Blizzard has made StarCraft and its expansion, StarCraft: Brood War, free to download and play, in advance of the upcoming remastered version of the iconic real-time strategy game.
StarCraft was made free through patch 1.18, which is the first update that Blizzard has released for the game in eight years.
'StarCraft' Free Download For PC And Mac
StarCraft is now free, almost two decades since the game was released in 1998. The game and its Brood War expansion previously cost around $10 to $15 to purchase.
The original StarCraft has been made free as in beer, meaning that while the game is free to download and play, players are still not allowed to pick apart its files and utilize its source code for personal purposes.
Players who would like to download StarCraft for free will need to visit the official StarCraft website, where the PC and Mac versions of the game are linked.
The patch also made several changes to StarCraft that include the addition of switching between windowed full screen and windowed mode, replay autosaving, UPnP support, and Observer mode, among many other things. The patch also improved the anticheat system of StarCraft, its installation and patching performance, and its compatibility with Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
There are no strings attached to Blizzard's release of StarCraft as a free game. Players only need to download the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to get StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War into their PCs and Macs. Blizzard, however, noted that patching StarCraft should be done with the Run as Admin option to prevent certain issues and to properly migrate the player's saves.
'StarCraft: Remastered' On Its Way
Blizzard made StarCraft free because the developer recently announced that StarCraft: Remastered is on its way this summer.
Back in November 2015, reports claimed that Blizzard might be looking to update old titles for modern computers, with one of these games possibly being StarCraft. The rumors started due to a job posting made by the developer for a senior software engineer of classic games.
In August 2016, rumors claimed that Blizzard will announce a remastered version of StarCraft the following month. The updated game will feature the original gameplay and is said to have updated user interface and modernized graphics.
The rumored announcement never came, causing StarCraft fans to lose hope that such a project is real. However, last month, Blizzard finally revealed StarCraft: Remastered with a summer release date. In addition to the improved visuals, the updated version of the game will include additional narratives for the single-player and campaign modes to refresh the StarCraft plot.
With StarCraft now free, perhaps Blizzard is looking to revive the excitement that old players have for the game. A free version of StarCraft might also invite new players to try the low-resolution version of StarCraft first before acquiring its remastered version once it is released.
No specific release date has been revealed by Blizzard for StarCraft: Remastered.