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Investors nervous over possible Starcraft 2 delay

Activision shares under-performing in anticipation of slip for new Blizzard title

Investors are anxious that Activision is likely to delay Blizzard's Starcaft 2 into next year, with shares in the company dropping 14 per cent in the past month.

According to a report by Marketwatch, concern that the beta testing for the game hasn't begun is causing some uncertainty - the game is supposed to release in October this year.

"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," offered Jess Lubert, videogame analyst with Brean Murray.

Lubet's fears echo those of Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia, who said earlier this month that it "increasingly appears" that the game will be delayed until 2010.

The publisher is still expected to perform in line with expectations this year, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Blur and DJ Hero all set to be big titles in the Christmas period.

Activision announces its latest financial results next week, and a solid indication on the development of Starcraft 2 would appease the investment community, said Lubert.

"Even without Starcraft, I think Activision should be able to get to their current guidance for the year. But without Starcraft, getting an upside to that number might be challenging.

"I just think investors need that certainty of when it will ship, and it will remove this overhang."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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