Blizzard Makes “Starcraft II” Free-to-Play

BlizzCon 2017 is still underway in Anaheim, California, but one of the enormous bombshell news items to come out of this year’s convention is the announcement that the wildly popular Starcraft II goes free-to-play starting November 14.

 

Starcraft II wings of LibertyStarting November 14, you’ll have free access to the original Wings of Liberty single-player campaign and every Co-op Commander, and will be able to unlock access to StarCraft II’s competitive multiplayer content for free.

Here is, point by point, a list of everything Blizzard Entertainment is now giving away:

  • The original Wings of Liberty campaign. This is the original epic campaign that launched the StarCraft II saga! If you own Wings of Liberty you’ll receive the second installment in StarCraft II’s campaign, the Zerg-focused Heart of the Swarm, for free. Make sure to log in between November 8 and December 8 to claim it.
  • You will get access to the ranked multiplayer ladder to compete with other players to become the best of the best, allowing you to complete with all of the multiplayer units from Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. To unlock this permanently, you must first earn 10 First Wins of the Day in Unranked or Versus A.I. play. This is how Blizzard is preserving the quality and integrity of the ranked experience.
  • Current and upcoming Co-op Commanders are going to be free to play, up to level five, and the level restriction for weekly mutations has been removed. You’ll be able to tackle these extra challenging missions with your friends right away. The Co-op Commanders Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis will remain completely free, meaning that you can keep leveling them to your heart’s content.

In other words, you can now play all of StarCraft II’s multiplayer, every Co-op Commander, and the entire first campaign in the single-player story, for free.

The exclusive Ghost skin you get if you had bought the extensions just before Blizzard announced they’re giving them away. Unfortunately, you don’t get refunds, but at least you get a cool skin.

If you get through Wings of Liberty and want to see how the rest of the epic single-player saga unfolds, all the other single-player campaigns—Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops will be available to purchase individually for $14.99 or as a bundle for $39.99. Blizzard will also offer premium upgrades like announcer packs, special skins, and new Co-op Commanders to boost your StarCraft II experience in a number of different ways. As with the existing line-up of Co-op Commanders, however, you will be able to play upcoming new Co-op Commanders who are released for free until they reach level 5. You can also purchase any of the campaigns or a seasonal War Chest to gain immediate access to ranked play if you feel the urge.

If you had already purchased any of the three campaigns as of October 31, you won’t be completely left holding the bag. Blizzard will soon be sending you a small thank you in the form of an exclusive Ghost skin as well as three new portraits.

Starcraft II was first released in 2010, and quickly became one of the most celebrated sci-fi military strategy games in history, with over three million copies sold in its first month of release.

If you’re new to the StarCraft community, your timing couldn’t be better. If you’re a seasoned veteran, revisiting the franchise will be a rewarding experience.

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