So, it’s about a week now until the launch of Starcraft 2, which is undoubtedly going to be one of the big gaming events of the year.
I linked yesterday to reports that the game cost more than $100m to develop, and at least one commenter wondered what they had spent it on. (edited to add: this rumour has since been debunked.) One of the interesting comments made by Mike Morhaime in the interview was this:
We’ve brought in a lot of new players in the beta testing who’ve been playing ‘World of Warcraft’ but have never tried Starcraft
So it sounds as though just about every WoW player who opted into the SC2 beta will have had an invite. Players and bloggers have noted that beta testing phases have increasingly been used as marketing tools over the last few years, and here it is in black and white.
Alas, in my case the marketing may have backfired. I did try the game and thought it was fun. But after losing every single match I ever tried, I conclude that I’m just not experienced enough an RTS player to play this thing. And maybe not really motivated enough to spend hours reading guides and watching replays to learn from scratch.
My conclusion from my beta experience: Good game, will make a lot of SC players happy, but not for newbies. This could be completely wrong if the single player game (not part of the beta) actually turns out to have a top notch tutorial. But then again, if you are deliberately trying to get new players to try your beta, perhaps it would be a good idea to include the tutorial parts of the game …
So have you tried the Starcraft 2 beta, and if so, what did you think? Did it look as though it cost $100m? You looking forwards to release?