Goodness, that was quick. Well, by Blizzard standards - I wasn't expecting this until 2011, to be honest. Hottish on the heels of the ongoing closed beta test, long-in-the-making strategy sequel Starcraft II has finally been accorded an official date on which it will be available in shops: July 27 2010. Ah, shops. Like the internet, but located in annoying places, asking higher prices and carrying the risk of having to physically talk to other human beings. Hopefully Blizzard are planning on a download-only version of the game, given the inherent onlininess of the new Battle.net, but notably they're not talking about pricing yet. Will Battle.net be free? Will the first chunk of SC2, Wings of Liberty, be as expensive as a standard videogame? Will the game really meet its promised street date of July? Will Batman and Robin be eaten by a giant plant? Tune in beneath the cut - same bat-time, same bat-channel.
Er. By which I mean "the press release is below."
STARCRAFT® II: WINGS OF LIBERTY™ IN STORES STARTING JULY 27, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. – May 3, 2010 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that its highly anticipated real-time strategy game, StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™, will arrive in stores throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau starting on July 27, 2010. Players will also be able to purchase StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty directly from Blizzard Entertainment shortly after the retail launch.
"We've been looking forward to revisiting the StarCraft universe for many years, and we're excited that the time for that is almost here," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Thanks to our beta testers, we're making great progress on the final stages of development, and we'll be ready to welcome players all over the world to StarCraft II and the new Battle.net® in just a few months."
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. Sporting a vibrant 3D-graphics engine, StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying legions of veteran, upgraded, and new unit types. Unparalleled online play for StarCraft II will be available through a new version of Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment's world-renowned gaming service. Battle.net has been redesigned from the ground up to be the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers, with several enhancements and new features, such as voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements, stat-tracking, and more.
The solo campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will continue the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War®. The story line chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players will be able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games will also be included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies.
For more information on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, visit the official website at www.starcraft2.com. Further details about the game, including the alternative pricing options previously mentioned for certain regions, will be announced in the coming weeks. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available -- visit www.blizzard.com/jobs for more information and to learn how to apply.