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Report: StarCraft II Budget Has [Not] Exceeded $100 Million

Activision Blizzard is expecting StarCraft II to be a significant long-term success for the company -- and Blizzard has so much faith in the game that it has reportedly spent more than $100 million on it.
[UPDATE: According to a Wall St. Journal correction, StarCraft II has not in fact cost more than $100 million to develop. The cited budget pertains to World of Warcraft.] Publisher Activision Blizzard is expecting its upcoming real-time strategy game StarCraft II to be a significant long-term success for the company -- and developer Blizzard has so much faith in the game that it has reportedly spent more than $100 million on it over the course of its production. That figure comes from a Wall Street Journal piece based on an interview with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, although the Journal didn't explicitly state whether the total was obtained from Kotick or another source. Its budget likely includes a significant expenditure on the new version of online multiplayer service Battle.net, whose first showcase will be StarCraft II. "There is no shortage of consumers for StarCraft," Kotick said. "For a game that is more than ten years old, there's millions of people still playing it." StarCraft launched in 1998, and along with its Brood War expansion has sold more than 11 million units worldwide on PC. Although not announced until 2007, development of StarCraft II began in 2003; the game went into more dedicated production in 2005, following the release of World of Warcraft. Kotick recently called StarCraft II, which launches on PC this month, one of Activision's "seven pillars of opportunity." More than half of those pillars are derived straight from Blizzard. Also on the list are the WarCraft franchise, whose World of Warcraft is one of Activision's key profit drivers; the Diablo franchise, whose third main entry may release next year; and an untitled MMO known to be in development at Blizzard.

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