'StarCraft II' is Going Free-to-Play

Heads up, gamers: StarCraft II is going free-to-play, publisher Blizzard announced today at Blizzcon.

Wings of Liberty, for the uninitiated, takes place four years after the events chronicled in the original StarCraft.

Wings of Liberty received an excellent rating in PCMag's 2010 review, nabbing props for its "wonderful story and character development", "great soundtrack", and "lasting appeal". Anybody out there still holding out on StarCraft II? With its following on the decline, this recent news should introduce a new wave of players to the title. The Kerrigan, Raynor, and Artanis commanders are completely free, and all others are free up to level 5. Be aware however that you need to log in and claim it before December 8. Additional single-player campaigns, and co-op commanders can be unlocked via the Blizzard Shop.

"For a lot of people, when they hear 'free-to-play, ' they think that means we're introducing a bunch of new microtransactions, secondary currency, and things like that", Morten said.

Playing multiplayer matches in their various incarnations will allow you to unlock the rest of the multiplayer ladders beyond that, so the more you play, the more you'll be able to play.

For those who wish to buy Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops, they will be available to purchase for $14.99 individually, or $39.99 as a pack.

If you already own Wings of Liberty, you'll receive the second installment in StarCraft II's campaign, the zerg-focused Heart of the Swarm, for free. If you have purchased all three campaigns as of October 31, Blizzard will be sending you an exclusive Ghost skin and three new portraits, as a thank you.

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