BlizzCon 2017 had a lot of major announcements across many of Blizzard’s biggest franchises. Overwatch got a new character and map. World of Warcraft got a new expansion and legacy server. Heroes of the Storm had new characters being brought in. But arguably the most intriguing announcement was that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was going to go free-to-play. This was a very bold move by Blizzard, and some wonder if this is an indication that they’re up for doing similar things with their other games too.
To be clear, the “free-to-play” aspect applies to the full multiplayer of the game, and then the first third of the singleplayer campaign. And even within the multiplayer there are restrictions you must do in order to go into ranked matches. That being said, there’s still a lot of content to do for a free-to-play StarCraft II game.
So, is this a sign of things to come for Blizzard?
Well, it certainly would be interesting, wouldn’t it? The game could be the first to start a trend for Blizzard to bring some of its other games to the free-to-play fold. Imagine being able to play Overwatch for a certain amount of time before hitting the pay wall, that could bring even more people to the game (35 million and counting!).
The big one that is gaining momentum though is Diablo III. With it being over 5 years old, many are wondering if Blizzard should make a chunk of its playing time free-to-play. The fanbase would certainly love that, and it could build interest should their be Diablo IV.
Either way though, what StarCraft II is doing is very good for business, and if Blizzard does well off of it, you might see it in other games of theirs as well.