Console Teases and Starcraft Sales Projections


Catching up on some general Blizzard news on a slow weekend. In a very brief but much-cited report from UK game business site MCV, a Blizzard executive once again teased their interest in once again making console titles. (Funny how they never seem to mention SC:Ghost?)  A quote:

?Our heritage actually goes back to console,? Blizzard Entertainment?s VP and executive MD of internal operations Michael Ryder told MCV.

?In the early years Blizzard made console games. It?s not the heritage, it?s the design decisions and what we think is best for our players.

?In the more recent years it has been PC and online orientated. But we play all kinds of games at Blizzard. We try to learn wherever we can. We play console games and we are up-to-speed on the console platforms. And if we see an opportunity where the game design would work well on the console, then maybe we will go that way. We just haven?t announced anything yet.?

Since Blizzard never teases anything they’re not 99% certain they’re going to do, and they’ve repeatedly stated their interest in making a console game… I think it’s fairly certain that they’ve got something underway. And given that Diablo 3’s control scheme and gameplay fits most neatly with the console type of game. See the console article in the wiki for numerous relevant quotes.

Elsewhere, CNBC is the host of an intelligent article on Starcraft 2’s projected sales.  Quotes:

Analysts expect the game, which ships to retail on Tuesday, to sell up to 4.5 million copies by the end of August. To put that in perspective, that?s nearly twice as many copies as the year?s best selling console game to date.

By the end of the year, it?s expected to sell 6.5 million units ? which won?t be on quite the same level as a ?Call of Duty? or ?Halo? title, but is still significantly better than most games that will come out this year (for any system).

…And next year, presumably, Blizzard will release ?Diablo 3,? the latest installment in yet another fan favorite franchise ? that could be an even bigger breadwinner. ?The ?Diablo? franchise is bigger than ?Starcraft?,? says Sebastian. ?There are too many unknowns at this point, but it has the potential to be at least as big as ?Starcraft II?.?

As the article points out, Blizzard loves direct digital downloads, since they cost the same $60, but yield 100% profit to Blizzard. As such, they’re certain to do all they can to leverage the required B.net connection into fan interest in digital purchase of the SC2 expansion packs. As always, put zero confidence in any predictions of a Diablo 3 release date. Or year.

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