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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Finally Gets Release Date

By - Source: Blizzard Email | B 36 comments

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launches in the first quarter of 2013.

Blizzard announced on Tuesday that StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be available in stores and online beginning March 12, 2013. The Standard version will run players a good $39.99 USD in both digital and physical form, $59.99 for the Digital Deluxe version, and $79.99 USD for the Collector's Edition DVD-ROM. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be required to play this expansion.

"With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels."

Here's a list of what will be added in the $59.99 Digital Deluxe version (in addition to the core expansion:

* StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks.
* StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.
* World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene.
* Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to the Swarm in Sanctuary.

Now here are the contents to the $79.99 Collector's Edition DVD-ROM in addition to the core game and the Digital Deluxe content:

* Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft's eSports legacy narrated by key members of the community.
* Collector's Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical experience with this collection of more than a dozen tracks from the game.
* Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and meticulous 3D renderings.
* Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector's Edition mousepad depicts the Terran Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.

"Heart of the Swarm picks up the story of StarCraft II where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan's quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk," Blizzard said. "Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style."

"New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm's multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities," Blizzard added. "New features will enhance the game experience, including group and clan systems; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral looking battles; multiplayer replays, to watch replays with friends; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more."

The Standard and Digital Deluxe versions can now be pre-purchased now at the official StarCraft II site and be ready to play the moment the expansion launches. Those who pre-purchase will automatically be digitally delivered their expansion and added goodies via StarCraft II's streaming launcher prior to the expansion's release. Those who want to pre-order physical copies – including the Collector's Edition – can do so at participating retailers.

Players who purchase the standard edition digitally or at retail will have the option to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version at any time (for as long as the standalone Digital Deluxe version remains available) for an additional $20 USD, Blizzard said.

 

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  • 10 Hide
    bllue , November 13, 2012 4:10 PM
    Why charge $60 for the complete game when you can charge $180? It comes as no surprise that SC2 got released after the Activi$ion and Blizzard merge. Surely Activi$ion had a say in the split of SC2 into 3 parts to take advantage of people. Activi$ionBli$$ard
  • 10 Hide
    sliem , November 13, 2012 6:52 PM
    Same engine, new story - should be just $20. Why $40.
    Glad it's not a full $60.
    However, since you banned from using trainer to cheat on single player (I never play multi player), I think I won't spend anymore on SC2.
Other Comments
  • -6 Hide
    fyend , November 13, 2012 4:02 PM
    Heart of the yawn more like it.
  • 3 Hide
    officeguy , November 13, 2012 4:08 PM
    Really, I thought the release date is "When we are ready"
  • 10 Hide
    bllue , November 13, 2012 4:10 PM
    Why charge $60 for the complete game when you can charge $180? It comes as no surprise that SC2 got released after the Activi$ion and Blizzard merge. Surely Activi$ion had a say in the split of SC2 into 3 parts to take advantage of people. Activi$ionBli$$ard
  • 5 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , November 13, 2012 4:16 PM
    Like Blizzard will ever meet their release date...
  • 2 Hide
    rand_aa , November 13, 2012 4:20 PM
    RADIO_ACTIVELike Blizzard will ever meet their release date...

    blizzard never missed a deadline
  • 1 Hide
    blppt , November 13, 2012 4:22 PM
    Anyone know if this game will force the "always on" D3 DRM on us?
  • 8 Hide
    noblerabbit , November 13, 2012 4:38 PM
    What ever happened to releasing each iteration of SC2, a year apart?

    pass, can't make anything out of the zerg art in SC2, but I did enjoy the story of Terran. Will stop at that. Won't get part3 either. Won't get Diablo 3 DLC either. Now that I mention it, I'm never buying another Blizzard game ever again lol, not that any of us will ever be alive to see one. They are so bloated and full of themselves, it's real disgusting.
  • 5 Hide
    SneakySnake , November 13, 2012 4:39 PM
    blpptAnyone know if this game will force the "always on" D3 DRM on us?


    Seeing as the main draw of SC2 is the multiplayer (whether it be custom games, or ladder games), I don't think it really matters whether it does or not.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 13, 2012 5:02 PM
    I paid for SCII, but I will not make the same mistake again. The campaign was interesting, sorta, but the online component is just ridiculous. I like single player games because SHITTY AT&T drops my connection quite frequently- requiring people to be connected is not the most intelligent business decision.

    I hope people pirate Blizzard titles judiciously, they, along with EA, really do deserve it. They should feel the same annoyance that we feel, being cheated.
  • 5 Hide
    Vorador2 , November 13, 2012 5:17 PM
    blpptAnyone know if this game will force the "always on" D3 DRM on us?


    Seeing that the first game already required logon on BattleNet to play single player, i wouldn't be surprised.

    In any case, i will pass on this for now. Diablo 3 was a real letdown, and i'm not paying the "Activision tax"
  • 3 Hide
    wildkitten , November 13, 2012 5:27 PM
    bllueWhy charge $60 for the complete game when you can charge $180? It comes as no surprise that SC2 got released after the Activi$ion and Blizzard merge. Surely Activi$ion had a say in the split of SC2 into 3 parts to take advantage of people. Activi$ionBli$$ard

    Be careful about saying that Activision is responsible. You are opening yourself to ridicule from the fan kiddies because technically Activision isn't. I know what you mean, because Vivendi foolishly made Robert Kotick CEO of Activision Blizzard when they purchased Activision from him and made him the CEO of the merged company, and undoubtedly he is responsible for many of the decisions Blizzard has made.

    Oh, and for those who wish to claim the tired, false, line that Kotick has no say over Blizzard, I refer you to this....
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/03/activision-quietly-restructures-senior-management-and-internal-organization.html
    Quote:
    ...Thomas Tippl, formerly chief financial officer and chief corporate officer, has been named to the newly created role of chief operating officer. He is now the only executive reporting directly to Kotick and oversees Blizzard President Mike Morhaime and the head of Activision publishing...


    So as you can plainly see, Blizzard CEO reports to Tipple who reports directly to Kotick.

    Also, this post on Team Liquid http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=128252 the poster goes into great detail about just how badly Kotick is mismanaging both Blizzard's titles and Activision's most popular titles.
  • 4 Hide
    bigdragon , November 13, 2012 5:36 PM
    $2 a mission? That's one hefty price for a basic expansion pack. I'm not paying $40 for a couple new units and a new campaign. That's a steep price to pay for the new content. Drop it to $20 and I'll be interested.
  • 5 Hide
    halls , November 13, 2012 5:59 PM
    I jumped into SC2 on a whim when it came out, and I played multiplayer matches for a good year and a half, definitely one of the better investments I've made game-wise. I'll gladly buy the expansion pack for more units to play with.
  • 3 Hide
    Thomas Creel , November 13, 2012 6:14 PM
    why do they have to price thins like this -___- oh well
  • 2 Hide
    hate machine , November 13, 2012 6:22 PM
    Pass.
  • 5 Hide
    NightLight , November 13, 2012 6:36 PM
    i totally forgot about that game
  • 4 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , November 13, 2012 6:52 PM
    rand_aablizzard never missed a deadline

    I hope you are being sarcastic...
  • 10 Hide
    sliem , November 13, 2012 6:52 PM
    Same engine, new story - should be just $20. Why $40.
    Glad it's not a full $60.
    However, since you banned from using trainer to cheat on single player (I never play multi player), I think I won't spend anymore on SC2.
  • 3 Hide
    spartanmk2 , November 13, 2012 7:24 PM
    Shoulda came out in Dec 2010
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , November 13, 2012 7:35 PM
    hallsI jumped into SC2 on a whim when it came out, and I played multiplayer matches for a good year and a half, definitely one of the better investments I've made game-wise. I'll gladly buy the expansion pack for more units to play with.

    Ya, it's a fantastic game with a huge multiplayer community. Many people don't realize this, but for a while after its release SCII was far and away the number 1 e-sports game out there. It probably isn't anymore, but its definitely still amongst the most popular out there.

    I for one have thoroughly enjoyed it, and the problem I have with the game definitely doesn't stem from the gameplay experience. The problem I have, like many others, is with the pricing of the "expansions". Luckily I was able to preorder it on sale for $30, the price it should've been from the start. Blizzard tries to rationalize the pricing by saying that HOTS offers more content than your typical expansion, and it does, but that doesn't justify the $40 price. For $40 I'd almost expect an entirely new game, not a lot of additional content for an existing game.
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