[UPDATE] Testing phase for Blizzard Entertainment's heavily anticipated PC RTS game just weeks away, "phase will signal the final stretch of development," says Mike Morhaime.
Blizzard Entertainment is known for giving out early access to its upcoming games as part of its BlizzCon and Worldwide Invitational events. Last year, the publisher hooked up show attendees with a beta key for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first installment in the now-trifurcated series.
Soon, those recipients will be able to put that code to use. The publisher said today that Starcraft II sign-ups have begun for when the test begins "in the months ahead." [UPDATE] During a May 7 earnings call, Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime clarified that the publisher meant just a few months. "This summer we will opening up external beta testing and while we haven't announced a release date yet, this phase will signal the final stretch of development," the executive told analysts during a conference call.
Those who have not received a beta code from one of Blizzard's events can sign up for the beta test through the Beta Profile Settings page on the Battle.net account-management Web site. Through the sign-up process, interested participants will be asked to upload their system stats. Blizzard notes that the process will also let users register for future, as-yet-unannounced beta tests.
Yesterday, Blizzard revealed that BlizzCon 2009 will take place this year on August 21-22. Tickets for the event will run $125--a $25 markup from the year prior--and will be available on May 16. In anticipation of heavy demand, which was powerful enough last year to crash the publisher's online store, Blizzard plans to offer an encore sale on May 30.
Blizzard has yet to reveal when Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty will ship for the PC. For more information on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
I 100% agree valve and blizzard rarely, if ever, make a bad game. Guess that's why they are also both notorious for releasing games years after they announcing them. But hey.. Valve decided to surprise everyone by releasing Left 4 Dead 2 like not even a year after the original came out. Maybe Blizzard should surprise us like that? hehe
antpile i completely agree. the theory of making an epic and deeply involving campaign for all 3 races is a brilliant idea, not to mention the fact that they will add new multiplayer content (units, buildings, maps) and that all 3 races will be available for multiplayer. i love the idea. however if the other 2 "expansions" are in fact expansion, i want them to be priced like expansions. i dont mind the wait between them, after all blizzard brings out expansions in about a years time, plus there will be updates and patches in between. however i would be alittle disappointed in blizzard if they make everyone pay 50 bucks for an expansion. id still buy it because it will be absolutely incredible. but damn 150 bucks lol. and to gpvs it will be well worth the wait. there are two companies in the video game industry that will always bring absolute top notch quality games 1.) valve 2.) blizzard
@Antpile Blizzard always created great games, I always was and will be a supporter of their titles as they always provide us with polished titles and their track record on updates and support for old titles is second to none. However to come back to your questions, first of the game was introduced as a singularity and then later on changed to a trilogy causing huge delays as the whole human campaign "WOL" needed changing, adding to delays, that is the issue I have. I still struggle to see the additional titles as expansions, first of because they (3 races) were all part of Starcraft 1, and as I understand all races will be available for multiplayer in WOL except for special characters here and there. How long will we have to wait for the "expansions" to be released, I truly hope not as long as for WOL. Do not misunderstand me I cant wait for the Title to be released and I truly hope blizzard lives up and make the whole wait worth while.
@gpvs and other naysayers about the game being split into 3 parts. How is this a bad thing? So far, Blizzard has released one expansion pack for each of it's RTS releases, and that expansion pack always made the game at least twice as good as it was before the expansion. Nobody complained about those expansions. Now, they PROMISE us 2 expansions and we complain about something that can only be a good thing. It's not like Blizzard is in the habit of producing half baked expansions with no content. So what exactly is the problem here?
Yeah it's pretty stupid that they are making it into 3 different games. But it's prolly better that they don't give a release date because then nobody gets pissed when they delay it. And why would they worry about the two games competing for market share when they are from two completely different genres??
Sick and tired of waiting. a) 1st Blizzard split the game into 3 parts with the lame excuse of a better story line. b) Then we have to wait for ages. c) Will the additional two parts be cheaper or will it sell as independent games, which it is not, coming to think about it this is activition tactics and not the old blizzard I know. d) I guess bad news for Diablo 3 then, as I recall Blizzard said they are not releasing both games in the same year as to prevent their titles from competing for a market share.
My guess is that since Blizzard games usually run on a wide range of hardware they will probably need testers with equally large range of setups but don't necessarily need them in equal proportion to the gaming population so I think your chances of getting in will likely depend on how many other people share your same or similar system specifications that they scanned for. So the more common your system is the larger the pool of potential testers and the less likely you'll get in and the fewer representative testers for a given setup the more likely you will get in.
@Genexi2 Very true but given the Mac market I would say that majority of their players would be on PC. I doubt they give equal beta keys to each system as the market is not split 50/50. I agree that you have a much better chance of testing this game out before I do based on the fact that you are running a Mac. I hope we both get beta and end up playing against each other on battle.net. Good luck on the key!
@Zennious Blizzard thinks otherwise, and they make a good profitability off Mac users thanks to the lack of hardcore gaming titles on the system. And given the lack of Mac gamers out there, the odds of an OSX user getting a beta over a PC user are much higher if Blizzard was to give out an equal amount of beta keys to both platforms.
@Genexi2 Why, Macs suck @ inversed I think you must meet their system requirements although beta testing does included below minimum requirements so that they can fine tune those said requirements. Requirements requirements requirements, there got enough of those out of my system.
What types of systems have the best chance of being included in the beta test? Win XP, Vista, 32 or 64 bit, laptop, Macs, Nvida or ATI, etc.? For those with access to multiple systems, it would be helpful to get a hardware profile on a system that Blizzard really wants to test. Are the odds better if you submit a mainstream system's specs (with parts everyone's got) or a high end system for enthusiasts only? Also, the new battle.net registration is pretty neat. When I entered the serial for my old copy 1999 of SC, it let me download a digital version for Mac or PC.
Let's hope us minority Mac users have a better chance of getting in on this than the billion more PC users clamoring for a chance to play. :P
@Xbot_720 You do realize they have been talking about an unannounced new IP they have been working on for well over a year now? Its not like Blizzard is notorious for taking a long time on their new games or anything.
I wouldn't consider this remaking a classic. They are progressing with the game storyline and such instead of rehashing a "been there, done that" system like Tetris.
but seriously, when is Blizz going to come up with an original game instead of remaking classics over and over again?
Haha, let's see if it is possible to get in beta just by applying. Greater chances are that I will win on lotto, but this doesn't cost me anything.
Even if they did scan your system for pirated software, how would they tell the legit from the illegal? It would have to check the actual game integrity, even then it wouldnt be a sure bet because alot of trainers have you use no-CD cracks. I guess just read the EULA and make sure your not letting them do anything you dont approve of. Daemon tools is not just for pirated games either. Its also great to use when you have a laptop and dont want to lug around your game case to play your games.
GOTY coing Beta, yahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've opted in. Hopefully, I'll get chosen for this one. It would be very nice to assist in getting a great game to retail.
"No, the opt-in application simply scans the major hardware components of your system, along with your graphics card driver. " While i think you are right, there is no actual proof either way that they arn't doing a quick check for stuff like deamon tools etc and making an assumption.Only way to see would be to run something like filemon as it scans so you can see what its doing. Assumptions will be made until proven one way or the other, especally as blizzard don't actually have a good record in this with the watcher for wow.
Re: Koreans will beat us to it. Actually, that's not the case at all. They're hosting the beta test in North America first (Canada & USA) and then in later months they're moving onto Europe and other countries once they have everything set up for Battle.Net 2 there. Then last but not least they're going to phase in testers from remaining countries. (One such being South Korea)
Well, even if people pirate StarCraft II, they won't be able to go online which takes away half the fun of the game. And I doubt many people have pirated StarCraft.
Sircyrus, Unfortunately, no pirate catching, it would seem. Does the application also profile the software I have installed on my system? No, the opt-in application simply scans the major hardware components of your system, along with your graphics card driver. Other system information, such as the contents of your hard drive, is not scanned.
Lol this is great, they have a hardware/software checker required to get into beta. I wonder how many people are going to be rejected because they have pirated software on their PC. Maybe Blizzard will even hand over their info to the authorities... there's nothing saying they wont in their agreement. Could be one hell of a win for publishers and game developers.
To those commenting on the game being split in to three parts, and complaining that they don't want to pay triple retail for one game: The game has one retail release and two expansion packs. This is not that overboard. The sky is not falling. Blizzard is not out to get you with their dastardly plots. http://www.starcraft2.com/faq.xml Details are there.
I think it won't be out until next year at least. They'll beta test, look at the results, tweak the game, then do more beta testing, etc, etc and this will repeat until it's spot on. I just hope it'll be worth the wait...
i totally agree with rock_solid. except that the only good game was C&C Generals. kanes wrath wasnt too shabby.
I like Starcraft, but seriously.. Starcraft fans need to try Command and Conquer 3 sometime. IMO from what I've seen Command and Conquer 3 still has this beat =P
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