StarCraft II Gets Official Release Date: July 27
CREDIT: Blizzard Entertainment
Ever since the sci-fi strategy game StarCraft came out in 1998, fans of the game have been anxiously awaiting the sequel to the best-seller. Now, well over a decade later, that moment is almost here. StarCraft developer Blizzard Entertainment announced today that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be released July 27, 2010.
"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, in a statement released by the company today.
It's actually no surprised that StarCraft took so long to get a release date. Blizzard is well known for taking its time with games and ensuring they are done just right before releasing them, which is part of the company's formula for success even though it often means exasperated fans.
StarCraft II has been expected for quite some time, with release date rumors dating to well over a year ago. Recently, the beta testing for StarCraft II began, signaling that a release was close, but only today has Blizzard announced a firm date for the release.
StarCraft II continues the story of the three races, Terrans (humans), Zerg and Protoss, established in the first game. The first game included three shorter campaigns for all three races. However, Blizzard has decided to split up StarCraft II into three episodes with full campaigns for each race. The first, Wings of Liberty, will include a 29-mission campaign that continues the story of Jim Raynor, the main human protagonist in the first game, as he runs a mercenary band.
StarCraft II will have a significant multiplayer presence, which the first game was well known for. But StarCraft II will not have Local Area Network (LAN) connectivity, much to the dismay of many original StarCraft fans. LAN capabilities meant players could connect their computers and play StarCraft without the need of an Internet connection.
Instead, all multiplayer matches must be conducted online through Battle.net, Blizzard's multiplayer service. Battle.net will offer many new features, including voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements and stat-tracking.
Blizzard has not yet released official pricing information for StarCraft II.