In most places, playing StarCraft II is a simple affair. Buy the game, sign into Battle.net and off you go. For players in Hong Kong / Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, however, a new option will kick off next week: pre-paid gaming cards.
Starting November 18th, Blizzard will introduce an “additional, flexible payment option” to run alongside the original boxed version of the game. The pre-paid cards can only be used on the Southeast Asian Battle.net server, and allow both single- and multi-player gaming. Essentially, for a significantly reduced cost, gamers will be able to access the game in 3-day, 7-day or 30-day blocks, rather than the “unlimited” access provided by the boxed copy.
To get things rolling, a DVD starter kit will also be released, allowing gamers to install the game itself without the hassle of downloading huge files. The kit will also include a guide to creating a Battle.net account, installing the client, and a 7-day pass so you can get your feet wet.
Aimed quite squarely at a specific audience, the pre-paid cards and DVD starter kit will be available throughout Southeast Asia in select gaming emporiums, convenience stores and (of course) internet gaming cafes.
If you want to pick one up yourself, head over to the area’s information page to find out where they’ll be stocked.
And if you haven’t yet had a chance to play the game, listen up! To celebrate the release of these pre-paid cards, Blizzard are holding a free-play weekend on the Southeast Asian StarCraft II servers, kicking off at midnight November 19 (GMT +8) and ending at 11:50pm November 21.
It’s being held to give you the opportunity to invite your friends (and family, maybe!), to get into StarCraft II without the worry of having to buy the game outright.
To get involved, simply set up a Battle.net account if you don’t already have one (at https://sea.battle.net/account/creation/tos.html) and activate StarCraft II on your account. You will need an internet connection to play – so maybe a visit to your local internet gaming room is in order if you want to start blasting zerg!