The recently-released expansion pack for StarCraft II, dubbed Heart of the Swarm, seems to be a massive hit. Blizzard has announced that the game has sold more than a million copies worldwide. This includes figures from both retail and digital sales. Considering the fact that the game is being sold for $39.99 (approx. Rs 2,173), the company has made more than $40 million from the game.
In addition to this, the company has also announced an all-time high of 1.1 million viewers tuning in to the Major League Gaming (MLG) StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Winter Championship on Twitch, with the peak concurrent viewership hitting more than 157,000 viewers.
“We want to thank the global StarCraft community for the incredible passion and support they've shown for Heart of the Swarm,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and Co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “In addition to a brand-new single-player campaign, we added a ton of enhancements with this expansion to make StarCraft II even more fun to play, and more exciting to watch. We're pleased to see gamers and eSports fans around the world enjoying Heart of the Swarm.”
Starcraft II seems to be a big hit in eSports
“StarCraft II has been a premier game at Major League Gaming events since Wings of Liberty was released,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of Major League Gaming. “Heart of the Swarm has generated even more excitement, and we're all looking forward to what the future brings for StarCraft II eSports.”
“StarCraft II has always been one of the most popular games on Twitch, and we've noticed a wave of new viewership since Heart of the Swarm launched last week,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. “Viewer numbers are up just about across the board for the most popular StarCraft II pro-gamers and personalities who stream on Twitch.”
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm was released last week. While the game isn’t available in stores in India, those interested can grab it from the official website. It is available in two flavours—Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition. The standard edition costs $39.99 (approx. Rs 2,173), whereas the digital deluxe edition can be grabbed for $59.99 (approx. Rs 3,261). The digital deluxe edition has all the in-game goodies you get from the Collector’s Edition ($79.99 – roughly Rs 4,348), which is unavailable in India through official channels. Those who buy the standard edition can upgrade to the digital deluxe edition any time by paying $20 (approx. Rs 1,087).
Heart of the Swarm picks up the story where StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan's quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission and players will be able to customise her with powerful new abilities as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style.
New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm's multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities. In addition, several new features will enhance the game experience, including group and clan systems; training and versus-A.I. modes, to help new players transition from the campaign into multiplayer; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral-looking battles; “Watch With Others” and “Take Command”, to watch replays with friends as well as jump in and assume control at any point; and a levelling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customisation options for their online profiles.
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