By Overwatch 100 Comments
Simply because they can get away with it.
That wasn't joke, but let's elaborate on that a bit. Blizzard said that the expansions will be out no early than a year after Wings of Liberty/Heart of the Swarm. Ok, we know Blizzard - no way this will be true. My personal guess is that both of them (HotS and Legacy of the Void) will take at least two years to make. I would guess that Legacy of the Void will take two years at maximum, but Heart of the Swarm at least two years.
Heart of the Swarm
Dustin Browder and Chris Sigaty said in 14th edition of BlizzCast, that they will be making not only balance and bug fixing patches, but also content patches for the game. And that there is one really huge content patch in the works and will be released later this year. Of course that not everyone on StarCraft 2 development team will work only on content patches, but those will take a lot of people and a lot of time and testing. And Wings of Liberty needs a lot of balance patches.
So I wouldn't put my money on a really heavy development of Heart of the Swarm in this second half of 2010. Preproduction yes, beginning of production yes, but nothing heavy. 2011 will be the heavy duty year for Heart of the Swarm. Internal testing and public beta will take place in first half of 2012 and it will be probably released in the second half of 2012. That's two and half years.
2 and a half years is a plenty of time to hype this expansion like hell. After that, it won't be approached as expansion, but as whole new full retail release. And there goes your sixty bucks. It will be talked as full retail release, it will be promoted as one and at the end of the day, you will be convinced. There goes you sixty.
Legacy of the Void
After the release of Heart of the Swarm in second half of 2012, the real serious work on this third expansion will be taking place in 2013. And I'm confident that Blizzard can manage to finish and release this one in 2014. No doubt about it. Again, enough time to hype this one as full retail release that is worth you hard earned sixty bucks.
But that's not all. They will make you to buy Heart of the Swarm. They have to. So you will buy it and than only crazy gamer wouldn't buy the last one. The story will end in Legacy of the Void, everything will conclude and there will be of course new units, maps and so on. So you will have to have this one.
That's 180 bucks, thank you
Epic campaings of same length, new units, new maps, new features, conclusion of story and best of all - only by owning all three will you have the "complete" and final StarCraft 2 with everything in it. And don't forget that those two expansions will keep developers busy for at least 4 years, so it just can't cost 30 bucks. Try count Call of Duty titles in the last 4 years. See?
One last thought
It just crossed my mind and there might be something about it - you probably know, that in some countries (Russia, Latin America etc.) StarCraft 2 multiplayer is "sold" via subscriptions, like MMO games. StarCraft 2 itself is a bit cheaper and than you pay some low amount of money every month to play the game over Battle.net. Of course you can buy a bit more expensive version of SC2 with unlimited free Battle.net. But you know - maybe, just maybe it will be 60 bucks, so Battle.net doesn't have to be subscription service with monthly fees. So maybe those full prices can be looked at as some kind of compensation. Or maybe not.
Either way you have plenty of time to save the remaining 120 bucks for those two expansions.