Video games retailer EB Games late yesterday revealed it had started taking pre-orders for the hotly anticipated real-time strategy game StarCraft II, which recently went into public beta testing.
“Finally! We’re now taking online preorder for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty!” the retailer said on its official Twitter account.
EB Games has listed StarCraft II with an estimated recommended retail price of $98.00, with the ordering page stating that the exact date of the game’s local launch is still to be confirmed.
Separately, EB Games also announced that Sony’s upcoming God of War 3 game for its PlayStation 3 platform would launch in Australia on March 18. The game is the highly anticipated sequel to the first two games in the series, which debuted on Sony’s previous console, the PlayStation 2.
Videos documenting the game’s features and capturing competitive online matches of the beta of StarCraft II have been flooding onto the internet after the beta launch last week, but so far beta keys required to gain access to the game are relatively rare, leading to some individuals selling beta keys through online auction house eBay for a sizable markup on the game’s expected RRP.
According to a forum on BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, a number of software developers are currently trying to break through the beta’s anti-piracy measures in an attempt to make it more widely available – if illicitly. However, so far such attempts have proven futile.
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.
Image credit: Blizzard