This afternoon Blizzard announced that the first installment of StarCraft II--entitled Wings of Liberty--will not hit retail stores at the end of the year as originally reported. In fact, the game is now slated for the first half of 2010. The company blames the game's delay on the upgrading process for Battle.net, saying that it's taken longer than expected to prepare the revamped service.
"The upgraded Battle.net is an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward," Blizzard's PR team explained. "This extra development time will be critical to help us realize our vision for the service."
Blizzard goes on to say that the company mission is to develop games that deliver an epic entertainment experience, and that means taking the extra time to ensure that games such as StarCraft II live up to Blizzard's highest standards. Hopefully the extra time will allow Blizzard to re-think its stance of excluding LAN play, and implement the support before the new release date.
"As we work to make Battle.net the premier online gaming destination, we’ll also continue to polish and refine StarCraft II, and we look forward to delivering a real-time strategy gaming experience worthy of the series’ legacy in the first half of 2010," the company added.
So much for vegging in front of the PC during the holidays.
[Updated 08/05/09: Updated for clarity and error in date.]