StarCraft II Didn't Cost $100 Million, Isn't Getting Advance Reviews

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StarCraft II Didn't Cost $100 Million, Isn't Getting Advance Reviews

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Last week's revelation about StarCraft II's production costs wasn't exactly accurate, and journalists can't play advanced copies of the game for review purposes.

Last week, it was revealed that Blizzard had dropped $100 million on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty's development. While it was a huge figure, no one exactly seemed, well, surprised by the number. After all, this was Blizzard (which has never been known to skimp on costs) doing the development on a highly-anticipated sequel that was in development for over seven years. It turns out, though, that the number wasn't actually correct.

The Wall Street Journal ran a note in its Corrections and Amplifications section revealing that StarCraft II didn't actually cost $100 million. Exactly how much was spent on the game hasn't been revealed: "Activision Blizzard Inc. hasn't disclosed development costs for its StarCraft II videogame. A July 16 Technology article about the StarCraft sequel incorrectly said the company spent more than $100 million to develop the game; that figure referred to its World of Warcraft game."

StarCraft II is due out this Tuesday, but don't expect to see any advanced reviews before it hits store shelves. Blizzard revealed that the press won't be able to play the game before it launches, which means that journalists will be first playing StarCraft II at the same time everyone else is.

"Blizzard was unable to offer an official comment at time of writing," said Eurogamer. "However, we understand from our conversations with the developer-publisher that the new Battle.net service and its online features are so integral to the game that it would be both impractical and undesirable for press to review it before servers go live."

Journalists are probably upset since they're losing out on a huge amount of traffic by posting a review for the game before it launches, but would anyone really pay attention to the reviews? Players expect Blizzard to put out an excellent game and the title has sold record numbers via pre-orders. When you have a game that's this popular before it even goes on sale, advanced reviews probably seem kind of pointless from the developer's end.

Source: WSJ and Eurogamer

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Not surprising about the reviews. I don't think the game physically INSTALLS until Tuesday, frustrating though it may be.

I wonder how much money they actually spent on development. Paying a dev team for 7 years has to add up, though $100mm was a bit steep.

Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

i get the feeling they only said it didn't cost 100 mill so when time comes for starcraft 3 they don't have difficulty finding a publisher, or licenser or however it works i really don't fucking know.

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

Let me ease your mind: it won't fail.

I think it's a wise decision to not let reviewers have advanced copies. All too much have I heard mention in reviews that 'because the game has yet to be released there were very few games that could played in the online component'.

I sure don't expect Blizzard to put out excellent games.

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

I feel sort of the same way, but then again, it's been... damn, it's been a decade since I last bought a Blizzard game. $60 a decade isn't that big a contribution to Activision, I guess.

Brainst0rm:

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

Let me ease your mind: it won't fail.

I didnt say I thought it would, I just said Im torn about hoping it will

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

why would you want an excellent made PC exclusive to fail? If SC2 fails it gives the message "oh don't bother spending years of work on a great title, you'll make more money with cheap yearly iterations of a game." Whether you like Blizzard or not, that's just the wrong message to send developers.

But what you WANT is irrelevant because really, there is no way this title will fail. It'll be a best seller and get 9s/10s all over the board.

DJmagma:
i get the feeling they only said it didn't cost 100 mill so when time comes for starcraft 3 they don't have difficulty finding a publisher, or licenser or however it works i really don't fucking know.

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

100 millions isnt shit to blizzard. Theres what 20 million people playing Wow every month? Just from the monthly cost alone 20mil x $15= 300million just from the normal payment let alone people change class race server etc

Yeah, I don't think the reviewers could get any less relevant at this point.

The game will still be awesome, because the beta was fantastic, and that's just a beta.
Although, I've doubted that they spent 100 million on this game, but they still probably spent a ton.

Pugiron:
I sure don't expect Blizzard to put out excellent games.

Well then, you must not have paid much attention to the PC industry since, oh, 1994. :)

Every single Blizzard game is a GotY contender for a reason. They do not put out bad games. Period. They may put out games that don't APPEAL to you (WoW), but even then it's a sterling example of the genre.

I'm guessing the reason why reviewers arn't getting advanced copies is because they are terrified of leaks instead of the usual reason of terrified of a bad review.

While the spiteful person in me wants this to fail because I can't stand Starcraft (AoE and C&C were way better) it obviously won't even if it did cost $100 million.

Pugiron:
I sure don't expect Blizzard to put out excellent games.

You may be the only one.

It'll get >90% on metacritic whether its good or not, doesn't matter whether they play it before or after release.

fuhier:
100 millions isnt shit to blizzard. Theres what 20 million people playing Wow every month? Just from the monthly cost alone 20mil x $15= 300million just from the normal payment let alone people change class race server etc

12 million and half of them are in Asia, which accounts for something like 8% of the revenue (they pay by the hour since most of them play in PC bars, they have entirely different pricing models, the bars/local operators/local governments take a cut of the money).

But that said it's not like Blizz is hurting for cash. Even 6 million x $15 a month is a ton of money

Will most likely get it, doubtful that it'll be on day 1 though. Tough times atm.

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

When has Blizzard not been successful? WoW pulls in over $120 million dollars a month nothing proves more how much ass the PC can kick when the largest developer in the world hasn't made a console game in 15 years.

Devs have been loving the PC recently Bioware "PC is made for games" and "Consoles Are The Past, Not The Future", even Bobby kotic is complaining along with Valve about the closed nature of Xbox live.

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JerrytheBullfrog:

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

why would you want an excellent made PC exclusive to fail? If SC2 fails it gives the message "oh don't bother spending years of work on a great title, you'll make more money with cheap yearly iterations of a game." Whether you like Blizzard or not, that's just the wrong message to send developers.

But what you WANT is irrelevant because really, there is no way this title will fail. It'll be a best seller and get 9s/10s all over the board.

DJmagma:
i get the feeling they only said it didn't cost 100 mill so when time comes for starcraft 3 they don't have difficulty finding a publisher, or licenser or however it works i really don't fucking know.

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

thats why I said Im torn about it, I want it to fail because I wouldnt mind seeing blizz go under but I want it to not fail because Im getting tired of ppl saying pc gaming is dead

Seemingly wanting to keep everyone on edge...well, I suppose we all know it will be good anyway. So, why we need to hear it from others!

This is one of those (if not THE) games that has the luxurity of selling millions without reviews. I think that reviews for this game only applies to those people that weren't that impressed on the beta of the game and for those that didn't grew up with it or were living under a rock for the last 12 years.

As for me, I don't need a review, I know it's gonna kick ass. I've made up my mind and I've already preordered it on Gameplanet (a mexican game retailer).

Worgen:

JerrytheBullfrog:

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

why would you want an excellent made PC exclusive to fail? If SC2 fails it gives the message "oh don't bother spending years of work on a great title, you'll make more money with cheap yearly iterations of a game." Whether you like Blizzard or not, that's just the wrong message to send developers.

But what you WANT is irrelevant because really, there is no way this title will fail. It'll be a best seller and get 9s/10s all over the board.

DJmagma:
i get the feeling they only said it didn't cost 100 mill so when time comes for starcraft 3 they don't have difficulty finding a publisher, or licenser or however it works i really don't fucking know.

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

thats why I said Im torn about it, I want it to fail because I wouldnt mind seeing blizz go under but I want it to not fail because Im getting tired of ppl saying pc gaming is dead

Curious: Why do you want Blizz to go under?

Who cares about reviewers anyway? They're just normal players that get paid to have an opinion anyway, whoopdedoo. Sure, sometimes I like hearing other people's opinions if they're well formulated, but for something like Starcraft II? From Blizzard? For a recently re-discovered RTS fan like myself? I'm sure to buy it, but will wait for a bit anyway for the price to come down like I do for every game, no matter how I love it.

$100 million for making the same game with better graphics? I think that's a pretty incompetent achievement. Still I bet at least one record to do with game sales will probably be broken come Tuesday, and reviews will all say that it's 'the best RTS evar'.

StarCraft II Didn't Cost $100 Million, Isn't Getting Advanced Reviews

An advanced review is just a favourable review, or one that uses long words. An advance review is a review that comes out before the game it's reviewing. I'd expect a videogame journalist to know the difference. Sorry, nitpick over.

I knew there was something a bit unusual about the WSJ's coverage of it, not the least of which because they kept talking about 'Warcraft' and 'Starcraft' as if they were similar games (the original ones maybe, but certainly not WoW and SC2), so it must've just been some analyst who couldn't be bothered to pay attention to what he was really talking about.

"Yeah, it's Starwarscraft or something? What do you mean they're not the same thing? Eh. Ok. One's Starcraft and one's Warcraft then, right? $100 million? Must've been on whatever the new thing was. Starcraft you say? Ok, good, we'll print that."

JerrytheBullfrog:

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

Wrong. Blizzard games were previously published by Vivindi games. Activision and Vivindi merged not too long ago, creating Activision-Blizzard, which is the current new publisher. Blizzard Entertainment is a development studio, who does not self-publish anything.

Tehlanna TPX:

Worgen:

JerrytheBullfrog:

Worgen:
Im still torn about if I want this game to fail or not, on one hand I despise blizz and activision but on the other if its successful then it will show the pc to be as good a gaming platform as console, not that ppl who really know need any proof but devs sometimes like to hate on the pc and its getting old

why would you want an excellent made PC exclusive to fail? If SC2 fails it gives the message "oh don't bother spending years of work on a great title, you'll make more money with cheap yearly iterations of a game." Whether you like Blizzard or not, that's just the wrong message to send developers.

But what you WANT is irrelevant because really, there is no way this title will fail. It'll be a best seller and get 9s/10s all over the board.

DJmagma:
i get the feeling they only said it didn't cost 100 mill so when time comes for starcraft 3 they don't have difficulty finding a publisher, or licenser or however it works i really don't fucking know.

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

thats why I said Im torn about it, I want it to fail because I wouldnt mind seeing blizz go under but I want it to not fail because Im getting tired of ppl saying pc gaming is dead

Curious: Why do you want Blizz to go under?

well I got a job with them as a game master but when I went in for training after I had dropped a few classes they said I didnt have a job after all since I wasnt hired by them a few months earlier and I heard later that since I went there I was black listed from working there, but I heard that from a 3rd party so Im not sure how true it is, but anyway I still hold a grudge against them for it and refuse them any of my money and shall repeat this story at any opportunity

I still can hardly believe that StarCraft II is finally coming. It's been 12 years. Holy crap. If I think that some young gamers, from 15 to 25 years old might never have even played the original because they were too young back then.

It's just amazing they put such an immensly good and successful gamme on hold for so long.

Probably WoW's fault. I guess nobody expected it to be so successfull and it sucked up all of Blizzards energy.

Tiamat666:
I still can hardly believe that StarCraft II is finally coming. It's been 12 years. Holy crap. If I think that some young gamers, from 15 to 25 years old might never have even played the original because they were too young back then.

It's just amazing they put such an immensly good and successful gamme on hold for so long.

Probably WoW's fault. I guess nobody expected it to be so successfull and it sucked up all of Blizzards energy.

25 years yes sir, we were old enough to play that thing and annoy the crap out of our parents about it (ah good times).

Considering from the coverage of the beta, plus being a game any RTS entusiast should be at least marginally familiar with, advanced reviews wouldn't contribute to the hyper-train. I mean if you played the first and/or the beta, you should be already be burning up for the day we can scream "Hell, it's about time.".

I'll bet it cost a lot more than $100 million.

I'll bet it cost...

DUN NUH NUH NA NA NA! NA NA NA!
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ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!

Kiithid:

Tiamat666:
I still can hardly believe that StarCraft II is finally coming. It's been 12 years. Holy crap. If I think that some young gamers, from 15 to 25 years old might never have even played the original because they were too young back then.

It's just amazing they put such an immensly good and successful gamme on hold for so long.

Probably WoW's fault. I guess nobody expected it to be so successfull and it sucked up all of Blizzards energy.

25 years yes sir, we were old enough to play that thing and annoy the crap out of our parents about it (ah good times).

Considering from the coverage of the beta, plus being a game any RTS entusiast should be at least marginally familiar with, advanced reviews wouldn't contribute to the hyper-train. I mean if you played the first and/or the beta, you should be already be burning up for the day we can scream "Hell, it's about time.".

Im only 19, SC was the first game I really played for serious amounts of time. Anyone remember..

"MOM! GET OFF THE PHONE, IM PLAYING STARCRAFT!!!"

Ahh Dialup, good times.

uppitycracker:

JerrytheBullfrog:

Blizz self publishes all its games. As long as it has money rolling in from WoW, it always will. Look at the SC2 box when you get your hands on it - no Activision logo anywhere.

Wrong. Blizzard games were previously published by Vivindi games. Activision and Vivindi merged not too long ago, creating Activision-Blizzard, which is the current new publisher. Blizzard Entertainment is a development studio, who does not self-publish anything.

No, I'm right, and you are wrong. Blizzard self-publishes its own titles. This is why, when you load up WC3 or Diablo 2 (made when it was owned by Vivendi), you do not see the Vivendi logo anywhere. Even after Vivendi merged its games division with Activision to create ActiBlizz, Blizzard still self publishes.

Look at the WotLK box. There is no Activision logo anywhere on it. Compare this to any game ACTUALLY published by ActiBlizz, where there is an obvious Activision-Blizzard logo on it.

Blizzard publishes its own games as an independent subsidiary of Activision-Blizzard.

Worgen:

thats why I said Im torn about it, I want it to fail because I wouldnt mind seeing blizz go under but I want it to not fail because Im getting tired of ppl saying pc gaming is dead

Well, even if SC2 failed Blizzard wouldn't go under thanks to WoW. So, I guess then you want SC2 to succeed by default?

And I'm sorry to hear they screwed you over in terms of jobs, but that doesn't make them worse developers.

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