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StarCraft II - A Timeline From The Original To The Sequel

In March of 1998 Blizzard released StarCraft, their new RTS game. While many thought the game would be a sales hit no one predicted that the title would be a huge seller with millions of copies sold worldwide. No one predicted that the game would still be played even today. And it came completely out of left field that the game would become akin to a national sport in South Korea.

With the launch later tonight of the long awaited sequel StarCraft II, Blizzard and its parent company Activision Blizzard expect a massive amount of copies to be sold of the sci-fi RTS game. But how did we get from March 1998 to July 2010. We've got a quick timeline to give you an idea of just how long we have been waiting for this game to be released.

March 31 1998 - Blizzard releases the original version of StarCraft. It is both critically acclaimed by the media and it becomes the best selling PC game of that year, selling 1.5 million copies. StarCraft II is expected to sell more than that in its first 24 hours.
November 30 1998 - Blizzard releases StarCraft: Brood War, the only "official" expansion pack to the game (two other expansions, developed and published by third parties, are approved for sale by Blizzard but are not considered "official" expansion packs)
June 13 2000 - a Nintendo 64 port of StarCraft is released with some new content. However it is greeted with poor critical and sales response
December 2000 - The first StarCraft novel, Uprising, is released. It is to be the first in a long series of prose novels based on the game and its universe
September 2002 - Blizzard announces StarCraft Ghost, a console-only third person tactical shooter set in the StarCraft universe. The game is to be developed primarily by Nihilistic Software
June-July 2004 - Nihilistic Software replaced on StarCraft Ghost development by Swingin' Ape Studios
May 2005 - Blizzard acquires Swingin' Ape Studios.
March 2006 - After years of delays, Blizzard finally announces that StarCraft Ghost's development has been "indefinitely postponed"
May 19 2007 - After months of speculation, Blizzard finally and officially announcesthat StarCraft II is being developed.The announcement was made at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to a cinematic trailer, gameplay from StarCraft II was shown.
August 3 2007 - Blizzard lets attendees of its annual BlizzCon play a multiplayer build of StarCraft II for the first time.
December 2007 - Blizzard's parent company Vivendi Games announces a merger with Activision to form Activision Blizzard. The merger becomes official in the summer of 2008.
October 10 2008 - At Blizzard' annual BlizzCon event, the developer reveals that the single player campaign will be spread across three games with the first, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, to focus on the Terrans. The second, Heart of the Swarm, will center on the Zerg race and the final game, Legacy of the Void, will feature the Protoss race. Wings of Liberty will still have a full multiplayer experience with all three factions available for play.
May 6 2009 - Blizzard begins allowing people to sign up via Battle.net for the upcoming multiplayer beta test of StarCraft II.
May 31 2009 - During a financial conference call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said it was targeting StarCraft II for release by the end of 2009 with the beta to begin in the summer of 2009.
June 2009 - In interviews with Blizzard team members after a press event it was revealed that StarCraft II would not support offline LAN multiplayer matches, something the original game did support. Despite protests from the fans of the original game Blizzard has stuck with their plans to make StarCraft II multiplayer matches playable only online via Battle.net.
August 5 2009 - Blizzard backtracks on the release date of StarCraft II, now saying that the game will be released in the first half of 2010. The multiplayer beta is also delayed.
August 21 2009 - At BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard reveals the first concrete details of Battle.net 2.0, the next version of its multiplayer online service that will officially go live with the launch of StarCraft II. It will include things like achievements, leaderboards and more. It also plans to allow players to upload and even sell maps and mods of StarCraft II via Battle.net sometime after the game is released.
February 17 2010 - After months of delays, Blizzard finally starts the multiplayer beta test of StarCraft II.
April 8 2010 - Blizzard announces a $100 Collector's Edition of StarCraft II with lots of extras and a new StarCraft II in-game pet for Blizzard's MMO World of Warcraft.
May 3 2010 - Blizzard finally confirms a July 27, 2010 release date for StarCraft II. The game will be released over five continents on that day, including the US and South Korea.
June 7 2010 - The first phase of beta testing for StarCraft II ends.
June 11 2010 - Several weeks before its release, the first US TV commercial for StarCraft II is aired.
July 6 2010 - Blizzard announces that Real ID, part of its new Battle.net service, will be required for posting of forum messages on the company's official StarCraft II message boards. After a massive uproar from fans against such a move, Blizzard retracts their plans a few days later.
July 8 2010 - The second and final phase of StarCraft II's beta test begins. It ends on July 19.
July 15 2010 - Blizzard lets people pre-load digital download copies of StarCraft II via Battle.net in advance of the game's launch date.
July 27 2010 - Blizzard's scheduled release date for StarCraft II. Many retailers are holding midnight launch events this evening to allow people to purchase the game the minute the date shifts to July 27. Analysts are predicting that the game will sell between 5 million and 7 million copies for Activision Blizzard's current fiscal year.

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