Previous game not required for access to multiplayer-only client, no release date set for second in real-time strategy trilogy.
Starcraft II players who need to spawn more overlords may be in luck as the beta for Heart of the Swarm opened last night. Blizzard announced that some players who opted in to its beta program can now access the multiplayer-only client for PC and Mac, with more slots to open as testing continues.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the Zerg-centric chapter of a planned trilogy, has no set release date. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first entry, released in July 2010 with its beta opening five months before in February 2010. While owning the previous game is not required for access, Blizzard said active players will be given greater consideration. Beta keys will also be distributed through contests and partners.
The Heart of the Swarm beta has no non-disclosure agreement, meaning screenshots and video of the game as well as discussion are free to be posted to the public. Only players who have opted in to be included in betas in their Battle.net account settings will be chosen by Blizzard, and it is not too late to be included.
Activision Blizzard does not expect to ship Heart of the Swarm in 2012. Little has yet been revealed about the trilogy's conclusion, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void.
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