It's taken more than a decade and over $100 million USD to get here, but StarCraft II will be hitting store shelves on July 27. And while that hefty development price tag may seem like a lot, well, it's not.

The Wall Street Journal puts StarCraft II's development costs above the $100 million mark, but Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick says the investment will eventually bring in between $500 million and a billion dollars for the publisher. In profit. Yes, building a new StarCraft game and an all-new service takes money to make money, but with international subscription fees, a $60 retail price in the States and two more expansions in the works, a billion starts to sound conservative.

Perhaps the most positive sign of success for Blizzard and StarCraft II? "We've brought in a lot of new players in the beta testing who've been playing 'World of Warcraft' but have never tried Starcraft," Blizzard president Mike Morhaime tells the Journal.

We'll find out on July 27 if StarCraft II can live up to some of its expectations. Expect our review of the first entry, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, shortly after launch.

Activision Bets Big on PC Game [WSJ - subscription req'd]