The long wait is almost over: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be warping onto store shelves at the very end of July.
Since its formal announcement at the Seoul Worldwide Invitational tournament in 2007, StarCraft II - the sequel to the beloved 1998 RTS - has been one of the most highly-anticipated games of all time. We waited with bated breath for the beta, which started earlier this year, we drooled over the Collector's Edition, and we crossed our fingers that Blizzard would make its self-imposed end-of-June release window.
Well, it hasn't ... but only barely: StarCraft II now has an official release date, and it's July 27th. The official press release is below, but I think I speak for all of us when I echo the words of Tychus Findlay, seen here to the right:
"Hell. It's about time."
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.
The beta has done nothing but impress me since it started in February. It's so good, guys. It's so good. BRB, taking time off of work.