It seems that there’s finally some movement on the long-awaited sequel to Blizzard’s massively successful (and still surprisingly widely played) StarCraft, with word leaking out that the beta could be hitting sooner than expected.
Earlier this month, fan sites picked up word that there was to be something of an announcement from Blizzard around January 28th, with many intimating that Blizzard would be broadcasting an “important” conference call. Still, with repeat delays to StarCraft II, few were optimistic about it being anything to do with the beta, with the majority more inclined to believe that it would simply be an earnings report from the gaming giant.
Instead, it seems as though that date could well be the relatively quiet beginnings of the StarCraft II beta. Indeed, according to TomsHardware, several sites have already reported that they’ve received keys to the beta, and with multiple StarCraft II sites pointing to the same date. Moreover, it seems that Blizzard has posted a support page for the game itself (for those who have a Battle.net account), which would seem to indicate that the company is moving towards something concrete.
StarCraft II has been something of a mixed bag for fans so far. While some did get a chance to play it at BlizzCon, the fact is that it’s literally been years since. Indeed, the game had initially been slated for a 2008 release date, seeing a relatively steady slide since then until now, when the last we heard was that it wouldn’t be making an appearance in late 2009.
It’d certainly be interesting to see the game’s beta open up, however limited it might be, if only so that we can get some impression of what state the game is in at the moment. Still, we’d imagine the beta process will be a long one, considering amount of balancing required and the fact that the original StarCraft has been a phenomenal success as a professional sport in Korea.