Blizzard has categorically denied it is 'milking' the StarCraft franchise by deciding to release StarCraft II in three separate products.

At BlizzCon last month Blizzard revealed that the single-player campaign of the hotly anticipated follow-up to the still popular StarCraft will be divided into three products reflecting the game's three races - Terran, Zerg and Protoss. The first game in the series will be Terran: Wings of Liberty, followed by Zerg: Heart of Swarm and Protoss: Legend of the Void.

Some fans reacted angrily to the announcement, accusing Blizzard of milking the franchise, with some even openly promising to pirate the game when it comes out.

However, speaking to this afternoon in London prior to the midnight launch of World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King, Paul Sams, chief operating officer, Blizzard Entertainment, gave his word that the decision was about providing a better experience, and not about making more money.

He said: "The fact of the matter is, it's absolutely, positively untrue about us trying to stretch it out and milk it. People think that it was a monetary driven decision. I can absolutely, positively tell you, with 100 per cent certainty, that that was not part of the conversation. I guarantee it. I give my word. There was never, ever a conversation where we said, 'let's do this because we're going to make more money'. I guarantee it. As a matter of fact the sole reason we did it was because we thought it was going to be a better experience. Anybody that says otherwise is not correct. It is absolutely not what we did it for."

At the time of the announcement StarCraft II lead producer Chris Sigaty revealed that Blizzard decided to launch the game in three parts because it got bigger than they expected and to include all three campaigns from the get go would have delayed the game for years.

Today Sams backed up that comment, saying it was a "quality driven decision".

"We're doing just fine," he added. "The customers, the players of Blizzard games have rewarded us handsomely for making the right decisions on gameplay. We don't ship games before they're done and we try to provide the best experience that we possibly can because that's our priority. We shipped a ton of games that have been great but we've also cancelled a ton of games that every other company that I know would have shipped. We don't compromise on quality, and so it was a quality driven decision. It's absolutely not a monetary decision. That's absolutely not true."

What do you think about the decision to release StarCraft II in three parts? Let us know in the comments section below.