Happy and sad at the same time right now. Super happy because Blizzard has announced a Collectors edition for the much anticipated Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty and then sad because there is no release date for it. This awesome little package will be housing some pretty good stuff; a 176-page art book, a ‘Thor’ unit pet for World of Warcraft and the original StarCraft plus expansion on a USB thumb drive shaped like protagonist Jim Raynor’s dog tag. Its going to set you back a very reasonable $99 (about 750 ZAR).

Blizzard also reveals that the standard edition of its PC and Mac RTS sequel will cost $59.99 and that its digital release will follow “shortly after [the retail] release” which has been set for 27 July 2010.

Since its release in 1998, StarCraft has sold over 11 million copies. Developed by Blizzard, the game has been a success on every level, but nowhere more than South Korea where national tournaments are headline news, and a TV channel dedicated to the game broadcasts live matches. True story!!

Above and beyond the usual bells and whistles we come to expect from a sequel that has been over a decade in the making (better graphics, bigger maps, etc, etc), developers are boasting of major improvements to the multiplayer game that has already captivated millions, and many of those improvements are based on the direct interactions with fans.

“We’ve been looking forward to revisiting the StarCraft universe with our players for over 10 years, and we wanted to offer an epic collector’s edition that commemorated the occasion,” said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. “This special version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty–easily our biggest collector’s edition to date–does just that, and we think StarCraft II gamers will really enjoy all of the exclusive contents.”

The full list of Collector’s Edition goodies follows below.

  • The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
  • An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor’s dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion set
  • A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director’s commentary, and more
  • The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
  • StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series
  • A World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account
  • Exclusive Battle.net downloadable content, including special portraits for your Battle.net profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit

Currently in closed beta, Wings of Liberty is the first part of the StarCraft II trilogy. Blizzard is said to reveal the release date “in the coming weeks.”

I was 13 when I first starting playing this most awesome of games we like to call StarCraft and I am but dying in anticipation leading up to the release. With a trailer like this, can you blame me?!

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty trailer