Blizzard is finally getting with the times. Following the lead of Valve's Steam and EA's Origin - and just about every other game publisher right now - with a beta test for its new unified franchise launcher. The launcher will replace the individual in-game applications used to update, install, and start Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, and Diablo 3. Blizzard also says it’s looking into the possibility of supporting older titles in the future as well.

YouTube user HuskyStarcraft has access to the beta and took us on a guided tour of the new features. Features seem to be mostly functional, allowing user to repair broken installs and easily supports updates to multiple games on once. Included is a news flow for each game with announcements about tournaments and promotions.

The big news here is the back-end integration at Blizzard that opens up all sorts of possibilities, like auto-seeded matches and being able to keep in touch with friends out of the game.

Itching to try it out? Head over to Blizzard's beta sign up page. No word yet on when we'll get a launcher to launch all these damn launchers.

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[Via ArsTechnica]