Video game publisher Blizzard has announced that the beta of its hotly anticipated real-time strategy game StarCraft II will be available in Australia before the end of February this year.
Blizzard president Michael Morhaime today said on a financial results conference call for the company’s parent Activision Blizzard that the beta would be rolled out in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea, according to multiple media outlets.
StarCraft II is the sequel to the original StarCraft, one of the most popular video games of all time, which is broadly credited for helping to create the electronic sports industry in countries like South Korea, where the original is still played competitively for substantial monetary rewards, 12 years after the original game was released.
StarCraft II will be released in one game this year, Wings of Liberty and two expansion packs later on, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void.
The game has been in development for a number of years, but was first announced in May 2007. Since that time, Blizzard has released a plethora of content about the title, including whole competitive multiplayer matches between members of its development staff and e-sports players of the original StarCraft.
The news comes as there has been some indication of a resurgence of interest in the e-sports category in Australia. Yesterday, Dell high-performance gaming subsidiary Alienware announced it would hold a large Call of Duty: Modern Warfare tournament online, with the top eight five-player teams to emerge from the competition to be flown to Sydney for a grand final tournament.
The members of the winning team will each pick up a high-spec Alienware PC valued at $5,800.
Image credit: Blizzard