StarCraft II is going free-to-play. As announced at BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard Entertainment is making portions of the game free-to-play in the hopes of drawing in a new generation of players. Players who can then spend money buying the not free-to-play portions of StarCraft II, obviously.
Free-to-play games are big business. By inviting everyone to play for free, publishers build huge fan bases which don’t mind spending cash on other game-related items. League of Legends and Dota 2 both make oodles of cash, which is why other developers are keen to jump on board.
What Will You Get for Free?
Starting from November 14, 2017, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty will be completely free to play. Gamers will be able to play the entire Wings of Liberty campaign for free, and if they already own that title, they’ll be given Heart of the Swarm instead so that they don’t feel left out.
In addition to the Wings of Liberty campaign, all co-op commanders will now be available for free up to level 5. And ranked online multiplayer games will also be thrown in for free, with the caveat being players have to unlock ranked matches by achieving 10 First Wins of the Day first.
StarCraft 2 is going Free to Play!
Campaign: Wings of Liberty Free
Commanders: Free to lvl 5
Ranked: Free Unlock
— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 3, 2017
That leaves three other single-player campaigns — Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops — available to purchase for cold, hard cash. And at $14.99 each this is where Blizzard is hoping to claw back some of the cash it will lose making other elements free-to-play.
Blizzard Gambles on Free-to-Play
This is a generous offer, albeit one that Blizzard has calculated will end up making more money for the company in the long run. Or is that just my cynicism talking? Regardless, if StarCraft II isn’t your thing don’t forget that Blizzard gave the original StarCraft away for free in April too.
Do you play StarCraft II? If so, what do you like about it? And what do you think of Blizzard’s decision to make it free-to-play? If you don’t currently play it, are you excited to give StarCraft II a go after avoiding it until now? Please let us know in the comments below!