Happy birthday, StarCraft! Strategy megahit turns 15

It starcraft_630x350was 15 years ago that StarCraft hit store shelves. And while anyone who knew even a little bit about the game’s developer, Blizzard Entertainment, knew they had something special on their hands, no one could predict the global phenomenon that this fast-paced science-fiction strategy epic would blossom into.

It’s one of the premiere titles in eSports – and its player base in Korea is dedicated nearly to the point of fanaticism. (In 2005, for example, 120,000 people went to a stadium to watch a StarCraft championship. That was 40,000 people more than were present at that year’s Super Bowl.)

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Warcraft and Starcraft invade classic board games

Go directly to Azeroth. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 gold.

Blizzard Entertainment, having conquered the PC, is now setting its sites on the living room by announcing a partnership Monday with USAopoly to release a World of Warcraft-themed Monopoly game and a Starcraft-focused version of Risk.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Game over for online cheaters

It happens in every game – whether it’s Monopoly, pro football or “Halo: Reach”. Inevitably, some hyper-competitive jerk tries to rig the game, ratcheting up his victory count by illicit means.

It’s particularly bothersome in the video game world, but now the cheaters are getting their just deserts as the developers of some of today’s most popular games – including “StarCraft II,” “Red Dead Redemption” and “Halo: Reach” – are outright banning the most egregious double dealers.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Analysis: On BlizzCon And The Power Of Fanfests

[Ahead of BlizzCon, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at the role of the fanfest in video games, talking to Blizzard COO Paul Sams about this weekend’s Anaheim event and its key role in Blizzard’s marketing and community relations.]

When 20,000 people converge on Anaheim this weekend for BlizzCon, their minds are likely to be on what items will be in their goodie bag and what sort of sneak peaks they’ll get at upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games.

For the folks at Blizzard, though, the event, now in its fifth year, is a critical piece of their marketing plan.

Read more at Gamasutra

Starcraft II sales top 3 million

After shooting out of the sales gate, things aren’t slowing down for “Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty”. Activision-Blizzard has announced the game sold 3 million copies in its first month on shelves. 

That secures its standing as the year’s best-selling PC game – and is letting analysts (who were a bit concerned with the early sales numbers) breath a sigh of relief. By the end of the quarter, it’s quite possible that “Starcraft II” may be the industry-at-large’s best selling game year to date.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Browder shines on ‘Starcraft II’

On a recent July day in Paris, game developer Dustin Browder was living like an international rock star, doling out autographs and chatting with fans.

The lead designer on Activision-Blizzard’s “Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty,” one of the most anticipated vidgame titles of the year, was in the City of Light for one of many midnight launches held worldwide for the game. Nearly 1,500 people showed up in the rain there to buy the game the instant it went on sale, July 22, and to get Browder to sign their copy.

Read more at Daily Variety

Starcraft II hits. Productivity halts.

July 27 is “Starcraft II” day. And while that might not mean a lot to some people, for others it’s reason for celebration.

Twelve years after the original “Starcraft” hit PCs and became a cultural phenomenon, Blizzard Entertainment is trying to bottle lightning for a second time. And no one is betting against them.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog.

Activision’s Next Blockbuster: Starcraft II Hits Shelves

Normally, the release of a PC game – even a highly anticipated one – wouldn’t be a particularly big deal for investors. But when that game is “Starcraft II,” all the usual rules are thrown out the window.

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.

Read more at CNBC.com

Starcraft meets Facebook: A huge game gets bigger

The anticipation levels for “Starcraft II” are already sky high – but now Blizzard Entertainment has found a way that could make the game an even bigger time sucker.

Blizzard and Facebook have struck a deal, which will integrate the social network into Blizzard’s Battle.net service. That means players of “Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty” will be able to find Facebook friends who are also on Battle.net, making it easier to play a game with them.

Read more at Variety’s The Cut Scene blog