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StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar

The Wall Street Journal corrects their recent report that the development budget for StarCraft II has exceeded $100 million USD. They say they were referring to the wrong game: "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." Thanks Big Download. On a semi-related note, VGChartz has preorder data for StarCraft II, showing the real-time strategy sequel has 684,000 preorders, and they expect that figure to top out at 750,000 before next week's release. Thanks joao.

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42. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 24, 2010, 20:48 Yifes
 
It's good to see a PC game topping the charts. I wonder how many people like me are getting the digital distribution version from bnet and eschewing physical media altogether.  
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41. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 24, 2010, 09:41 Mr. Tact
 
Dev wrote on Jul 24, 2010, 05:08:
My guess is that with the 40% margin, at least half of that is costs for equipment/bandwidth for WoW, the other half is for employees Activision.
Fixed that for you...
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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40. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 24, 2010, 09:39 Mr. Tact
 
kxmode wrote on Jul 24, 2010, 02:47:
There are 241 in United States, 248 in Europe and around a dozen in Mexico. I thought it would be good to provide some sources.
Blah -- I knew it was close but didn't bother to look.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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39. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 24, 2010, 05:08 Dev
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 23:02:
I won't even hazard a guess at what the maintenance costs for WoW are, I simply don't know what's being supported. But your math clearly can't even see the ballpark.
Well, you can see how much margin they are running with in that one financial that broke out blizzard stuff when they were merging with activision, I linked an article about it.
My guess is that with the 40% margin, at least half of that is costs for equipment/bandwidth for WoW, the other half is for employees.
 
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38. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 24, 2010, 02:47 Kxmode
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 23:02:
Congrats! You're only off by one order of magnitude (at least). There are 500+ named servers just in North American & Europe.

There are 241 in United States, 248 in Europe and around a dozen in Mexico. I thought it would be good to provide some sources.
 
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37. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 23:02 Mr. Tact
 
Hellbinder wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 13:35:
there is no way on earth that is accurate for Wow. It might cost 5 million a month but i laugh at even that. more like 1 million a month or less for server and support costs. even at 10,000 a month for bandwidth per server and 50 servers thats only 500k a month.
Congrats! You're only off by one order of magnitude (at least). There are 500+ named servers just in North American & Europe. Of course each named server has multiple servers to support it, but heck -- who is counting.

I won't even hazard a guess at what the maintenance costs for WoW are, I simply don't know what's being supported. But your math clearly can't even see the ballpark.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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36. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 20:16 Veterator
 
WoW cost of development had to be pretty large just because they spent over a year beta testing the game, and probably longer than that on smaller tests. But the stage WoW was at for a year prior to it's launch was pretty close to the release quality of most MMOs in the past but they kept modifying it to make it more appealing (elites to dungeons, talent trees/rebalancing trees, whatever else). Most games at that point in the game say screw it after a month of testing and release whether the features are in or not. So they spent over a year just addressing and adding things to make it more diverse.

It wasn't a perfect game by any stretch, but the time they spent modifying things and re-testing is something the rest of MMO companies don't do when the game was in the shape it was in. They would dump it on the market and depending on how well it sold they'd deliver features they promised on the box.
 
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35. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 19:50 Cutter
 
Fuckin told ya. There's no way in hell that game cost even close to that. I'm thinking 10 or 20 mill is much more in the ballpark.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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34. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 16:36 entr0py
 
Hyatus wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 12:16:
It's no wonder all the good gaming companies want to make another stupid MMO and Activision Blizzard wants pay to play on everything.

Isn't that just a rumor on the Call of Duty series? Aside from just being a rumor it's hardly "everything" when you look at all of their releases planned for the future.
 
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33. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 16:19 Dev
 
tony wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 16:02:
Is VGChartz able to track ALL preorder sales from both retail and digital? Best Buy, Amazon, Gogamer, Blizzard.com, etc.?

NO one tracks digital data from steam (that NPD stuff was guesses), so digital pre-orders are unknown to everyone but activision.
 
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32. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 16:13 Dades
 
Unless they have agreements with all of those companies then no. They are probably just taking a guess for the headline attention and click thrus. I just looked at that site and they don't say how they gain data, very suspicious.  
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31. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 16:02 tony
 
Is VGChartz able to track ALL preorder sales from both retail and digital? Best Buy, Amazon, Gogamer, Blizzard.com, etc.?  
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30. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 15:57 mag
 
raVen wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 15:51:
Creston wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 14:24:
When I read that 100 million dollar report, I couldn't image what it had been spent on, and thought they'd struggle to make a profit on it.

I'm sure it will sell well, but I doubt it's going to sell like an RDR or GTA game, which is what'd be needed to make back a hundred mill.

To be honest, 684,000 pre-orders seems rather low. That's all the hardcore SC2 fans. I know that doesn't include the 800 billion Koreans that'll buy it, but it seems low for the US.

Creston

The population of South Korea: 48,607,000

Every Korean will buy 20,000 copies because of how often they'll get banned for cheating.
 
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29. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 15:51 raVen
 
Creston wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 14:24:
When I read that 100 million dollar report, I couldn't image what it had been spent on, and thought they'd struggle to make a profit on it.

I'm sure it will sell well, but I doubt it's going to sell like an RDR or GTA game, which is what'd be needed to make back a hundred mill.

To be honest, 684,000 pre-orders seems rather low. That's all the hardcore SC2 fans. I know that doesn't include the 800 billion Koreans that'll buy it, but it seems low for the US.

Creston

The population of South Korea: 48,607,000
 
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28. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 15:39 Dev
 
DangerDog wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 14:59:
Why would they discount it if its selling well? I don't recall the previous WoW game or expansion being discounted significantly until at least a year had past. Remember, activision is probably going to be more in charge of pricing than blizzard.

We'll see, once a game has reached its initial sales potential they drop the price, maybe not right away but on the PC it's pretty much standard fare to see price drops after a game has been out a month.

Depends on the company and the titles. Have you checked EA? Compared to other companies, they don't drop prices on thier titles very much within the first 6 months.

Or looking at activision, since they are the company in question. MW2 is still selling for $60 at gamestop. There's been no price drop at all on that, and we are getting nearly a year since release (came out in november, and its almost august).

While I agree that price drops regularly happen, I doubt its going to be anytime soon for this particular title and this particular comany.

The reason is sales. If a game is selling strong there's not much reason to drop the price, if its slowed down in sales (as most games do after the first couple months), then pricedrops are called for. You even mentioned initial sales in your post
Dades wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 15:39:
I bought Diablo 2 for $35, Blizzard games are great but they aren't immune to price drops and retail competition.
I don't think I said they were immune, but I'll make it clear. They are NOT immune. What I'm saying is, don't expect the price to fall quickly, based on the companies involved, and past behaviors on thier titles.
 
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27. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 15:39 Dades
 
I bought Diablo 2 for $35, Blizzard games are great but they aren't immune to price drops and retail competition.  
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26. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 14:59 DangerDog
 
Why would they discount it if its selling well? I don't recall the previous WoW game or expansion being discounted significantly until at least a year had past. Remember, activision is probably going to be more in charge of pricing than blizzard.

We'll see, once a game has reached its initial sales potential they drop the price, maybe not right away but on the PC it's pretty much standard fare to see price drops after a game has been out a month.

 
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25. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 14:40 Dev
 
Instead of people throwing out random incorrect numbers about blizzard, I went and dug up some facts. Feel free to use them.

btw, In that same 2007 year that blizzard brought in a little over $1 billion, EA brought in nearly $4 billion.
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16458
 
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24. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 14:31 Dev
 
Zyrxil wrote on Jul 23, 2010, 12:20:
You're really overestimating the WoW numbers because Asian subscribers don't pay nearly the price that North American/European subscribers do. Rather, they use a timecard scheme (the details of which I'm not too clear about) because the majority of players play from net cafes.
In 2007, blizzard had 10 million subscribers and brought in $1.2 billion. That includes box sales. So divide by 12, thats $120 million a month, divide by 10 million subscribers, thats $12 a month average per person.
The numbers are thrown off a bit by blizzard selling other non WoW games, and box sales, so in reality its less per WoW person they are getting. My guess would be $8 or $10.
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6185347.html
 
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23. Re: StarCraft II Budget Oopsie, Preorders Soar Jul 23, 2010, 14:26 Rhett
 
"Sorry, we have so much money that it's hard to keep track of it all."

"Money spitball fight!!!!"
 
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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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