It looks like there was a lot of pent up demand for StarCraft II
as Activision-Blizzard is reporting that they sold 1.5 million copies in the first 48 hours the game was released (which isn't surprising given that the game had 800,000 pre-orders). Also helping was that the game was released simultaneously in North America, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
We'll have our review up in a week or so (the press wasn't early access to the game) but I spent most of my weekend playing it and it's a fairly impressive piece of software. This is my first experience with the StarCraft world and the game does a good job of being accessible to those who missed the first game and all of it's expansion packs. What makes the game unique is that Blizzard has done a lot to make sure the missions are more than just build a base and kill everything that moves as you'll be doing things like robbing trains and exploring ancient worlds in addition to the standard RTS fare. Blizzard also gets high marks for telling a fantastic story that's full of deep characters. I haven't gotten into the multiplayer part of the game yet but if you were on the fence about buying StarCraft II
I can tell you that this is one of the richest gaming experiences on any platform right now (and this is from a guy who didn't want to like the game).
StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ Becomes
Biggest PC Game Launch of the Year
With more than 1.5 million copies sold in its first 48 hours, Blizzard Entertainment’s sci-fi sequel is the bestselling PC game of 2010 and the fastest-selling strategy game of all time
IRVINE, Calif. -- August 3, 2010 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ achieved a day-one sales milestone of more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, making it the bestselling PC game of 2010 within its first 24 hours of availability.* The game went on to sell a total of more than 1.5 million copies in its first 48 hours, setting the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time.*
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released simultaneously in North America, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on July 27. More than 8,000 stores throughout the world opened their doors at midnight to celebrate the release, and Blizzard Entertainment developers were present at several locations to commemorate the event with players and sign copies of the game.
"We launched StarCraft II in 11 different languages and on 5 different continents because we wanted to make sure as many players as possible were able to log on and play on day one," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're pleased that so many people around the world have already picked up a copy of the game, and we look forward to welcoming even more players to Battle.net® in the weeks and months ahead."
"GameStop had more than 3,000 stores open at midnight, so our StarCraft players got a jump start on playing the epic experience Blizzard consistently delivers with its games," said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. "StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is officially GameStop’s fastest-selling PC game since Blizzard launched World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King® in 2008."
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. Sporting a vibrant 3D-graphics engine, StarCraft II once again centers on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying legions of veteran, upgraded, and new unit types. Unparalleled online play for StarCraft II is available through a new version of Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment's world-renowned gaming service. Battle.net has been redesigned from the ground up to be the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers, with several enhancements and new features, such as voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements, stat-tracking, and more.
The solo campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty continues the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War®. The story line chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players are able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games are also included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies.
For more information on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, visit the official website at www.starcraft2.com.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twelve #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
*Based on internal company records, public data, and/or reports from key distribution partners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming,” and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Blizzard Entertainment’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard’s success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated. Other such factors include additional risk factors identified in Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.