Blizzard on StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Release Date, Pricing, Hours of Gameplay
In a recent interview, Dustin Browder, lead designer of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, provided some insight on the upcoming expansion of Wings of Liberty.
When asked how many hours of gameplay the expansion’s single-player campaign will include, Browder replied:
We don’t know. We just make the missions as cool as they can be, then worry about the number of hours one mission would hit later. For most users, I would guess about 20 hours or maybe less.
Knowing there will be 20 missions in HotS, Browder likely arrived at this answer by averaging one hour per mission.
Regarding pricing, Browder stated:
I don’t know what the price point is, but we always charge what we think the game is worth. So, if Wings of Liberty had 30 missions and Heart of the Swarm has 20, that will probably amount to less money [on the consumer's part]. Because we’re offering less, players will expect less than Wings of Liberty. It also depends on what the competition is charging, alongside other variables [in terms of expansions]. The plan is not for all three to be the same price; there was never a secret plan by either us or Activision.
This should quell the rumors that the Zerg and Protoss expansions for SC2 will be priced a $60.
In response to queries about a release date, Browder offered a cryptic reply:
We don’t know; almost really not this year. If we come to a point where we release [Diablo III and Heart of the Swarm] almost around the same time period, that would be a tough one. I mean, that never almost happens with us, right? It’s not something we’re sweating about. The two missions we’ve showed off [in May]? They’re polished but they’re really not done. We’ve got lots of missions done to a pretty good level but not like the [aforementioned ones]. We’re pretty far along in development.
On one hand, he states that they’re far along in development, but on the other, he says the two missions showcased in May — which were the most developed ones — are “really not done.”
What is clear is that HotS will not release alongside Diablo 3. Based on the information we currently have, it seems HotS will be released after Diablo 3, which will likely not be in 2011. If we’re to believe our insider, Heart of the Swarm could be 1.5 years away.