StarCraft 2 Open Beta In Korea Only
It’s only fair the biggest StarCraft fans in the world get the only (known) open StarCraft 2 Beta.
Blizzard has been pretty clear on the fact there will not be an open beta test period like it has done with World of WarCraft in the past. The only beta is the closed one which you can opt into, or get a key from a fansite contest.
However, Koreans who have a completely different gaming culture (and are of course the world’s biggest StarCraft fanatics) will be able to play the StarCraft II beta via their normal PC Baangs. A ‘PC Baang’ literally means “PC room”, and is a lot like an internet cafe.
The player naturally needs to be at the PC Baang at a free station to play. Players also need to have a Battle.net account or a World of WarCraft account to verify they are indeed Korean to play. The StarCraft II clients are only available from some PC Baangs, and a player will of course not have the comfort of an account he or she can play any time he wants from any PC like Western testers.
The difference is that the overwhelming majority of Korean gamers play in a PC Baang rather than at home on their PCs. Their entire gaming culture evolves around them, and playing StarCraft competitively has a similar status to a being a competitive footballer over here. Good skill brings raving fans and young squealing girls to the (often quite geeky) pro gamers.
Basically, we understand the differences in culture and markets, but we still would have liked StarCraft II in selected internet cafes.
StarCraft: IncGamers also has information on this, as well as much more general beta information.