Seven years after launch, Blizzard is taking one of its cornerstone games and making it free to play on November 14. Announced at BlizzCon over the weekend, StarCraft 2 will allow any and all fans to stretch their fingers inside of the Wings of Liberty campaign for no cost at all, while also giving those players access to the ranked ladder, the latest balancing updates and a co-operative mode.
It’s a huge step for Blizzard, given the longevity of their titles. A step that was born from the developer and publisher having long considered how such a move would impact on its fanbase. “Some of the early triggers of considering free-to-play were feedback that even though a lot of the game already was free through the starter edition, that that wasn’t well-known,” StarCraft 2 production director Tim Morten said to Polygon.
And that it was confusing to understand what you need to buy to actually start playing Starcraft 2. We wanted to cut through that confusion and announce that StarCraft 2 is free-to-play.
Don’t think of StarCraft 2 as a freemium game however. The base game, whose Legacy of the Void and Heart of the Swarm expansions will still require some moolah to purchase and experience, won’t be relying on a second currency going forward or any other typical nonsense associated with free games. “We spent a lot of time thinking about the right way to do this,” Morten explained.
It was very important to us that this be accomplished in a way that feels good to our current player base and also attractive to new players or lapsed players who haven’t played since Wings of Liberty.
For those of you who did purchase Wings of Liberty and have woken up feeling somewhat salty over the news, there is a reward waiting for you. If you purchased the first StarCraft 2 chapter before October 31, you can grab Heart of the Swarm for free by logging into Battle.Net on your desktop. Until December 8 that is.
For those of you who invested in the full experience, you’ll be able to grab yourself an Eidolon Ghost skin and three portraits that glorify your new founder status. It’s…well I guess it’s something, isn’t it?
Last Updated: November 6, 2017