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All Articles: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Anyone who is a serious gamer knows a thing or two about eSports, and anyone who knows a thing or two about eSports knows that StarCraft has been a staple of the competitive scene for over a decade. We’re talking about a game that almost single-handedly saved an entire nation from economic collapse. The release of the sequel was such a big deal in South Korea that CNN wondered if it would “shake up” the country. Before MOBAs like Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) and League of Legends dominated the competitive eSports scene, StarCraft was the largest draw, with the 2013 Major League Gaming Dallas event featuring a $75,000 prize pool for the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm competition.
And yet, according to a tweet by the co-founder of MLG, Sundance DiGiovanni, StarCraft II will not be featured at the upcoming MLG event in Columbus, Ohio.
Just so folks know – we are currently not planning to run SC2 at Cbus. Should that change we'll let you know via official channels.
— Sundance DiGiovanni (@MLGSundance) August 8, 2013
Despite being dropped from MLG Columbus, all hope is not lost for StarCraft II fans. Blizzard’s World Championship Series will continue as scheduled, and the North American Star League is consistently running the game as well. However, as of yet there has been no explanation as to why the game was dropped from the MLG lineup, or whether or not it will be coming back in the future. As a staple of competitive gaming and with an incredibly large fan base, it’s hard to imagine a world where StarCraft II isn’t an eSport. Of course, MLG Columbus is still a few months away, so things could possibly change between now and then. Regardless, as of now, MLG intends to move forward without plans to run StarCraft II.
Of course the decision to drop StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm also begs the question of what other changes may or may not be coming for the future of MLG. Will MLG Columbus even include League of Legends or Call of Duty? Only time will tell.
Blizzard’s Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, released on March 12th, sold about 1.1 million copies in the first 48 hours according to the company. On top of that, more than 1.1 million viewers watched the 21-hour launch event (with peak concurrent viewership of over 125,00).
Heart of the Swarm wasn’t done yet though. Last weekend, more than 1.1 million viewers (with peak concurrent viewership of over 157,000) tuned in to watch the Heart of the Swarm tournament taking place at the Major League Gaming Winter Championship in Dallas, Texas.
Major League Gaming was thrilled, “StarCraft II has been a premier game at Major League Gaming events since Wings of Liberty was released,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of Major League Gaming. “Heart of the Swarm has generated even more excitement, and we’re all looking forward to what the future brings for StarCraft II eSports.”
So yeah, I guess StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is popular.
A pair of dueling sequels highlight this week’s new releases.
Kratos returns in a God of War prequel that brings multiplayer to the series for the first time. God of War: Ascension is available as a standalone game and also as part of a new PS3 system bundle that include Ascension and the previously released God of War Saga. Also new on store shelves this week is StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion in the StarCraft II trilogy saga.
And speaking of sequels, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is also available this week for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. And speaking of snipers, Sniper Elite V2 comes to the PC this week, almost a year after first appearing on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Finally, the 3DS will receive another Monster High game thanks to Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze.
A few days after confirming that StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm wouldn’t be released in 2012, Blizzard has announced that the expansion will make its way into stores on March 12, 2013.
As is customary with Blizzard releases, Heart of the Swarm will be available in three different packages next year. The standard edition will be priced at $39.99, the Digital Deluxe version will carry a $20 premium at $59.99, and the Collector’s Edition will be the most expensive at $79.99. Starting today, players can pre-order the game now from StarCraft2.com as either a DVD-ROM or a digital download.
Hit the jump for a sneak peek at the contents of the game’s Digital Deluxe version and Collector’s Edition. (more…)
Perhaps its unfair to say that StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has been delayed, as Blizzard never promised a 2012 release for the highly-anticipated expansion. But it definitely won’t be out before the end of year as Mike Morhaime, the company’s President and CEO, has confirmed that Heart of the Swarm won’t make it into stores until the first half of 2013:
Next on the slate for Blizzard will be Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion to StarCraft II. With six million copies of Wings of Liberty sold to date, we have a large community of players eagerly awaiting the next installment of StarCraft. Beta testing for Heart of the Swarm is well underway, and the development team has been collecting great feedback from the community. Just last week, we made a major content update to the beta in order to test some important community features, which have been well-received by players. These features are designed to improve the social aspect, as well as the overall user experience for StarCraft players. We’re working hard towards a first half 2013 launch for Heart of the Swarm.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick previously confirmed that Blizzard would release “at least two titles in 2012,” and with Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Mists of Panderia already available, there was no room (and no time) for Heart of the Swarm.
As Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launches to huge sales and nearly unanimous critical praise, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is ready to announce the next entry in the series.
Speaking to investors today, Kotick said, “As we focus on 2012, we have a strong product pipeline which features a minimum of two highly-anticipated new titles from Blizzard Entertainment, including Diablo III, and a new Call of Duty game from Activision Publishing.”
As you can see, Kotick also confirmed that Blizzard will release several games in 2012, a rarity for them. And considering the developer’s full production plate, there are several possibilities for this second title including World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and the free-to-play Blizzard DOTA.
I’m going to go out on a limb and “confirm” that Call of Duty 9 will be developed by Treyarch (it’s their turn as Modern Warfare 3 was an Infinity Ward game) and released in the first week of November 2012. Obviously, I’m a gambling man.
Ah, StarCraft. It seems like only yesterday that StarCraft: Brood War was released, and the world first witnessed the haunting transformation of Sarah Kerrigan. A new trailer for the first StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm, has been released, depicting the panic spreading across the galaxy as the Queen of Blades makes her terrorizing return.
The trailer shows some pretty heavy cinematic content, and some intense gameplay scenarios. As always, Blizzard has included some new units and tactics into the new expansion. You can be sure that Major League Gaming is quivering in awe and joy right now. Unfortunately, there is no release date announced yet, as Blizzard pitches the standard “We are making this game as good as we can for the time being” line. One thing’s for sure though, this is going to be big.
That leaked teaser for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has now been officially released alongside the title’s first gameplay trailer, which you can view above. The trailer is heavy on the Zerg swarming across the universe, but as of right now, there’s still no release date for the expansion.
Hopefully, we’ll learn more at E3. And in case you missed it, hit the jump for another look at the teaser trailer, starring Nova and Kerrigan. (more…)