Whenever someone mentions strategy games, nine times out of ten, you’re going to think of the StarCraft series. The most common way RPG games work is through turns where a player can make a move, then wait for their next turn, etc. However, what sets StarCraft apart from the norm is that it falls into a sub-genre of strategy games called RTS. Real-time strategy games forego turn-based combat in favor of each player doing whatever they want. The games are set in a sci-fi world with different factions at war — the Terrans, Protoss, and the Zerg. Through missions and scenarios, you can go through the story of the faction of your choosing, but a significant part of StarCraft is its PvP, where two players go against each other until their one either forfeits or are destroyed. To celebrate the 20+ year existence of StarCraft, we’re going to be taking a look at some StarCraft statistics. They are meant to examine the series since the first game was released in 1998 and to see how it has performed and what is in store for its future. StarCraft has a healthy esports scene, so if you want to learn more about that gaming section, why not check out everything you can about the esports industry’s worth?
StarCraft key stats
Okay, so this section is meant to act as a representation of how the StarCraft series has performed over the years, ever since the first game was released in 1998. Since then, the series has gained numerous accolades and achievements that make it one of the cornerstones of the modern RTS genre. Games like Dota 2 and League of Legends were designed according to the base and the core aspects of Warcraft 3 and StarCraft, so you can understand how important this series is for the gaming industry.
The StarCraft series has sold over 19.1 million copies.
(Source: VG Chartz)
- StarCraft sold 11 million+ units.
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty sold 6 million+ units.
- StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sold 1.1 million copies during its launch.
- StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void sold 1 million units during its launch.
The best way to gauge how popular a game or series has been overall, since the first release, is to take a look at its overall sales and revenue. For StarCraft, we can see that the games and their expansions have collected a massive number of sales, especially when the original StarCraft is concerned. More than 11 million units are nothing to laugh at, especially considering the time when StarCraft came out when digital distribution wasn’t what it is today.
StarCraft II sold 3 million copies, driving Activision Blizzard to a $51 million profit.
- StarCraft II sold more than 1.5 million units within 2 days of its release.
- In 2010, Activision Blizzard noted $745 million in revenue for July-September.
- Their full-year earnings projections were revised up to $4.28 billion.
- Their original estimated revenue for the quarter was $600 million.
StarCraft II might not have sold as many copies as its predecessor, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this game has performed immensely well in the gaming industry, both concerning the community and for Blizzard’s profits, driving the company to a profit of $51 million, which is quite impressive.
StarCraft and StarCraft II had over 46.3 million hours watched on Twitch in 2022.
- StarCraft had 16.4 million hours watched and StarCraft II had 29.8 million.
- Both of the games had an average of 333,798 hours watched in 2022.
- They had an average of 2,643 viewers watching the games.
- They had an average of 15,672 broadcasters streaming the games.
- StarCraft had a max viewer count of 60,029 while StarCraft II had 50,271.
The reason the StarCraft series is so popular is that it has immense watching potential. PvP is a huge part of StarCraft and watching your favorite players go up against each other is always fun because you never know what might happen. Also, the games themselves are just fun to watch no matter the game mode.
StarCraft II has awarded $39 million on its esports scene.
(Source: Esports Earnings)
- The money was distributed across 6985 tournaments.
- The highest prize pools belonged to the WCS 2017, 2018, and 2019 Finals, respectively, at $700,000.
- The rest of the tournaments had prize pools ranging from $500,000 to $14,000.
- $23.1 million of the total prize pool was awarded in South Korea.
- The most successful StarCraft II play is Joona “Serral” Sotala, who has won 1.2 million across 155 tournaments.
- His highest earnings were made in 2018 at $478,538.
- He is ranked #106 in the world and #6 in Finland.
The world of StarCraft competitive gaming is some of the most intense stuff that you can see. Other competitive games like CS: GO and Warzone are intense, but what sets StarCraft apart from that is the need for high APM, or Actions Per Minute. There is so much going on in a single StarCraft game that you have to perform an action hundreds of times per minute, with some players reaching a peak APM of 818. Just insane.
StarCraft and StarCraft II are no longer available to play in China.
(Source: The Washington Post)
- The contract between Blizzard and NetEase was not renewed due to conflicts between their approach and principles.
- Those were not the only games shut down in China, as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone are also no longer available.
- The agreement between the two companies ended on January 23rd, 2023.
- NetEase’s stock share fell by 15% after the news was broken.
- The contract with NetEase accounted for 3% of Activision Blizzard’s net revenue in 2021, which equates to $264 million.
This was a massive hit to the Chinese gaming community as Blizzard games are immensely popular there and have been for years. The reason that NetEase and Blizzard parted ways was that they had conflicts in principles and business methodology. The end of the contract reflected poorly on Blizzard’s revenue and profits, decreasing them by $264 million for that year.
Ex-StarCraft developers are working on a new RTS.
- The new game is Stormgate, set amid a war between humanity and an alien threat.
- The game should enter beta sometime in 2023.
- It is being developed in Unreal Engine 5, supporting 4K visuals and a grand scope for an epic story.
- The developers are taking everything they’ve learned at Blizzard to apply it to and improve Stormgate.
Developers come and go, ambitions change and projects differ from their views enough that they move on to better things. This was the case with the Deus Ex series, where Mary DeMarle, one of the writers from the game, moved over to the Mass Effect series to work on the newest game in the series. The ex-developers of StarCraft are working on a new game, and we’ll most likely examine it sometime in the future, just like StarCraft, so stay tuned!
StarCraft III might have been teased by the president of Blizzard.
- Mike Ybarra posted a StarCraft-related image on his Twitter, prompting fans to think that a new game is in development.
- They insisted that StarCraft III was confirmed even though it was pointed out that Mike tweeted an image of a shirt, not official art.
- The president has done things like this before, such as when he responded cryptically to a tweet asking to “save StarCraft”.
- Only time will tell what this means, so take it with a grain of salt.
This is a bit of a reach, but you never know with game developers. StarCraft’s latest release was a remastered version of StarCraft along with its expansions in 2017, but that is not the same as a fully-fledged StarCraft III, as the community craves. Similar to how the Elden Ring community clung to the faintest vespers of new information regarding the game, and the StarCraft community is no different.
The chief of Xbox wants to revive the StarCraft series.
- Phil Spencer expressed this desire after Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard.
- The deal where Microsoft acquired Blizzard was for $61.1 billion.
- He mentioned reviving StarCraft while talking about the Call of Duty series being Xbox exclusive.
- He spoke about reviving the series as just one of the ambitions that they could pursue following the acquisition.
This is some information that bodes quite well for the longevity of StarCraft and any future releases as the chief of Xbox is ambitious about reviving the series. Of course, there are few companies where the chief can just walk up and say that they want a game to be released as they have to pay attention to current projects and what the market demands, but it is good to see that industry officials are looking at StarCraft in a good light.
To sum up
Alright, that would be all we have to say about the series that put RTS gaming on the map and has caused more carpal tunnel than any other game out there. Both of the games and their expansions have been extremely popular on their release and in subsequent years following. Their esports scenes are extremely healthy and bring in a ton of profit, with new releases that seem to be just shy of the horizon, only time can tell. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed everything we have had to talk about here and that you might pick up StarCraft and have a blast!
- “StarCraft (Series)”. VG Chartz, 2015, https://www.vgchartz.com/game/226171/starcraft/
- “Starcraft II sells 3M, Activision Blizzard reports $51M profit”. GameSpot, 2010, https://www.gamespot.com/articles/starcraft-ii-sells-3m-activision-blizzard-reports-51m-profit/1100-6283580/
- “Starcraft II deploys 1.5 million in 48 hours”. GameSpot, 2010, https://www.gamespot.com/articles/starcraft-ii-deploys-15-million-in-48-hours/1100-6272138/
- “In candid email, Blizzard head details suspension of game sales in China”. The Washington Post, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2022/11/17/blizzard-ybarra-email-netease/
- “Ex-Starcraft devs reveal new RTS Stormgate”. VGC, 2022, https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/ex-starcraft-devs-reveal-new-rts-stormgate/
- “StarCraft 3 may have just been teased by Blizzard’s President”. Dexerto, 2022, https://www.dexerto.com/gaming/starcraft-3-may-have-just-been-teased-by-blizzards-president-1804536/
- “Xbox chief wants to revive iconic ‘StarCraft’ series”. NME, 2022, https://www.nme.com/news/gaming-news/xbox-chief-wants-to-revive-iconic-starcraft-series-3343319
- “StarCraft II”. Esports Earnings, 2023, https://www.esportsearnings.com/games/151-starcraft-ii
- “Joona “Serral” Sotala – StarCraft II Player”. Esports Earnings, 2023, https://www.esportsearnings.com/players/5513-serral-joona-sotala
- “StarCraft”. SullyGnome, 2022, https://sullygnome.com/game/StarCraft/2022
- “StarCraft II”. SullyGnome, 2022, https://sullygnome.com/game/StarCraft_II/2022