StarCraft II is going free-to-play, Blizzard announced during their keynote address at Blizzcon.
The game, originally released in 2010, will be going free-to-play starting on November 14, although some aspects will remain premium only.
The Wings of Liberty campaign is free, the ranked ladder is a free unlock and commanders are free until level 5. This is more than enough for anyone competitive seeking to get into the game’s pro scene, which is fading but still very viable and with a significant fanbase. To unlock ranked play players will have to first play a chunk of unranked games, collecting several wins. Players will gain access after achieving 10 “first win of the day” achievements, something that Blizzard have explained will mean the Ranked mode isn’t flooded with rookie players or smurf accounts.
It’s also a substantial chunk of singleplayer content for players that might want to try it out. We’re an esports website, so I’ll not wax lyrical about it, but Starcraft II’s singleplayer campaign is one of the best in the business and well worth the price of entry. That price is entry, at least for the first third, is now free.
For those who already own Wings of Liberty then the second campaign, Heart of the Swarm, will be free instead.
Earlier this year Blizzard made the first Starcraft free, too. It’s a good year to be an RTS space warrior, it seems.