Blizzard Explains Tough Decisions Behind StarCraft II Trilogy

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Tom Goldman said:
Sounds good to me. So can we please all stop saying that we're paying three times for one game now?

Source: Game Informer [http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/09/18/starcraft-ii-wasn-t-originally-planned-as-a-trilogy.aspx]

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Actually, no we can't. Blizzard talks a good game here, but then again they are a world class company and doubtlessly put a lot of thought into how they were going to sell this desician after the fact.

The truth is still that Blizzard is charging people three times for one game. They can get away with it, and make more money, so why not from their perspective. Given the fanatacism that drives things like "Blizzcon" they probably figure that even if this backfired they could "take the hit" so to speak.

See, the big thing is whether or not you believe what Blizzard is saying. This is a "by the numbers" response and as someone who didn't believe that this was nessicary to begin with, what they said here hardly does much to convince me.

Given that I very much doubt it is going to take them 10-12 years to release the entire trilogy I am also perfectly willing to call "BS" on the claims of them doing this to avoid a 10-12 year development cycle. Especially if they plan to use the same engine and keep everything "Starcraft 2" as opposed to changing the balance and gameplay each time so we're dealing with Star Craft 2 through 4 for all intents and purposes. With the game engine developed we're mostly looking at a question of them building maps, recording dialogue,
and making short, fancy movies. Not what I'd call a decade's work. I'm sure in the end it comes down to it being expensive, and the big differance being that they can make more money by stretching it out into three games, than doing everything in one game and seeing a much smaller profit margin.

Blizzard also has a lot of stuff on their plate right now, having bit off more than they can chew. I do not consider them getting greedy and splitting up so much to be a viable excuse. Blizzard has Cataclysm on the way, which is presumably not the last intended WoW expansion, along with apparently a second MMORPG, and Diablo 3. This coming from a company that pretty much seemed to focus on one project at a time. Doing all of this simultaneously to try and make as much money, as fast as possible, does not exactly tug at my heartstrings.

I'm sure we won't agree, but this is my opinion. I see nothing there that is going to convince me that this was nessicary or in the best interests of anything but Blizzard's pocket book. I say "we" in the sense of those who have been making these criticisms because I'm pretty sure most people who were being critical of Blizzard are going to be thinking the same way because what they are saying isn't exactly persuasive.

Now if the next "parts" of the game are provided entirely for free (which I don't see happening) that would change my attitude somewhat. I wouldn't recant what I've said so far, or what I think of the current attitude as I see it, but I would give them credit for doing the right thing in the end and deciding to side with their fans rather than the bottom line in the final equasion.
 

skibadaa

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Jun 13, 2009
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Dendio said:
Everyone seems so negative. After playing starcraft 2 me and my buddies cant wait for the expansions. More of a good thing is defiantly worth paying fore ;-)
HEAR HEAR!!! Personally im more than happy to pay £40 for each of the installments of Starcraft 2 if need be, primarilly because it is a cast iron fact that they will be worth the money. WoL was FUCKING DOPE, and there is nothing that leads me to believe that the next releases will be of lesser quality. If you cant afford it, then go get a job, or if you have one already then ask for a raise, or some extra hours, or some sunday overtime (time and a half on sundays innit)
 

oranger

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May 27, 2008
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Yeeeah...still don't believe it. WoL had little in the way of decent story and I swear if I hear actiblizz claim that making missions is hard/time consuming imma slap someone.
How fast could two or three experienced starcraft modders throw together a mission on that scale? a few hours? annd there was how many missions in WoL? 29? fuck that.
Add in the fact that each characters cinematic model would have taken a few modellers a week each with a team of dozens working on it, and the core game OS maybe 4-5 months (unless of course they "borrowed" from WC3)...no, I don't believe what this asshat is selling.
 

TerranReaper

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Mar 28, 2009
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This changes nothing, you will either hate Blizzard for their supposed money grabbing or you will accept that Starcraft 2 would've still be in development had they not have done this. People will still complain, and that's how gamers run.
 

AceDiamond

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Jul 7, 2008
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So instead of one lackluster overrated RTS game you get three lackluster overrated RTS games. All with the annoying-as-fuck Bnet system that takes everything good about the Steam community and royally screws it up because God forbid you allow people to individualize themselves and not make the whole thing an e-peen waving contest.
 

AceDiamond

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Jul 7, 2008
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Polock said:
All of you buy sequels all the time. All I see here is hypocrisy.
And if these were actually sequels and labeled as such you might be right, but you're not.
 

TerranReaper

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Mar 28, 2009
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Considering sequels also feel "samey" these days, maybe with a few new features and that being it, it might as well be close to the same thing as "expansion packs".
 

Traun

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Jan 31, 2009
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Tired of this BS. Are there three races, yes? Does the game explore only one? Yes. Blizzard has become as bad as Bioware.
 

Peace Frog

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May 31, 2008
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Goddammit. If the people complaining just played the game, then maybe they'd stop whining their arses off. It's much better value for money than most games.
 

HK_01

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Jun 1, 2009
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Well, if each campaign is as long as the one in SC2: Wings of Liberty I honestly have no problem with that.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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TerranReaper said:
supposed money grabbing
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103517-Kotick-Itching-to-Sell-Cutscenes-As-Films
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102805-Blizzard-Squeezes-88-Million-From-Private-Server-Owner
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102140-Blizzard-Dropped-Over-100-Million-On-StarCraft-II
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.232706-Kotick-Activision-Was-Bungies-Only-Choice

"In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today."

Activision, Kotick said, has no interest in games that "don't have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises."

"...as we can see with World of Warcraft to be a 50 per cent operating margin business."

"if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further."
And I'll leave you with this - Direct from Bobby Kotick himself -

[HEADING=3]Kotick's goal over the past 10 years has been - you couldn't make this up - "to take all the fun out of making video games." How? By instilling a culture of "scepticism, pessimism, and fear" amongst the company's staff based around the economic depression and an incentive program that rewards "profit and nothing else".[/HEADING]

Check and mate.
 

Cynical skeptic

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Apr 19, 2010
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SirBryghtside said:
I thought it was pretty obvious that by 'ended up like Duke Nukem' I meant 'taken way too long to come out'.
Right right right.

You know as well as I that Starcraft 1 didn't cost $60 when it first came out either.
Yea, accounting for inflation, it was actually more.

If starcraft + broodwars cost ~$140 together ($180 minus ten year's inflation), people would've bitched and bitched and bitched and likely wouldn't have bought the game(s) at all. Instead they were $79.98 new, $55.99 in the "battlechests" blizzard would release (that somehow had a third... something which always confused me greatly).

But they aren't going to charge ~$100 (inflated $80). Thus, everyone has every right to *****.

Just because you're waiving your right to *****, doesn't mean those who haven't are wrong.
 

Kyprioth

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Aug 4, 2009
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(Taken from the Starcraft 2 FAQ)

Are these three separate games? How much will all of these games cost?

The StarCraft II Trilogy will consist of the base StarCraft II game and two expansion sets. Pricing on these games hasn't been determined at this early stage; however, we've always charged an appropriate price for the content the player receives, and we will continue to release high-quality games that offer great value.

http://us.starcraft2.com/faq.xml

See also: Calm the hell down. They're going to price them as expansions.
 

Jim Grim

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Jun 6, 2009
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Wings of Liberty certainly felt like a full length game to me. I'm hyper excited about the rest.
 

Cynical skeptic

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Kyprioth said:
(Taken from the Starcraft 2 FAQ)

Are these three separate games? How much will all of these games cost?

The StarCraft II Trilogy will consist of the base StarCraft II game and two expansion sets. Pricing on these games hasn't been determined at this early stage; however, we've always charged an appropriate price for the content the player receives, and we will continue to release high-quality games that offer great value.

http://us.starcraft2.com/faq.xml

See also: Calm the hell down. They're going to price them as expansions.
Considering today's DLC (barely any content) is typically priced as yesterday's expansions... and blizzard did charge $15 for a fucking transparent horse...

That blurb actually fills me with negative levels of confidence in blizzard. I'm actually going to have to lose confidence in something completely unrelated, as confidence can neither be created or destroyed.
 

10thDegree

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Jul 7, 2010
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For everyone saying that Swarm will be a sequel that is longer, what else can it add?

A 30 mission extra campaign?
I guess that's good but people play SC2 for the multiplayer more than the campaign... I don't think that is worth 60 bucks...

It could also add more units, but it couldn't add that many...
I mean, they are having a hell of a time trying to deal with people complaining about balance, imagine if they doubled the unit amount. They just can't do that.

So the "sequel" cannot have as much content as the original, and should just be an expansion.

I think if they just claimed that they were making expansions not sequels, a lot of the complaining would die down.

Also,
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=128252
 

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Cynical skeptic said:
Sorry, the truth must be told.

"OH WE JUST CAN'T MAKE A SINGLE COMPLETELY AWESOME GAME!! WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO MAKE THREE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS AWESOME GAMES!!"

Complete, utter, bullshit. Everything wrong with the industry.
If the story didn't suck and there wasn't that little of it, I wouldn't agree with you. As it is, it appears so.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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Apr 16, 2010
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Tom Goldman said:
Sounds good to me. So can we please all stop saying that we're paying three times for one game now?
I'm tempted to just flame you.

Anyways, having played through the first game's campaign, I'm not really surprised that the number of missions ballooned so quickly. A bunch of 'em are extremely short, limited, or tutorial. It feels padded.

If Blizzard wants to silence the critics, they should release the second and third installments as $40 expansions. Something tells me that won't happen. If they're charging $60 per, we're paying full price x3 for the same engine and largely identical gameplay.

Is that wrong? No. They can charge what they want, and people can decide for themselves whether or not they want to pay it. But it is fucking chincy, and their "sterling" rep should take the requisite hit.