As the sun sets in Brisbane and the storm clouds start to roll over a crowd forms in the centre of the city. Standing around a stage, the public looks on. They have been waiting 12 years for this moment. The lights in the outdoor stage go out and the trailer appears. The screen is shaking and a Terran can be heard walking. StarCraft II launch has arrived and hell, it’s about time.
With just under four hours left until launch, the events of the night have only just begun. Approximately 2000 fans, passersby and cosplayers filled King George Square. Some of the notable cosplayers were Terran Firebats, Kerrigan and a two person Hydralisk. (I kind of felt sorry for the guy in the back who was missing this amazing event.)
As the MCs warmed the crowd up, it was the first chance for some giveaways. Firstly there was some StarCraft Trivia, with fans stepping up to answer some challenging (and not-so-challenging) questions.
Later, contestants took to the stage to deliver their best StarCraft voice impressions. Judged by StarCraft II producer Kaeo Milker, some of the talent was amazing! True fans stepped up to the microphone and the crowd loved their impressions. We were just in awe at how close some of the voices were to the original.
After another stunning cinematic the cosplayer competition was next on the list. There were a few more cosplayers than previous though, turns out a couple of Ghosts have infiltrated the event! After a close competition, and the Hydralisk having trouble getting on stage, the winner was announced as the Protoss Pylon! Truly one of the most original and interesting costume. There was no need for this event to build additional pylons.
After a short break and a chance to grab some food and some giveaways, Kaeo Milker took to the stage for a Q&A with the crowd. Even with the launch only an hour away, fans still wanted to know more. They asked about everything from Kaeo’s thought on the cancelled Starcraft Ghost to the possibility of Blizzcon being held in Australia. Sadly while they love us Down Under, Kaeo revealed that Blizzard have no plans for this.
As the Q&A closed there was not long until the launch, the crowd began to shift from the stage to the lines eagerly waiting to get their hands on the first copies of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. With only 1 minute left, they kicked off the countdown. “Nuclear Launch Detected” sounded over the speakers and at first I thought one of the Ghost cosplayers got angry about not winning! I looked over to the screen that was lit up with the countdown. With 20 seconds left the EB staff took to screaming out the countdown with the crowd. The timer hit 0 and lines of StarCraft fans ran in to grab their copy.
Some fans ran home to install while others jumped in the line to get their copies signed by Kaeo Milker. One fan even managed to start his install WHILE in line to get his copy autographed! The crowd cleared out just as fast as the night went. There were many Brisbane StarCraft players who didn’t get much sleep last night and many more waiting to run home to play. The storm was nice enough to stay away and we must conclude that the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Australian midnight launch was a huge success!