Blizzard has spoken of its pride at finally launching StarCraft II, which is available worldwide from today.
Speaking to CVG at the London launch, Blizzard VP Michael Ryder admitted that the whole project has been "challenging" - and of course it's taken a long, long time to get the game out of Blizzard's doors.
"It's been twelve years since the original StarCraft," he said. "The team responsible for the original went on to develop Warcraft 3 and then Frozen Throne, and then after that they started on StarCraft II. So StarCraft II has been in development for a very long time and we're proud of what we've achieved.
"The whole thing has been challenging, he added. "We focused on two main things; The single-player campaign and the online experience, and as you know tonight we're launching the new battle.net which will be the home of all future Blizzard games, so we spent a lot of time and effort on that.
"If you've played the original StarCraft you'll be reasonably familiar with the fast-paced action, the finely tuned balance. It's definitely true that we've re-imagined the three races, the Terran, Zerg and Protoss so that you'll find new units and abilities, and some of your old favourite units will still be there with new abilities themselves. So it should be instantly familiar."
Ryder explained that the main principles for the new Battle.net were to keep players connected to their friends and to keep its games competitive for everyone.
"We wanted a way to unite the Blizzard community," he explained, "so if you have real-life friends you can connect to them on Battle.net, if they're playing World of Warcraft you can still chat to them while playing StarCraft, no matter what realm there on or what faction they're playing."
StarCraft II is out today. Stick your eyes on our StarCraft 2 Collector's Edition unboxing video, and look for our review shortly.