Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm release date revealed by Battle.net

UPDATE: Blizzard makes it official, unveils Collector's Edition.

The StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm packshot.

UPDATE: Blizzard has made official the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm release date Eurogamer reported on earlier today.

As revealed, the expansion releases on 12th March 2013. It features a new campaign that revolves around Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, who leads the zerg Swarm against dictator Arcturus Mengsk, new multiplayer units and new features.

It is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac, and digitally from the StarCraft 2 website.

A Collector's Edition will be available from shops. The Digital Deluxe Edition, revealed earlier today, includes all of the digital items inside the Collector's Edition. If you buy the Standard Edition either at retail or digitally you can upgrade to the Digital Deluxe edition for an additional $20.

"With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty," said Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime. "Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels."

Here's what you get in each version:

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 Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net 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 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 more than a dozen 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.
When you'll be able to play Heart of the Swarm, courtesy of Battle.net.

ORIGINAL STORY: StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, the expansion to the PC-exclusive real-time strategy game, launches on 12th March 2013, Blizzard has revealed.

Eurogamer Spain sent us word that the StarCraft 2 Battle.net page mentions Heart of the Swarm will available to play on Tuesday 12th March 2013.

For £44.99 you get a digital copy of Heart of the Swarm and Wings of Liberty.

Eurogamer understands Blizzard will make an announcement today.

Battle.net also spills the contents of the Digital Deluxe edition.

You get a digital copy of the expansion with in-game bonus items for use in StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3.

These are:

  • Three StarCraft II Swarm-themed Battle.net portraits
  • StarCraft II Zerg Ultralisk “Torrasque” skin
  • World of Warcraft Baneling Battle Pet
  • Diablo III “Blade Wings” item - Queen of Blades-styled wings for Diablo III heroes
  • Diablo III Zerg banner sigil