Blizzard Entertainment have made 'StarCraft II' free-to-play in order to "simplify" the franchise.
The gaming giants announced during this year's Blizzcon over the weekend that from November 14 the first part of the military science fiction real-time strategy video game, subtitled 'Wings of Liberty', will be free for all players.
And now, production director Tim Morten has said the decision comes as the developers wanted to make the game available to as many people as possible, as they believe it is a "special game", which they want to share with the world.
When asked why they made the game free-to-play, Tim said: "For us, and this came from the dev team as something that we wanted to do, we feel like Starcraft II is such a special game. One of the things that has been confusing for the audience is how to get into 'StarCraft II', in its current form. We had Wings of Liberty, plus two expansions; we've had a lot of post-launch content. I think there's a lot of confusion about what you need to play Starcraft II. This just simplifies all of that, and gets the message out loud and clear: that you just download the game and play. Obviously, we love the game, so we just want to share it as broadly as we can."
Players will have access to 'Wings of Liberty' for free, whilst expansion pack 'Heart of the Swarm' will still be available at a charge.
For those who already owned the main game prior to the change in format, 'Heart of the Swarm' will be available for free.
Tim explained to GameSpot.com: "The parts that are free when you download StarCraft II are Wings of Liberty, which is the entire first part of the game. Plus access to ranked and unranked multiplayer, plus all of the commanders to level five. Each game mode provides a tremendous amount of free content. The things that you then can pay for, if you choose to, are continuing the story. Heart of the Swarm will be free to those who already own Wings of Liberty, but if you don't, Heart of the Swarm is a charge. Legacy of the Void, Nova Covert Ops, all of that story content."
'StarCraft II' becomes free-to-play in an update coming on November 14.