I have been playing Blizzard games since the first Warcraft came out. I am 24 years old, have a full time job, and don't particulary obsess with video games. Yet there is something about Blizzard games that keep you coming back over the long term.
Now onto Starcraft. Starcraft: Brood War expansion came out in 1998. The game is 11 years old. I still avidly play multiplayer on battle.net, particularly a map called big game hunters. The most recent software update patch came out a few months ago. They are still releasing software patches! That means that even after 11 years Blizzard is STILL proactive in perfecting its masterpiece of a game. I think you posters and older gentlemen do not fully grasp the time and energy that blizzard puts into its games. To be quite honest, I don't even expect Starcraft 2 to be released this year and if it were solely up to an independent Blizzard, I think that the release date would be pushed back even furthur.
There are still thousands upon thousands of people that still play the original starcraft. Right now it is saturday morning and there are 40891 users playing 9190 games of starcraft brood war on the East Coast Server. It doesn't have super fancy graphics or blood and gore, but it is a perfectly balanced real time strategy game that is unparalleled to any other RTS game I have seen.
Now onto overseas implications of the original Starcraft. Starcraft Brood War is a sport in Korea. People actually pay to go to stadiums and watch two guys at a computer play each other. The level of play that these guys have accomplished is absolutely amazing. I can't believe it as I watch and nobody can understand this unless they have actually played the game. Here is a video link.
Also, I have also seen some camps in Korea where kids are actually raised to play this game, meaning they wake up in there bunks in the morning and go straight to a computer and start training, then go to bed at night and do it all over again.
Needless to say, Starcraft 2 has a lot to live up to. Just balancing the gameplay will be extremely difficult. Even after 11 years they are still making adjustments and improvements to the original game. You posters are so focused on WOW as if it is the future of the company . Blizz and Activision already know that WOW is old news. I have seem the demos and screens of SC2 and it is going to blow everyone away. Sales will be like nothing you have ever seen.
as far as Diablo 3 goes, well where do I even start. ;)
Most importantly, ATVI will give very solid guidance in a tough economy. Earnings will not be a 'blow out' but will meet or beat what ATVI reaffirmed 11/6/08. And if it goes as I expect, we'll get some of the love we deserve.
I played both SC, WC, and D2. Let me tell you, SCII is going to be the BIGGEST anticipated game to ever come out. In itself, D3 is almost as anticipated as well. A lot of people I know will buy SCII and D3 on the spot before the previous ones were game of the years and had played them before. For the past 5 months, I've been a safehaven of PMs. But I think it is time to come out of hiding. I'm planning to buy around 2.5K of ATVI before next quarter's earning is released.