modern rendering monster like CryENGINE. So this is why SC2 must be cheaper to develop than Crysis, eventhough I agree that the source art creation costs may be about the same for both. Pure engine R&D and coding costs are where the difference is.

You're pretty dumb, Reclaimer. Why? Because if I were wrong and rendering engines came CHEAP like you stated, then we'd see DOZENS AND DOZENS of Crysis like photorealistic shooters flooding the market.

But we see none and even the latest AvP is far cry from that. So eat the pun lama :P And think about costs again. My words come out of simple business logic, can't say the same about yours.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By callmeroy on 7/27/2010 3:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not gonna get sucked into your argument - frankly I don't give a rat's ass if you like the game or the company...whatever floats your boat.

But I did want to reply, in case someone is on the fence of buying SCII -- SCII is FANTASTIC looking as far as RTS games go - it has to be one of the best looking RTS games ever made to date. So I don't get the "out dated" comment.

As far as the game itself -- I've only played with in Beta so far for a few hours...but even though it was awesome...very polished (since I was in the tail end of beta -- it closed within 3 days of me getting an invite!).


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 12:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah right I heard FANTASTIC words about AvP too and compared to Crysis it's NOT fantastic at all, although it's decent and fun, can't say it's bad. So don't use FANTASTIC with me, not gonna help much. Been there, seen that.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By callmeroy on 7/29/2010 3:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever...guess you miss the part before where I said i don't give a rat's ass what you think?

Your loss (to a great RTS gaming experience)...not going to effect me playing or enjoying it one iota...


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Iaiken on 7/27/2010 4:33:14 PM , Rating: 3
Oh Pirks. I find untold joy in the irony of you calling someone "pretty dumb" after trying to make an arguement against the game based on a made-up number. We'll find out in due time at the Activision-Blizzard SEC filing next year.

Further, the costs associated with SC2 won't just include the engine, in fact, that is probably the cheapest part of the game. Most of the money goes towards the man-hours required to create all of the art and a decent story spanning three seperate campaigns and perspectives. Not to mention the mindboggling costs of balacing out the units of 3 very different factions (which is by no means done). Then there is the cost of the all new battle.net (partly funded by and tested by World of Warcraft, which will also use the technology to a greater degree in the future).

As for the Crysis games, they've been a long running joke between my friends and I as the "Dumb Blonde" of video gaming. Sure it's pretty to look at, but getting involved with it shows you just how truly stupid the game really is. The real purpose of the Crysis games were to sell Cryengine to other developers and put the onus of creating compelling content on them while raking in licensing fees (other SEC filings suggest this is in the neighborhood of 5.2 million dollars per studio per game).

It's the same sort of apples and oranges comparison that can be expected from you and quite frankly I've begun to find you less and less entertaining because of your boring predictability. If you're going to keep trying to stir up sh!t, you're going to need to fling poo in fresh new ways.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Iaiken on 7/27/2010 4:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SEC filings suggest this is in the neighborhood of 5.2 million dollars per studio per game


Oh yeah, that's not including the royalties.

For a smash hit game, this can very quickly out-stripe the return on investment of simply developing your own engine. DICE specifically sited the exorbitant royalty costs as the reason for plowing ahead with the Frostbite engines.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 12:41:21 PM , Rating: 1
Lotsa sensless angry steam after Reclaimer already confessed above that he lied about that $100 mil number (he lied because WSJ lied, so he says but wuteva).

Chill man, we'll see later when companies publish their financials. I'd be very surprised if Blizzard spent more than $20 mil on development and less than $80 mil on marketing ;)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By SoCalBoomer on 7/27/2010 3:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
approx 100mil is the number that is being used very very consistently. . .

http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/706306/WSJ-Starc...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487046...

next time, Pirks, use this little thing called "The Internet" for something besides trolling! :D


RE: I was all smiles till..
By sprockkets on 7/27/2010 8:48:48 PM , Rating: 1
I like how both your links have WSJ in them, the very source Pirks said was wrong with the 100 million in it.

Next time, try not sounding like a douche bag, douche bag.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2010 9:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well Pirks made up numbers too. Crysis cost 22 million to develop, not 30. And they claim they made a profit, but because they are a German firm they apparently don't have to disclose those details like American companies do.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SCII came close or was at that 100 million number anyway. It was factually a massive undertaking, and the Battlenet upgrades for it alone couldn't have been cheap.

I don't care if it cost 20 bucks to make, comparing it to Crysis is an insult to Blizzard. This is probably the finest piece of opening day software I have ever experienced. The graphics, for an RTS game, are NOT old. They are amazing. The game play is flawless. Online play is balanced. And I haven't found a single bug or flaw yet.

Blizzard, you hit a home run. Again. Bring on Diablo III baby, I can't wait.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By tedrodai on 7/28/2010 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call the graphics amazing, but they're pretty decent. It looks like they put a LOT of effort into the graphics for the single-player campaign cutscenes/etc, though sometimes the voice acting and/or script is pretty lame.

However, I'm with you on the rest of it. The game is FUN. I'm thoroughly enjoying the campaign and the multiplayer games. I've been thirsting for a really good PC game like this without fully realizing it, because I've gotten used to even the blockbusters being pretty underwhelming in general. This game is going to hold my attention for a while, and I didn't think I'd have such a beast until D3 finally gets released.


RE: I was all smiles till..
By w1z4rd on 7/29/2010 4:54:26 AM , Rating: 1
I vote we frag you!

LAN was essential to SC1 - 12 years later i still play this game with my house mates and practically every other LAN party im at

Now i have to pay to play with my friends.... WTF?? pay as in use bandwidth i'd rather use for work btw! i know you're probably thinking get a bigger account - but i'm in a 3rd world country where a 5GB cap is expensive (yes!)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By w1z4rd on 7/29/2010 5:11:05 AM , Rating: 1
Plz dont just vote ppl down without ur own opinion its rude :)


RE: I was all smiles till..
By Bateluer on 7/28/2010 7:47:53 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed. I consider LAN support a crucial feature of an RTS. Blizzard's poor attempt at DRM by removing it strikes it from my buy list. I'm also not to crazy about paying 60 dollars for 1/3rd of a game, but that's a separate issue.

I'll wait until LAN support is added by the community, the price drops below 30 dollars, or all three parts of the game are available in a single battle chest package for a reasonable price.


What?
By cknobman on 7/27/2010 10:19:37 AM , Rating: 5
"Although StarCraft 2 is not multi-core optimized, players will still see a boost from using dual- and quad-core systems."

How in the hell does Blizzard release a brand new game that isnt multicore optimized!!!! AND on a RTS game to boot, which is the type of game begging for multi core processing power.

Jeez, with all the money and resources Blizzard has and a freaking decade plus release cycle youd think something as major as that would be used.




RE: What?
By NYHoustonman on 7/27/2010 10:38:46 AM , Rating: 3
"Development on the sequel started in 2003, but had been stalled due to the resources needed for the World of Warcraft MMO."

Yep. I had never seen this confirmed, but there it is. WoW needs to be ended... I want a new Warcraft RTS, damnit!


RE: What?
By rburnham on 7/27/2010 11:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
I could only shake my head when I read that. I liked the few months I spent on WoW, but for it to be as popular as it is just seems silly. It's a good game, but it's not THAT good. The fact that it takes resources away from Blizzard's other games is just annoying. Imagine if they had skipped this Cataclysm bullshit. I bet we'd have Diablo III a lot sooner.


RE: What?
By Digimonkey on 7/27/2010 1:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
If anything WoW helped fund Diablo 3 and SC 2, so people need to quit their whining. Good for you that you don't like playing WoW, 12 million other people do.


RE: What?
By niva on 7/27/2010 4:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
WOW is their biggest cash cow, this is how they can afford the supposedly 100 mil it took to develop SC2.

I've never even played WOW but I have nothing but props for Blizzard in terms of their games and I'm sure it's grand. Can't fault them for wanting to make money and dedicating their resources to their #1 selling game. I'm actually surprised they even bothered with Diablo and SC2 instead of just focusing on a new WOW.


RE: What?
By callmeroy on 7/27/2010 12:11:27 PM , Rating: 3
Actually where did that come from (no I didn't read the daily tech article)...because that line, I can tell you with 100% fact is NOT accurate anymore...

Maybe in 2003 they had limited resources so some games were put on hold in favor of others....that's not the case today.

From interviews from World of Warcraft Magazine, Blizzcast (pod casts) and reading the blizzard forums....Blizzard staffers have stated at least "today" they have dedicated resources and departments for each franchise.

The folks working on Cata (upcoming WoW xpac) have NOTHING to do with SCII, they haven't even laid a finger on it.


RE: What?
By Yangorang on 7/27/2010 11:01:53 AM , Rating: 2
correct me if I'm wrong but I thought it was actually dual-core optimized?


RE: What?
By Taft12 on 7/27/2010 11:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Development on the sequel started in 2003


Since the engine is the first part of development that needs to be completed, and it began back when desktop multi-core was in its infancy (maybe still in the womb), this is the end result.

As long there are no negative side effects of not being multi-core enabled (and this being Blizzard, there won't be) there is no problem.


RE: What?
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 2:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As long there are no negative side effects of not being multi-core enabled (and this being Blizzard, there won't be) there is no problem.


Blizzard has a knack for making there games run on a wide variety of systems extending to even the extremely low-end.

People have managed to get StarCraft 2 running on Atom Dual Cores + Ion, so if it means an extra player for me to fight against over Battle.net, I guess I can accept the fact it doesn't take advantage of all 6 Cores on my processor.

However, StarCraft 2 is at-least Dual-Core optimized, it does receive a slight performance boost from quad cores and Hyper Threading as well, but most of the load is placed onto a single core. (Toms Hardware did a benchmark with the Beta awhile back.)


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2010 9:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I have an old Core2Duo and a Radeon 4870, and with everything on Ultra running the highest rez, the framerate is insanely high with massive battles going on. The game could NOT be smoother. It just couldn't.

So honestly, what the hell are you talking about? They should "optimize" code for multi-core even further beyond blazing fast enough already??

It's a video game, not Folding@Home. You sound like you are looking for any reason to bitch down Blizzard to me. I bet you haven't even played it, but are screaming for multi-core optimization on principle. Fail.


RE: What?
By callmeroy on 7/28/2010 10:05:45 AM , Rating: 3
Reclaimer77 speaks the truth...having now played the release game for about 3 hours last night (single player campaign is just amazing)...the game runs smooth as a baby's arse as that corny saying goes.

And all graphic settings are on ultra.

I have a 6600 Core2Due (Conroe) and a Nvidia GTX 260 1gb graphics card with 4 GB System RAM....not really a super beast of a machine anymore by today's standards.

Like Reclaimer stated...even in massive battles (those damn Zerg!) I've experienced no significant lost of frame rate or any other related performance issues or errors.


Unusual yes, but smart.
By danobrega on 7/27/2010 10:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In an unusual marketing move, Blizzard announced that South Korean players would be able to play StarCraft II for free as long as their World of Warcraft subscriptions are active. Retailer K-Mart is currently offering a $20 gaming coupon on in-store purchases of the game through the end of the month.


It would be funny if 50% of their WoW subscription base stopped playing for a few months to play SC2.




RE: Unusual yes, but smart.
By bighairycamel on 7/27/2010 11:27:58 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't mean they will cancel their subscription.

SC2 could have been ready months ago, despite what they say about development resources. They timed the release with WoW players in mind. With no new content in WoW till the expansion, and no release date on it yet, this was released to "hold over" the WoW players until then. I don't think it was a coincidence that SC2 was released between the end of new content for WotLK and Cataclysm.

To prove my point: the country with the greatest odds of canceling their subscription to play SC2? S Korea. And look at the deal they offered them. It's a smart move really; tide over the WoW players and make $50 per at the same time.


RE: Unusual yes, but smart.
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
WoW isn't all that big of a game in S.Korea, as it is in the US. Something like SC2 could easily cause a sharp decline in customer subscriptions. Regardless of the move, I expect many will still give up on WoW. Give up on the multitude of other S.Korean MMO offerings, I don't know.


RE: Unusual yes, but smart.
By callmeroy on 7/28/2010 10:14:46 AM , Rating: 2
Actually according to wow census reports -- the US has LESS subscribers (accounts originating from a US based address) than Europe or Asia does.

Last time I checked it was something like 2.5 mil US, 4.x mil Asia and about 3 mil EU (Europe)...

I'll make an update post if I have time to get the latest census figures...the estimate above was from what I remembered last time i looked it up -- which was about 2 months ago.


RE: Unusual yes, but smart.
By afkrotch on 7/28/2010 7:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, cause 4.x mil in Asia is the same as 2.5m in the US. I mean, it's not like Asia has a more gigantic population than the US.

But hey, if you want to look at the US's 300 million or Asia's 3.8 billion. So, 0.8% of US population play WoW. 0.1% of Asia's population plays WoW (based on 5 mil WoW userbase). Yes, according to those numbers, Asia definitely tops the US.

Pfff. Lineage II still has a higher userbase than WoW and majority of that is from Asia. Aion. RF Online. Ragnorak Online. Many of these MMOs are made in Korea and appeal to the Asian market a lot better than say, a kiddy MMO like WoW. Go to any PC bang here in Korea and most of the time, you aren't going to be playing WoW on their machines.


RE: Unusual yes, but smart.
By callmeroy on 7/29/2010 11:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
Holy crap dude..take your meds already.

What does your reply about the population of the US being less than the population of Asia (not to mention I think we learn that in what...2nd or 3rd grade?) have ANYTHING to do with your original comment?

Your statment implied that more people play WoW in the US, than in Korea..did it not?

I merely came back using information that WoW census stated which is more people play the game in Asia than in the US.

So what is so darn hard to understand here?


If I were North Korea...
By UNCjigga on 7/27/2010 12:02:18 PM , Rating: 5
I'd wait maybe 12-24 hours, wait for the South Korean population to get completely zonked after playing marathon sessions of SC2...and then invade and take over.




RE: If I were North Korea...
By tedrodai on 7/27/2010 5:06:11 PM , Rating: 4
This will happen. You'll see. Their leader is an internet expert.


RE: If I were North Korea...
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 9:20:11 PM , Rating: 3
Except many of them didn't even get the game yesterday. FYI, living in Pyeongtaek City, S.Korea currently.

They should have invaded when S.Korea was still competing in the World Cup. Don't know how many S.Koreans I saw plaster drunk, while trying to watch the game.


Old Timers
By Funksultan on 7/27/2010 11:02:44 AM , Rating: 3
Ok, enough complaints already.

"ZOMG, Blizzard is losing touch"
"ZOMG, This isn't like it used to be"
"ZOMG, it's missing XXXX feature"

The original SC was 12 yrs ago people. Move on for christs sake. This is no different than a multitude of new games out there. Embrace it, or don't, but whining about how it's different from the ancient version that was released when only 10% of the population used email?

Cmon.




RE: Old Timers
By AssBall on 7/27/2010 11:34:06 AM , Rating: 2
I can see it now. My slow ass will be making my first little firebat and the other guy will be nydus canal-ing defilers and ultralisks into my SCVs.

"ZOMG. $%@*ing HACKER! @#^% this gay game!"


RE: Old Timers
By Kurz on 7/28/2010 12:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
The old game Nydus needed creep to spawn on.


RE: Old Timers
By AssBall on 7/28/2010 1:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Guess you didn't play much Battle.net before they patched the hack.


Blizzard Has Lost Touch with it Audiance
By KingofL337 on 7/27/2010 10:36:59 AM , Rating: 2
LAN Gaming made these games, how could they remove such a key feature? This game will always be best experienced on a LAN, where the lag of multiple players isn't an issue. Until they re-add that feature looks like I won't be buying StarCraft II any time soon. I didn't buy Bad Company 2 either for the same reason.




RE: Blizzard Has Lost Touch with it Audiance
By Iaiken on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
By Anubis on 7/27/2010 1:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
i live in western NY and my ping to NYC is higher then yours is going across the country. the backbone system isn't perfect


By derricker on 7/27/2010 5:10:24 PM , Rating: 1
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/07/prospe...

http://www.speedguide.net/read_news.php?id=3575

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100721/00274810...

quote:
I think you are just looking for a reason to bitch about the game.


I think you need to get a life, or a woman, or both.


RE: Blizzard Has Lost Touch with it Audiance
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 9:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, sucked to be deployed in the military. I remember the days of play SC or WC3 in our tents. Just a couple switches and cat-5 thrown between the tents. Guess it'll just be 6 months of no SC2, if I ever get deployed soon.


So I can't play single player games on an airplane?
By jmunjr on 7/27/2010 4:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
Clarify this for me. Without paying for Internet on the plane can I play single player of SCII while on a flight ?




By Mandor on 7/28/2010 4:24:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. But as all info on the game is stored on Battlenet, you won't be able to save your progress until you reconnect.


By ninus3d on 7/28/2010 10:00:19 AM , Rating: 2
yes he will, he just wont get any characterchanges such as achievements and stats, the savegames are local


I have Sins of a Solar Empire...
By bkslopper on 7/27/2010 5:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why the hell would I care about a game that lacks LAN, has no sense of scale and STILL can't zoom out to see the whole map?

How is it even better than 2004's Dawn of War? (Another DX 9.0c game with similar gameplay and LAN to boot.)




RE: I have Sins of a Solar Empire...
By Kurz on 7/28/2010 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree with lack of lan.
Sense of scale? not sure about that one.

Zooming out to see the whole map is for competitive reasons.
They could easily do it though the issue is

You honestly have to play it. I find it very dynamic type of play especially when playing against PLatinum/Diamond players. Its very statisfing to have excellant timing and the right mix of forces against your foe.

Campaign I hear is pretty damn good.
Dawn of war's campaign and store sucks compare to the orginal starcraft.


RE: I have Sins of a Solar Empire...
By Kurz on 7/28/2010 12:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
Finishing what I was saying

They could easily do it though the issue is the Orginal starcraft still has a huge competitive scene. Blizzard wants to mimic and better the orginal game and transfer that competitive side to the new generation of Starcraft.

So it needs to appease the Koreans and the pro gamers.


Lacking Direct X 11 Support - Nonetheless 10!?!?
By UsernameX on 7/27/2010 12:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
They halted SC2 development because WoW required more resources? You would think the cash cow that it is, it would have been able to supplement itself?

...because of this halt in development they didn't include some major advancements provided by Direct X 10 and 11?

Lame...

Blizzard games have always been that way though it would seem. While their attention to detail is unparalleled and the graphics are smooth, their 'when it's done philosophy' causes the eye candy to suffer.




By Anubis on 7/27/2010 1:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes when WoW originally launched they though if they got 500k subscribers the game would be a success, they got 5 million subscribers and pulled everyone in to support it. They had NO idea it was going to be as big as it is and it delayed things. The reason you have SC2 today is because they acquired the people to support wow while moving people back onto other projects


Eyefinity...
By Yangorang on 7/27/2010 10:59:57 AM , Rating: 3
psh Eyefinity support huh....fixed FOV in SC2 basically makes it utterly worthless...I'd really love to have a panoramic view of things but I guess thats not gonna happen....




PC Game of the Year 2010
By TerranMagistrate on 7/27/2010 11:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
Guaranteed.

The only thing that bothers me is being forced to indirectly support Activision and that profit hoarding snake Bobby Kotick when you buy Blizzard games.




RE: PC Game of the Year 2010
By Silverel on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
AWESOME
By McGixxer on 7/27/2010 1:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, other then the retarded fact that the game doesnt have LAN support. This game is AWESOME!!! I forgot or didnt know that an RTS could be this polished! (and yeah, I know, it only took them a decade+) LOL




LAN Crack
By afkrotch on 7/28/2010 12:10:02 AM , Rating: 2
FYI, a lan crack has already been made for SC2. F@CK YA!!!!!!




By Deathtwinkie on 7/30/2010 7:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
The people whining about lack of LAN play. Stop living in the late 90's. LAN play is there, but it's just initiated through battle.net. Battle.net is now your host. But you know what? Blame piracy for this. Services like steam, impulse, battle.net etc. have become popular and in the future I'm sure all games will be digital download only or requiring you to login......all because of piracy. Don't blame the game companies for doing this when it's the pirating players that have caused this. Go yell at them. The only thing I'll give you, is that yes, games shouldn't cost $60. PC games should be no more than $40 and they would sell plenty more copies to more than make up for that $20 difference. ie, they would net more money selling it at $40.

But stop crying about digital downloads and having to login because everything happens for a reason and they've done this because piracy was such a huge issue. This is the fault of the dishonest. I've always paid for a game that deserved it. If it gets good reviews and is fun, I'll go give them my money. Stop whining without first thinking of all angles about what you're talking about. Nothing worse than a person who complains about something when he's only looking at it from HIS view only. To properly evaluate a situation, look at all angles. I looked at the angle of why people pirate. Because they only care about themselves and because games are $60 a pop. It costs alot more nowadays to make a game, however there's alot more people gaming now than in past. If console and PC games never went higher than $40, they'd net more money. But $60 games is no excuse to pirate. Just don't buy the game and enough people do that, they will learn.




You know it's true....
By Icehearted on 7/27/2010 3:08:29 PM , Rating: 1
I'll save my money for when the rest of the game is released.




0 comments?
By Taft12 on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














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