The first major announcement of BlizzCon 2017 has been made by Mike Morhaime during the event’s opening ceremony. StarCraft 2, Blizzard’s popular sci-fi real-time strategy game, is going free-to-play. According to Morhaime, StarCraft 2 will be free for fans to download and play starting November 14, featuring both single-player and multiplayer content that was previously exclusive to premium players.
According to the announcement ,a bevy of StarCraft 2 content will be going free-to-play, but not everything. Regarding single player, those who do not own StarCraft 2 will be granted access to the game’s full Wings of Liberty campaign, which is the first of three featured in the game. Those who already own Wings of Liberty will be granted access to the game’s second campaign, Heart of the Swarm. Legacy of the Void will remain premium.
In addition to the free campaigns, players will be granted access to all of StarCraft 2‘s co-op commanders. Co-op missions were a feature added with Legacy of the Void‘s release, but will now be available to all players. Unfortunately, not all of StarCraft 2‘s co-op content will be available, as co-op commanders will be capped at level 5. Yet considering just how fun co-op missions are in StarCraft 2, even a small taste of the content for free is a great addition.
StarCraft 2 is going Free to Play!
Campaign: Wings of Liberty Free
Commanders: Free to lvl 5
Ranked: Free Unlock
? https://t.co/GDwvQvib77 pic.twitter.com/X9Vx79nQjo
— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 3, 2017
The free-to-play conversion isn’t only for single-player and cooperative fans, however. There’s plenty for multiplayer StarCraft 2 fans too. The ranked multiplayer ladder will be open to all players with StarCraft 2‘s free-to-play conversion. It doesn’t unlock automatically, however, in order to prevent abuse of the system. Players will first have to complete 10 First Wins of the Day in Unranked or Versus A.I. to unlock ranked. Current ranked players should be happy with the limitation.
With Blizzard’s announcement of StarCraft 2‘s shift to a free-to-play paradigm, some fans are conflicted. While more players coming back to StarCraft 2 is exciting, Blizzard also just released StarCraft Remastered. With the classic StarCraft seeing a resurgence, announcing StarCraft 2‘s free-to-play shift just months later seems somewhat contradictory. To fans, it may seem like the player-base is being split by Blizzard. It’s hard to argue, however, that the more StarCraft 2 available, the better. And Blizzard clearly agrees.
StarCraft 2 is available now on PC. The game will go free-to-play starting November 14.