Fears of StarCraft II delay cause drop in Activision shares

Investors are getting weary of the notion that StarCraft II will be released in holiday 2009. Analysts are pointing to the “4 to 6 months” quote and doing the math and right now, their answers are pointing towards a 2010 release, which is affecting Activision’s shares reports MarketWatch. With shares down by 14% over the past month, analysts are convinced a delay is the only route for StarCraft II, “The beta testing for ‘StarCraft‘ hasn’t started yet. If it starts in August and takes 5-6 months, then launching the game this year is next to impossible,” said analyst Jess Lubert of Brean Murray.

Todd Greenwald of Signal Hill however brings up an important fact which is BlizzCon. As BlizzCon gets closer the possibility of a solid beta date being announced gets stronger. “While it is not inevitable that ‘StarCraft II‘ is delayed, the speculation is running rampant that this is the case,” said Greenwald.

Could the release of Modern Warfare 2 balance out the forecasts for Activision if a StarCraft II delay were the case? “[Modern Warfare 2] has the potential to sell an extra 4 million copies this year due to the big advertising push, so [a StarCraft II delay] could net out to zero financial impact.” Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan told Gamasutra. Whether or not you like him, he is right about one thing, “…The Blizzard guys are perfectionists, and if they want to take six months, nobody at Activision is going to challenge them. So the bottom line is that StarCraft II will launch when Blizzard says so.” With that, we’ll just have to wait until BlizzCon to get the latest announcements on the game.