Starcraft II: No Beta This Year

Yep, even though the beta was going to happen “in a few weeks” back in September, it’s actually not happening in 2009. Eurogamer have the full story, and they remind us that the first chapter of the game, called “Wings of Liberty”, is due to be released in the second quarter of next year, so some time between April and June. It seems vaguely ludicrous to look back at what I wrote about it when I was one of the first people to play it – back at the end of 2007! Wow, I was still young then. But hey, that’s fine: I’ve basically got more games than I can play right now anyway, and everything else is delayed until after Christmas. I mean, this week alone I still need to write about Tropico 3 and the PC Dirt 2 code we got in – and those Darkspawn aren’t going to kill themselves…


  1. Kurt Lennon says:

    Yep. Starcraft II was delayed by Activision in order to maximize Modern Warfare 2’s sales.

  2. Deme says:

    Somehow, I’m not surprised.

  3. Anon says:

    Who would’ve guessed?

  4. cliffski says:

    how depressing. what on earth will people who want to play new space strategy games buy now?

    • TCM says:

      I can never tell if you’re being sarcastic, smug, or serious.

    • DMJ says:

      Who said it is impossible to be all three at once?

      I regularly attempt it.

  5. Carra says:

    That’s OK. The next month will flood us with so many games that I should be able to keep myself busy until it’s released. And it’s fun to have some great new titles in the calm period of the year.

  6. sinister agent says:

    Ugh. What a cringeworthy name. “Wings of Liberty: The game that’s also a panty liner.”

    Still, at least this means I’ll be able to afford it when it comes out. Possibly. A bit.

  7. TotalBiscuit says:

    At least Activision aren’t forcing them to release it quickly, count your blessings.

  8. Pew says:

    Is anyone really expecting the beta to hit any time before Fall 2010? And for a more disturbing thought: what if Starcraft II and SW:ToR will be released within 3 months of each other? How will we get any work done??

    Protip: study to become a divorce lawyer in 2011.

  9. Jeff says:

    Wings of Liberty: Trouble in Panty Town

  10. Aldaris says:

    Any bets on how long before release the cracked version will be available?

  11. viper34j says:

    I’ll just leave this here…

    link to

  12. Wooly says:


    I know I’m surprised. Aren’t you guys surprised? We should be surprised, right?

  13. Elusive Pastry says:

    Blizzard hasn’t made the Christmas window for anything since the first Diablo.

  14. Heliocentric says:


  15. bookwormat says:

    Every person who buys high-budget PC games will probably end up buying at least one of Blizzard's three upcoming games.

    This is a unique chance for Activision/Blizzard to introduce a new software platform and get almost every "core gamer" (whatever that means) to install their client. Platform providers like tiny Stardock or big News Corp./IGN have a hard time reaching their customers. Blizzard could get a client installed beside every single steam client that is currently in use, in just one year.

    I have no idea what the new will look like, but I would be very surprised if the majority of Blizzard is working on anything other than a e-commerce or development platform for third parties. In the software industry, this is the most profitable thing you can do with this kind of influence.

  16. subedii says:

    My vote goes to all three.

  17. Durns says:

    Sarcasm filter says: Cliffski has a rather good indie space-game out and is happy that the big-name competition has been delayed as he can now make more profit from his game.

    • Durns says:

      That was at Cliffski.

      Seriously – working comment system would be great

  18. TRJP says:

    Is it just me or does enormous success often drag developers into some bizarre and otherworldly place where they forget that people actually want to see games, not just hear about them YEARS and YEARS before release.

    Blizzard are one – the GT people are another – there are plenty of others too…

    Blizzard have taken their traditional stance on “it’s ready when it’s ready” and stretched it beyond breaking point and well into ‘taking the piss’ country tho – to the extent I think it’s time someone called-them-out on it.

    They even do it to patches of old games – we’ve been promised a patch for Diablo II for eons now and they just have excuse after excuse as to why they can’t do what modders have already managed to do and make the game playable on a modern PC (resolutions etc.)

    Another factor with Blizzard is that people are expecting S2, D3 and WOW:Cataclysm – they strongly suggested that WOW:C would be next year (hahahaha), Starcraft really cannot fail to deliver next year (only 3 years after it was announced) and I seriously seriously doubt we’ll see 3 releases from them in a year which means D3 is more than 12 months away still…

    For a laugh we should get everyone to cancel their WoW subs – just temporarily – because I think a jolt is required for the bearded (and the few non-bearded) men (and women!) of Blizzard

  19. Rei Onryou says:

    I’m with Jim. Too many games, not enough time. Of course, if the Darkspawn DID stab themselves in fights, it sure would speed things up a fair bit…

  20. ascagnel says:

    ZOMG Dirt 2 WANT!!!!1!

    Seriously. i’ve been a fan of rally racing games for a while (RBR, CMR, DiRT 1), and I almost got an Xbox so I wouldn’t have to wait for the sequel.

    Is the DX11 shiny any good?

  21. We Fly Spitfires says:

    No surprises there. Blizzard take there time with things. I think 2010 is optimistic to be honest :)

  22. Azradesh says:

    I just don’t get how they can be delaying a beta? Guy’s it’s ok, it’s a beta, it doesn’t need to be perfect.


  23. Vandelay says:

    Am I remembering correctly that the reason behind the continually delayed beta is not because of any gameplay reasons or bugs, but because of the new

    Judging by the Battle Report games, the multiplayer has been looking very near completion for a while now (I see the second of these was reported on at RPS way back in April.)

  24. Chemix says:

    They are delaying a beta because… it would take up time that could be spent driving to a store to literally pick up Modern Warfare 2, install the thing, and play it for days on end. Were the starcraft II beta to be released, many gamers would become zombies due to lack of sleep and zombies don’t go to work, and without work there’s no money and no money means no Modern Warfare 2, which means, delayed. Honestly, Blizzard is about the rough equivalent to a drug lord, they can fuck around all they want knowing they’ll make millions whenever they put down a product, except without the DEA and similar competitors looking to put a bullet between their eyes, okay, maybe a drug lord would be too much of a stress…. pharmaceutical company perhaps?

  25. Digit says:

    I have to say that after reading about the CEO of Activision, I am not buying any of their games. It’s pretty tough to do what with Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 both falling under that umbrella but I guess it’s all or nothing which is very sad, but I simply can’t do it in good conscience. This guys beliefs and mindset are prehistoric and I don’t think they have any place in a healthy working environment or an industry that desires creativity and originality.

    link to

  26. Chemix says:

    take note, they’re the publisher, not the developer

  27. Lagmint says:

    Buy blood diamonds – the jewellers didn’t kill anyone, just the guys who gave them the diamonds. Go to restaurants where people are underpaid and overworked – if you don’t go there, they’ll have to get jobs somewhere else!

    Other than by withholding your money, how would YOU send a message to activision?

    • Capital-T-Tim says:

      Earlier today I read a comment comparing for-pay pets in World of Warcraft to the US healthcare fiasco. Now we’re comparing a videogame publisher to the blood diamond industry.


    • Klaus says:

      I think what Lagmint is simply saying is that you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  28. xabeon says:

    bookwormat that seems like a pretty good strategy except for on caveat, Modern Warfare 2 actually uses Steamworks, the digital distribution platform for steam. My theory is that they want to work in conjunction with steam, not against it.

    • bookwormat says:

      @xabeon: good point. But I did not want to imply that there was a company wide memo like “we must boycott all other platforms to promote our own shit asap”. If that was the case they wouldn’t release their games on consoles ;).

      I just say that if you are a big company and you have the chance to establish your own proprietary software platform you have to try. You do not have to make it your global agenda, but you need to try.

      Google’s web applications and services form a platform which competes with Microsoft Windows, even though the platform is a not a desktop operating system, and even though Google has many applications which run on windows. Facebook competes with the Google platform, even though it is a very different beast. And Microsoft attacked both java as well as the netscape browser in the 90ties, even though these platforms where running on windows. Because they knew that every platform that lowers the dependency of users their own platform is a competitive product. You could also say that Steam is in some way competitive to Microsoft Windows.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      steam doesn’t compete with windows it’s tied to windows in many ways and so increases the lock in.

  29. Gundrea says:

    Curse you Cliffski. I showed Gratuitous Space Battles to my friends and now they’ve all gone and bought it. but I won’t have the €20 for at least another week!

  30. Hoernchen says:

    Oh, look, it’s Vaporcraft 2.

    • Vinraith says:

      You say that as though Blizzard hasn’t done this kind of thing with every game they’ve ever released. It’ll turn up when it turns up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that was 2011, but there’s no way it’s not going to turn up at all. Based on the Korean market alone, publishing ANYTHING with the Starcraft name on it is basically printing free money.

  31. ChampionHyena says:

    I would argue that the reason that the multiplayer looks near completion is that the multiplayer is not new.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      That was at Vandelay. I love our super effective reply system.