BlizzCon 2017 just got underway and Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has already dropped one big piece of news: StarCraft 2 is going free to play.
The change will make the Wings of Liberty campaign completely free for everyone, while Heart of the Swarm will be given free to anyone who already owns it. Unranked and Versus AI modes are also free, while Ranked can be unlocked with ten "first wins of the day" in either of them. The Kerrigan, Raynor, and Artanis commanders are completely free, and all others are free up to level 5.
StarCraft 2 will transition to free to play on November 14.
Update: "We know 'free-to-play' can mean a lot of things for different games, but we’re here to assure you that when we say that we’re making StarCraft 2 free-to-play, we really mean it," Blizzard said in a more detailed rundown of the news on Battle.net.
"Starting 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."
That will include:
- The original Wings of Liberty campaign, or the zerg-focused Heart of the Swarm if you already own Wings of Liberty. You'll have to log in between November 8 and December 8 to claim it.
- Access the ranked multiplayer, complete with all of the multiplayer units from Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. All you have to do to unlock it permanently is earn 10 First Wins of the Day in Unranked or Versus A.I. play—our way to preserve the quality and integrity of the ranked experience.
- Free full access to co-op Commanders Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis, with other current and upcoming co-op Commanders available to play for free up to level five. The level restriction for weekly mutations has also been removed.
The Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void campaigns, and the Nova Covert Ops mission pack, will be available for purchase for $15 each, or in a bundle for $40. Blizzard will continue to add "premium upgrades" including announcer packs, skins, and new Co-op Commanders, all of whom will be free until level 5. Anyone who's already purchased any of the three StarCraft 2 campaigns will be given "a small thank-you" of an exclusive Ghost skin and three new portraits.