Blizzard has made the original StarCraft and its expansion a free download for everyone.
The move was announced last month when the studio unveiled StarCraft: Remastered. The free download includes both the original game and the Brood War expansion pack. Online play through the original Battle.net service is still available along with campaigns for each playable race.
In addition to becoming free, the game received its first patch in eight years. Patch 1.18 adds additional tweaks and improvements to the game to improve performance and compatibility with new computers. Some highlights include:
- Support for windowed and windowed fullscreen modes
- A new Observer mode to spectate matches
- Auto-saving option for replays
- Improved compatibility with Windows 7, 8.1 and 10
The full list of patch notes, as well as links to download the game, can be found on the game’s website.
Blizzard released StarCraft in 1998. A real-time strategy game set on alien worlds, the game was built around three factions, the Terrans, Protoss and Zerg. Each faction has their own unique mix of units and lent itself to a different playstyle. The game became one of the earliest esports hits, especially in South Korea. One tournament in 2007 drew a reported 30,000 spectators. It is one of Blizzard’s core franchises along with Diablo andWarCraft.
The franchise spawned a three-part sequel released from 2010 to 2015. Each game focused on one of the three races. Blizzard is also remastering the game and expansion for release later this year. The remaster will include support for up to 4K graphics and Blizzard’s new online platform. Pricing and release date have not yet been announced for StarCraft: Remastered.