12 years on from the release of its incredibly popular predecessor, Activision Blizzard has finally released the hugely anticipated PC and Mac strategy game Starcraft II.
Not wanting to force fans to wait (and quite possibly not wanting to inviate pirates to release the game illegally online) Blizzard has made the move to release the game in the UK on a Tuesday, keeping it in line with its US arrival.
Speaking to MCV at GAME’s flagship Oxford Street store in London last night, Blizzard Entertainment’s VP and executive MD of internal operations Michael Ryder explained the company’s desire to mark the arrival of its game with headline retail events.
“It does several things,” he explained. “It highlights the fact that we are launching for starters. But there is a lot of players that enjoy it and like to attend. It is something they like to engage with. People like to attend these events and get their games or t-shirts autographed. It’s a lot of fun. But it is also fun for Blizzard to get out, do what we’re doing now – meet people, see the enthusiasm for the game and be there when it launches.”
Ryder went on to explain that he expects High Street retail to retain its importance in the face of the growing digital PC sector.
“I go back to my point about doing what’s best for the player. Some of our players like digital solutions but many also like the retail solution. So we embrace both. We build our entire business around the retail channel and we expect retail to be a vital part of our future. So just like the event tonight in London is with one of our retail partners, and we are doing it in cities around the world, we really want retail to be a big part of things for us. The collector’s edition of Starcraft II is only available at retail. So we think it is a great collaboration that we want to continue.”