Too bad, StarCraft fans—you'll have to stick with the original for a little longer than expected. In a post on the official Battle.net forums yesterday afternoon, a Blizzard Entertainment staffer announced that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has been postponed until the first half of 2010.
The post provides the following explanation for the delay:
Over the past couple of weeks, it has become clear that it will take longer than expected to prepare the new Battle.net for the launch of the game. The upgraded Battle.net is an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward. This extra development time will be critical to help us realize our vision for the service.
According to Shacknews, Blizzard has big plans for a new version of the multiplayer match-making service, which will launch together with StarCraft II. The Shack quotes Activision CEO Bobby Kotick as saying the new Battle.net will be similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live "in its combination of gameplay and social networking features." (The first iteration of Battle.net debuted with Diablo in 1997, and Blizzard has continued to maintain and improve it ever since.)