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Starcraft II Sets RTS Sales Record

Despite mixed reviews, Blizzard Entertainment's galactic-themed title is the top seller of the year so far.
Starcraft II, Blizzard Entertainment's space-based PC game, is the fastest selling strategy title in game industry history, the company said Tuesday.

Blizzard said it broke the old mark by selling more than 1.5 million copies of the game, which launched July 27, in its first 48 hours on the market. Blizzard said also that Starcraft II, by virtue of more than 1 million copies sold in its first 24 hours, is the fast selling PC game in all genres so far this year.

"We launched Starcraft II in 11 different languages on five different continents because we wanted to make sure as many players as possible were able to log on and play on day one," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, in a statement.

"We're pleased that so many people around the world have already picked up a copy of the game, and we look forward to welcoming even more players to Battle.net in the weeks and months ahead," Morhaime said.

Despite the sales records, Starcraft II debuted to mixed reviews last month.

Many users were impressed with its graphics, which bring state-of-the-art 3D to the franchise, now more than a decade old. "I have to say that the game has definitely passed my expectation of what I would consider a game of 2010 to be," wrote A. Chacko, on Amazon's review board.

And others welcomed the fact that gameplay is similar to the original Starcraft, but faster and with some new twists. "Seasoned and new gamers alike will appreciate the simple yet highly enjoyable gameplay. The factions are well balanced and the units are perfectly valued," wrote NeuroSplicer. "And because the game is richer and deeper, the tension keeps mounting," NeuroSplicer added.

"Blizzard has released yet another wonderful product," gushed Leetelite1427.

But the $59 Starcraft II is also drawing plenty of barbs from users unhappy with Blizzard's technical and pricing decisions. Unlike with the first Starcraft, players cannot go head-to-head over a LAN. Instead, they must play over Blizzard's Internet-based Battlenet service. "LAN play isn't dead, Blizzard. Some of us like having the ultra-low latency of getting together face-to-face with our friends," complained Candace Beauchamp, on Amazon.

Others said Blizzard's plan to limit the first version of Starcraft II's campaign play to the Terran race (users must wait for future editions to play as the Zorg or Protoss) is nothing more than a money grab.

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