I, like so many of my fellow World of Warcraft players, picked up Starcraft II yesterday. (Actually, I had the Collector’s Edition sent to me by Amazon.) I have not had a chance to actually get into Starcraft II yet, but I did play some in the beta. If you want somebody to royally beat in Starcraft II, just add me as a RealID friend, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will try to play some games.
However, the interesting thing in all of this is how will the only other Blizzard game in over 5 years affect their biggest hit ever. I was listening to The Instance, where they were discussing what they thought would happen. They thought people have been waiting so long for this, that many people will give up WoW to play Starcraft II, especially considering it is near the end of an expansion. I actually tend to think the answer is a little more complex. The effect of Starcraft II on WoW will very heavily depend on what type of player you consider yourself. I want to look at it from three different perspectives; the hardcore, the semi-hardcore, and the casual WoW player.
The Hardcore – Starcraft II may cut into some farming mats time or dungeon running time, but it will not likely pull people away from raiding or the game. My guild is still downing hardmodes in ICC and I don’t foresee any hardcore WoW players canceling their WoW subscription to play Starcraft II. I think for them, it will be a nice distraction from WoW (We added a Starcraft II channel in our vent), but will not replace it.
The Semi-Hardcore – This is most dependent on what you are doing in WoW right now. If you just downed LK and have no interest in doing hardmodes, it can be reasoned that you would cancel your WoW subscription to play some Starcraft II. However, if you are on the last few bosses of ICC or are getting into hardmodes, you will likely play Starcraft II on the side until that is completed.
The Casual – This is where I could see the most people going to play Starcraft II. They likely play WoW to hang out with their friends. Now they have a new game to play with their friends and so will not likely want to play WoW, but play Starcraft II. In addition, there is no charge for playing Starcraft II, so they will want to save their money on WoW.
Now, there are some exceptions. I’m sure there are some hardcore WoW players in places where Starcraft is a sport (mainly Asia) who have just been waiting for the next Starcraft and will likely devote their time to this game and cancel their WoW subscriptions. Also, players who have downed heroic LK will likely cancel until Cataclysm. However, I do not foresee most hardcore WoW players giving up WoW for Starcraft II. And honestly, that is what Blizzard wants anyway. If they can get you to play Starcraft II and WoW at the same time, they have done their job successfully. And just wait until next year when they want you to play Diablo 3 too.
Just a reminder, Saturday is the last day to enter the Christmas in July contest for a chance to win some great prizes.