Unless you've been living in a Terran bunker for the last few months, you probably know that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty releases tonight at midnight. Well, it appears that very few of you have been cohabiting with Dr. Ariel Hanson (or Jim Raynor), because you've been out and about pre-ordering the game this past week. According to VGChartz's numbers, StarCraft 2's North American pre-order volume surpassed 800,000 units this morning, and has shown no signs of slowing down as we rush towards the game's launch.
And yes, that gaudy 800,000 number is definitely a sign of StarCraft 2's impending success. VGChartz projects equally staggering statistics for the Blizzard franchise after its release tonight: 1 million North American sales in the first week, worldwide sales of 3 million units in the first week, and over 10 million total sales before the end of 2010. StarCraft 2 will be so big that VGChartz will track the retail sales of a PC title for the first time ever.
The hype surrounding this game can only be described with words such as "astounding," "extraordinary," and "holy shibida!" We've waited since BlizzCon 2007 to get our hands on this game, and sustained ourselves through epic trailers, a wildly successful beta testing phase, and Blizzard's not-so-awesome Real ID Gate. Now, we're only hours away from Zealot rushing, Siege Tank lines, Ultralisk herding, and Tricia Helfer's sweet, smooth, siren voice. Who cares that Sarah Kerrigan is an insane byproduct of the Zerg hive mind?
I, for one, will definitely be snagging this game, and I'm sure most of you will be also. That said, is Starcraft 2 capable of exceeding all of its lofty expectations? Ten million units sold, regardless of how long it takes to reach that figure, would put the game squarely into the top five PC sellers of all time, alongside legendary titles like The Sims and World of Warcraft. Will StarCraft 2 eventually find itself at the pinnacle of that list? By my hasty research, the game would have to sell over 16 million copies to find itself on top of PC gaming history.
Can it do it?
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty releases tonight at midnight. If you're not in line already, what are you waiting for?