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.
By the end of the year, it’s expected to sell 6.5 million units – which won’t be on quite the same level as a “Call of Duty” or “Halo” title, but is still significantly better than most games that will come out this year (for any system).
“Starcraft II,” which was developed by Blizzard Entertainment, the team behind “World of Warcraft,” is a rare PC title that will significantly move the earnings needle for Activision- Blizzard. Colin Sebastian, of Lazard Capital Markets, estimates it could contribute up to 5 cents to Activision’s earnings this quarter.
“For those that are looking for some outperformance from Activision, this is it,” adds Eric Handler, senior equity analyst for MKM Partners. “It’s the biggest game they have in their quarter and one of the three biggest games of the year.”