One of the most important real-time strategy games of all time is about to reach a major milestone, as StarCraft is close to its 20th birthday. Since the game's initial release in 1998, the title has left a major mark on the RTS genre as a whole, with its addictive gameplay and intriguing universe going on to inspire a slew of other franchises.
More than that, StarCraft helped shape the world of pro gaming, with the game pushing Blizzard's Battle.net platform to previously unseen heights and helping to pave the way for an eSports legitimacy that has even caused rumors of Olympic involvement in 2022. Selling nearly 10 million copies within ten years of its release, StarCraft's legacy has since been compounded by a successful sequel in StarCraft 2 and last year's relaunch StarCraft: Remastered.
On March 31, StarCraft will reach the ripe old age of 20. Of course, Blizzard has never been one to let an important anniversary go unnoticed, and the developer has revealed a number of goodies to help celebrate this birthday for one of its biggest franchises. Blizzard took to the StarCraft website to share a little of what it has in store, as well as releasing a brief video of the history of StarCraft over on Twitter.
For starters, Blizzard is putting together a video feature on the impact of StarCraft. Releasing on March 31, StarCraft is Life: A Celebration will share the stories and memories of some of the game's biggest fans. Alongside this, Blizzard is putting together a special anniversary stream on March 30 and 31. However, the main pull for StarCraft fans may well be the 20th anniversary rewards, as outlined below:
- StarCraft: Remastered - Log in to StarCraft: Remastered after March 6 to receive a commemorative 20th Anniversary UI Skin for StarCraft: Remastered.
- StarCraft 2 — Log in to StarCraft 2 after March 6 to receive a special UI Skin for each race. Additionally, log in between March 6 and April 3 to receive a Portrait and Decal.
- Diablo 3 — Log in to Diablo 3 after March 6 to receive Dominion’s Revenge, a fearsome Battlecruiser-themed Pet.
- Overwatch — Log in to Overwatch between March 6 and April 3 to receive the Sarah Kerrigan Ghost skin for Widowmaker.
- World of Warcraft — Between March 31 and April 6, salute one of the following StarCraft-themed companion pets — Zergling, Grunty, Mini Thor, Baneling, or Zeradar — to receive the 'Salute to StarCraft' Feat of Strength.
- Heroes of the Storm — Log in to Heroes of the Storm between March 27 and April 7 to receive a 20th Anniversary Portrait for Protoss, Terran and Zerg.
- Hearthstone — Play a StarCraft-inspired Tavern Brawl between March 21 and 25 to receive three Kobolds & Catacombs packs!
It's certainly a great way to help celebrate the impressive accomplishments of StarCraft, and given how closely the series ties in to some of the other franchises that Blizzard has released over the years, the bonuses are unlikely to feel too out of place. In particular, those who have been enjoying the now free-to-play StarCraft 2 will be happy to pick up a few extras based on the original game.
What's impressive about StarCraft is that the original game is still an intensely playable experience. Although its graphics may now look a little bit dated, the title has that addictive quality that helps give many a Blizzard game an extra slice of longevity. Let's hope there's plenty more life in the StarCraft franchise left.
Source: Blizzard Entertainment