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Real Time Strategy (Games) PC Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

StarCraft II Cost $100 Million To Develop 414

UgLyPuNk writes with news of a report that Blizzard has spent over $100 million developing StarCraft II. Initial development on the game began in 2003, and it's due to be released on July 27th. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick "described StarCraft as one of the company’s seven 'pillars of opportunity' (where each pillar has the potential to deliver operating profit between $500 million and $1 billion over its life span)." The finalized system requirements for the game have been released, and players planning to buy the digitally distributed version can download it now, though it won't be playable until the 27th.
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StarCraft II Cost $100 Million To Develop

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  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @12:44PM (#32943310)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2010 @12:46PM (#32943324)

    People don't buy Blizzard games to play single player.

    I do. In fact I've never played any Blizzard games any other way.
    I'm not a fan of the 'tank rush' strategy playing these games online requires
    so I doubt i'll ever play one of them online.

  • Re:and still (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2010 @12:55PM (#32943388)

    Ever heard of the military much? Despite the fantasy that everyone can be fully-connected at all times, the reality is that the internet is not all that ubiquitous.

  • Re:and still (Score:5, Informative)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @12:57PM (#32943414) Homepage Journal

    I can think of plenty of situations:
      - LAN party in a plane
      - LAN party while camping
      - LAN party in a moving vehicle, other than a plane
      - LAN party while on military deployment
      - others

    Why should you limit you gaming to the presence of an internet connection?

  • Re:Pillars (Score:5, Informative)

    by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:00PM (#32943428) Homepage Journal

    Well, if you RTFA...

    1. Starcraft
    2. WoW
    3. Diablo
    4. Blizzard's "secret new MMO"
    5. Bungie‘s unnannounced new IP <- You missed that one
    6. Guitar Hero
    7. Call of Duty

  • Re:Pillars (Score:4, Informative)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:01PM (#32943434)

    None of these remaining franchises seem like 1 billion dollar winners, so what does that leave for the seventh pillar?

    Well its got to be one of:

    • Pride
    • Envy
    • Gluttony
    • Lust
    • Anger
    • Greed
    • Sloth

    Given that its a gaming company, I'd be going with Greed

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:18PM (#32943558)

    Looks like my post didn't get submitted.

    The install files are encrypted with a 21 byte key. I couldn't figure out which encryption scheme, but even if it was developed inhouse. Reversing it and finding a weakness would take a long time.

    Like I said earlier. It fetches the decryption key from blizzard on the 27th. On said site is nothing.

  • by binkzz ( 779594 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:20PM (#32943590) Journal

    So what?

    People don't buy Blizzard games to play single player. Sure it's still enjoyable and a good game but you will spend the majority of the time gaming online. And you won't be able to do that on battle.net without a valid key.

    Actually, Blizzard said that over half of the Starcraft players don't intend to ever play multiplayer. I tried my best to find you a link to show it, but I failed. I hope someone else has it.

    I do have a link on Blizzard's stance on DRM though: http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/05/28/0614256/Blizzard-Boss-Says-Restrictive-DRM-Is-a-Waste-of-Time [slashdot.org]

  • by OwP_Fabricated ( 717195 ) <fabricated&gmail,com> on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:32PM (#32943648) Homepage

    ...you're gonna have to buy this game 3 times.

    You're a sucker if you buy SC2. Go play something else. Go get League of Legends or something. Don't encourage this shit where you pay $50-60 a pop 2-3 times just to get an entire game.

  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:37PM (#32943684)

    last time i checked, ICCup server located was Russia, central hub for broodwar community, was alive and kicking. Admins tailored the bnetd/fsgs code to their needs, implemented bunch of cool stuff, working ladder and antihack among the others. It's light years above the blizzard's battle.net which is abandoned by the blizzard for many years already.

  • Re:menu (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:51PM (#32943762)

    pretty much unanimously community thinks that bnet 2.0 is a hardcore fail, it doesn't offer features available 10 years ago in classic battle.net, like convenient means of communication between players or ability to play across region borders. What people get now looks like flash ridden XBoxLive imitation, infested with Facebook and people say you can actually feel lonely there with thousands of players. But hey, you can farm achievements!

    That's what you get when your services are shaped primarily by Activision HQ and deals with Facebook, not by the desires of customers.

  • Re:and still (Score:5, Informative)

    by fast turtle ( 1118037 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:52PM (#32943764) Journal

    Our Military is deployed to many different locations. Sea for those in the Navy. Then there are all of those deployed Overseas to various NATO bases. Internet connectivity in the barracks is pretty slim there. Don't forget about all the other stations such as the EWRS (early warning radar stations) in Alaska.

    Others include Cruise Ships - Yes there are some cruises geared towards Lan Parties. 3-5 day cruises and people do pay for them.

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdot ... minus physicist> on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:55PM (#32943782)


    DRM is physically impossible because it means giving the user the locked box, the key, and a list of commands for its cpu to make it pretend that the key only exists on every second tuesday, and then expecting the user to neither look at the key, nor touch the list of commands, before feeding them to its cpu.

    There, fixed that for you.

  • Re:and still (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @01:59PM (#32943808) Homepage

    What? You don't? So... you're expecting a commercial plane to allow you to pull out wifi or drape a bunch of CAT-5 everywhere to play games on the flight? What?!?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_LAN#Peer-to-peer [wikipedia.org]

    I somehow feel our military has more important things to do than play Starcraft II on deployment.

    http://gamepolitics.com/2007/11/12/military-wives-form-non-profit-to-equip-troops-with-video-games [gamepolitics.com]

    The thing is, adding LAN play obviously is a drop in the ocean compared to the $100 million; they have all the network code done, it would simply be a matter of writing some code that instead of send requests for games to Battle.net, sending them locally.
    The real reason is obviously to reduce "piracy" by tying the game to their online service, and screwing their costumers in the process, as it has become usual nowadays.

  • Re:Lies. (Score:3, Informative)

    by ildon ( 413912 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @02:17PM (#32943916)

    Even WC1 had pre-rendered cut scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsBUAnb_NL8 [youtube.com]

  • by N0Man74 ( 1620447 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @02:37PM (#32944034)

    Does it? I have zero interest in online play for StarCraft. It's also worth noting that Blizzard is planning two standalone expansions, neither of which will be necessary for a complete online experience. That is, they're single player-only expansions. Blizzard apparently thinks, probably correctly, that most of their money is coming from people who are primarily interested in the campaigns.

    Incorrect sir.

    From the Official StarCraft II FAQ: [starcraft2.com]

    Q: Will we still be able to play multiplayer matches of StarCraft II with all three races?

            A: Yes! From the beginning, StarCraft II will be a fully featured multiplayer game, and all three races will be available for competitive play.

    Q: How will the expansion sets impact multiplayer gameplay?

            A: The expansion sets will add new content to each race for use in multiplayer matches. This could include additions such as new units, abilities, and structures, along with new maps and Battle.net updates.

    Q: If I buy StarCraft II but don't buy any of the expansion sets, will I still be able to play online?

            A: Yes. This will work similarly to Warcraft III and the original StarCraft, which maintained separate online gaming lobbies and ladders for expansion set players and players with the base Warcraft III or StarCraft.

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:02PM (#32944210) Journal
    "Apple has used so few GPUs... Where does the 9400M and the 320M fall in that list?"

    TFA: [blizzard.com]
    "Mac Recommended System Requirements:....9600M GT or ATI Radeon® HD 4670 or better"
    Usually I'd agree, it can sometimes be hard to figure out if a 4890 is better than a 5750, etc, but in this case they made it pretty clear. A 9400M is not as fast as a 9600M, so while it'll play on minimum it isn't the recommended GPU.

    FYI if you ever want to check just google "(BLANK) vs (BLANK)". Chances are you'll find a review comparing the two GPU unless one of them is so old it's not even worth comparing it with the other GPU.

    Here's a great example: "PC Recommended System Requirements:... ATI Radeon® HD 3870 or better"

    So I googled: Radeon 3870 vs 4770 [google.com] and found this review [hwcompare.com] which shows the 4770 scoring 30%+ better framerates than the 3870.
  • Re:and still (Score:5, Informative)

    by timholman ( 71886 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:10PM (#32944272)

    I somehow feel our military has more important things to do than play Starcraft II on deployment.

    Troop boredom and depression during deployment in remote locations is one of the biggest problems that military commanders must deal with. They generally encourage any form of entertainment as long as it doesn't interfere with military duties.

    In fact, if you have any old games you want to get rid of, go to www.anysoldier.com and I guarantee you can find thousands of enlisted men and women more than happy to take them off your hands.

  • Re:and still (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:11PM (#32944278)

    > What? You don't? So... you're expecting a commercial plane to allow you to pull out wifi or drape a bunch of CAT-5 everywhere to play games on the flight? What?!?

    Delta have Wi-Fi equipped a lot of their planes, actually ( http://blog.delta.com/category/wi-fi/ [delta.com] ) and the new Boeing Dreamliner comes with networking as standard (although mostly it comes up as a security risk - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787#Computer_network_vulnerability [wikipedia.org] ).

    > Okay, maybe more understandable than a plane, but if you're THAT bored on a train ride AND you feel you really really need to play Starcraft II before the trip's over, you need help.

    You're aware there are train journeys over an hour, right? Edinburgh-London being the easy example, rolling in at 6-8 hours.

  • Re:and still (Score:5, Informative)

    by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:19PM (#32944368) Homepage Journal
    Piracy isn't the concern. It's the resellers.

    When you purchase Starcraft II, you're not buying the bits on the disk. You're paying for the registered account to play through their network. If you try to sell the disk to Gamespot, it's useless. The purchaser will still need to shell out for an account to play on the network. Blizzard wants to ensure that anyone who plays Starcraft II pays Blizzard. Not a third-party retailer.

  • by Swordsmanus ( 921213 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:24PM (#32944412) Homepage

    ...or maybe it doesn't actually work the way you say, because the corollary to your claim is that release will happen soonest if no one is ever added to the project (one member is requisite for the project to exist at all).

    ...or maybe you should have read the link he included at the end for more details instead of making a ridiculous straw man.

    Admittedly, the parent misquoted. He should have said, "You cannot add developers to a late project and make it release sooner". But if you had taken the time and effort to check out that wiki article instead of knee jerking you would've seen the correct quote in the first sentence.

  • Re:Lies. (Score:2, Informative)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @03:42PM (#32944548) Journal
    Tip: they've been working on it since 2003 or so. You need to get a new calendar.
  • by ivucica ( 1001089 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @04:02PM (#32944682) Homepage
    BnetD was also shut down, but its fork pvpgn still works, as far as I know. Not to mention BnetD is still in Debian [debian.org]
  • No Download (Score:4, Informative)

    by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @05:33PM (#32945214)
    "digitally distributed version can download it now, though it won't be playable until the 27th."

    My experience of this this of approach is unpleasant. While I talk about steam games, and while this is Battle.Net I am wary. Pre downloading then activating on the day of release for left 4 dead 2 was terrible. It probaly has something to do with time zones as the "27th" will occur a half day before for me(being in new zealand). On that day of release the sun rose, the shops opened and the copies were on the shelf. I was not able to activate for another 24 hours. Some NZ'ers could but not me.

    I note battlenet say it is "activatable once it goes on sale in the US". 07/27/2010 10:00 AM PDT

    NZ'ers and Australians, remember, copies will have been on the shelf for one day, if that affects your decision to download (BattleNet downloader 3 meg. Starcraft 2 client 8GB). Ports required are ports 3724, 6112, 6113, 6114, 4000 or 6881-6999. so if you are in a restricted environment you will get "Tracker Not Responding"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2010 @05:37PM (#32945238)

    Here's the magnet link if you want to use a proper torrent client:

    In case any of the blizzard monkeys read this: please let us limit the uprate ourselves, your stupid downloader sucks at it. Pushing my upload rate beyond what it supports kills my speed in _both_ directions, you're not gaining anything from that either.....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2010 @05:51PM (#32945314)

    This is the en_GB installer

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:42AM (#32948618)

    Note: Blizzard's server software itself doesn't leak (to my knowledge); rather the projects, such as MaNGOS, reverse-engineer any packet structure changes and assimiliate new content through packet dumps and the sort.

  • Re:Not so great (Score:3, Informative)

    by chronosan ( 1109639 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:50AM (#32948824)
    Wow, that dude is messed up. I've never seen anything other than "gl hf" and "gg" playing the beta. Maybe you're one of the lucky few that had working VOIP?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell