StarCraft fans, rejoice! Blizzard announced yesterday that the hugely anticipated sequel, Wings of Liberty, will be available at retailers starting July 27 and directly from Blizzard itself shortly thereafter. The game has been in beta since February with a rather hefty update releasing just a few weeks ago, which included the custom map editor, achievements, and a number of other Battle.net additions.
"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," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder.
Wings of Liberty will continue the StarCraft story arc, following Terran rebel leader Jim Raynor. The game will allow players to pick and choose the missions they run, creating a very customizable single-player experience.
If you're lucky enough to be in possession of a Starcraft II beta key, and you own one of them expensive looking Apple computers, you can now get to playing Blizzard's long, long awaited sequel on your nice and shiny Apple-computer-by-Apple. Expect some moderate system requirments to make the game run well. My best guess is that if you can run World of Warcraft you shouldn't have too much trouble with Starcraft II.
Beta keys are still being offered by Blizzard and there's three ways to get it. You can go to starcraft2.com and sign up through a battle.net account, get a key from a friend who is already in the beta, or pre-order the game at Gamestop. You could also appeal to heathen gods but you'll likely end up getting a demon spirit with your beta key, and that tends to suck.
It seems as though Blizzard is opening its beta for StarCraft II up to more people. Early this morning I received an email from Blizzard, a legitimate one, mind you, telling me that I can now invite a friend into the beta.
"Congratulations! This is an additional invitation to the beta test for Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ for you to share with a friend!" the email reads. "You are receiving this email because you are currently participating in the StarCraft II beta test, and we want to encourage you to test out some of the social features of the revamped Battle.net® online-gaming service by inviting one of your friends to play with you. This email contains your additional beta key for you to send to a friend, along with instructions to help your friend get started."
It's hard to say of these friend invites are going to ALL participants or only a select few. I guess it won't be long before we know. Hopefully I'll see you online.
With its beta starting last week, Blizzard revealed that StarCraft II is still targeting a release in the first half of 2010. The latest word comes from yesterday's BlizzCast in which lead producer Chris Sigaty dropped some information on the beta as well as the release plans for the game.
"We were targeting three to five months for the beta. We're really at a three-month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year...[for release.]"
The beta received its first full patch yesterday, addressing numerous bugs as well as making a slew of balance changes. I can tell you firsthand that it's pretty damn awesome, so it's good to see that Blizzard is still on track for its original release schedule.
Blizzard's senior VP Frank Pearce expressed his hope that their online service Battle.net will become gaming's Facebook. When asked where he thought Battle.net was heading in the next two years, Pearce answered, "For me, I think about the web 2.0 experience and all the people that are connecting with each other around the world on sites like Facebook, and I would like Blizzard's Battle.net to be the equivalent in the gaming space.
"But that's pretty ambitious," he told G4TV. "I would be very, very satisfied if Battle.net was that just for Blizzard games and the Blizzard community. The Blizzard community is really what's most important to us, anyway."
As you might already know by now, the closed beta for StarCraft II went live today. Blizzard said "thousands" of people would be included in the first wave, and people are still being selected over the next couple days.
Blizzard confirmed that beta "keys" aren't going out, rather access is tied to your Battle.net account, so login at www.battle.net to see if you can download the SCII installer. If you can, you're good to go. If not, be patient as you might still get added later today or tomorrow.
Currently, the beta is PC only, no Macs. Blizzard hasn't decided if it will open it to Macs, although the game is releasing for Mac alongside the PC.
In its conference call with investors, Activision Blizzard announced that the beta for StarCraft II will be releasing "later this month." It will be a closed worldwide beta. The game is planned for a mid-2010 release.
We also learned earlier the full game will be downloadable through the overhauled Battle.net.
In its conference call with investors today, Activision Blizzard's Bobby Kotick revealed that the much-anticipated StarCraft II will be downloadable through Blizzard's updated Battle.net service (which they previewed yesterday).
The new Battle.net will apparently be the foundation of all of Blizzard's new games from here on out, notable StarCraft II and Diablo III.
Unfortunately, there hasn't been any word on the beta yet, but we'll keep you posted.
The StarCraft II beta is edging closer and closer. With its release imminent, Blizzard has given us a look at the changes coming to its online service, Battle.net.
"Battle.net is about to undergo the greatest update in its long and storied history as one of the world's most successful online gaming services," writes Blizzard.
The overhauled service will feature competitive ladders, server-hosted games, online-stored characters, automated matchmaking, cross-game chat, a user-mod marketplace, and a slew of other things. Most noticeably, its new look is pretty damn sleek.
The preview over at Blizzard features a bunch of new screenshots as well as an interview with Battle.net project director Greg Canessa, so head over there for the full scoop.
It's been way too long since we last received some new Diablo III assets, but today's our lucky day. A fresh, and rather substantial, batch of screens went out from Blizzard's finest, and, as usual, it looks brilliant.
There's plenty of hell to be had in Diablo III, but you'll have to wait. It's not out for a long time, not even before 2011. At least we've got Torchlight to hold us over, and it won't be too long before we're frying our brains with StarCraft II. Just be patient, young one.