Zerg Rush! StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™ Now Live

Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:01am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


New expansion follows Kerrigan through vengeance-fueled campaign, adds deadly
new multiplayer units, and introduces several new features for players of all
skill levels
IRVINE, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
Hail to the Queen of Blades! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today set off a global
zerg invasion with the launch of StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™, the next
chapter in the epic saga of StarCraft® II. Kerrigan has arrived, and with the
help of her brood, she aims to take down Arcturus Mengsk once and for all. 

Players can now purchase Heart of the Swarm in retail stores throughout the
U.S., Canada, Europe, Russia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast
Asia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as digitally
via the game`s official website (www.StarCraft2.com). Release plans for mainland
China will be announced at a later date. 

"Heart of the Swarm enhances every aspect of StarCraft II,"said Mike Morhaime,
CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "In addition to Kerrigan`s campaign
and the new multiplayer units and maps, we think players will really enjoy the
new online elements and new features that make StarCraft II more fun and easier
to learn than ever before." 

Standard, Collector`s, and Digital Deluxe Editions

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is now available at retailers nationwide on
DVD-ROM for Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7/Windows® 8 and Macintosh®
(suggested retail price $39.99). The expansion can also be purchased directly
from Blizzard at www.StarCraft2.com for $39.99. In addition, Blizzard is
offering a retail-exclusive Collector`s Edition of Heart of the Swarm loaded
with digital and physical bonus items, available at select retail stores for a
suggested retail price of $79.99. 

Players also have the option to purchase a Digital Deluxe version of the
expansion, which includes all of the digital items from the Collector`s Edition,
directly from Blizzard via www.StarCraft2.com for $59.99. Anyone who purchases
the standard edition digitally or at retail can upgrade to the Digital Deluxe
version at any time (for as long as the standalone Digital Deluxe version
remains available) for an additional $20. 

The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of
the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:

* StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable
Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks. 
* StarCraft II Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested portraits and decals
help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army. 
* World of Warcraft® In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with
enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene. 
* Diablo® III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the
Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to
the Swarm in Sanctuary.

The retail-exclusive Collector`s Edition of Heart of the Swarm includes the full
version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items,
in addition to the content from the Digital Deluxe version:

* Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe
with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth
historical retrospective on StarCraft`s eSports legacy narrated by key members
of the community. 
* Collector`s Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical
experience with this collection of 11 tracks from the game.
* Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features
never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and
meticulous 3D renderings. 
* Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector`s Edition mousepad depicts the Terran
Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.

Heart of the Swarm Game Features

Heart of the Swarm picks up the story where StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty®left
off, focusing on Kerrigan`s quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on
Arcturus Mengsk. Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow
Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive
zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to
mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities,
as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit
their play style. 

New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm`s multiplayer, including new
units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while
certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new
capabilities. In addition, several new features will enhance the game
experience, including group and clan systems; training and versus-A.I. modes, to
help new players transition from the campaign into multiplayer; unranked
matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions
around the world; additional stat tracking;user interface improvements; an
enhanced physics system, for more visceral-looking battles; "Watch With Others"
and "Take Command," to watch replays with friends as well as jump in and assume
control at any point; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a
new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more. 

To celebrate the arrival of Heart of the Swarm and follow the global zerg
infestation, Blizzard cohosted a special day-long launch broadcast with noted
eSports personality and commentator Sean "Day[9]" Plott, in conjunction with
Twitch.tv. Players who missed out on the live broadcast can travel back in time
by watching archived video of the event at www.Twitch.tv/StarCraft. 

Learn more about StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at www.StarCraft2.com. With
multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions
currently open - visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to
learn how to apply. 

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®,
StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
(www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a
premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating
some of the industry`s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment`s
track record includes fifteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year
awards. The company`s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest
in the world, with millions of active players.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Rob Hilburger, 949-242-8404 dir
Vice President, Global Communications
Bob Colayco, 949-955-1380, x. 12528
PR Manager

Copyright Business Wire 2013