Technology

Blizzard Has Big Plans To Celebrate StarCraft’s 20th Anniversary

StarCraft, Blizzard
Image Source: StarCraft/YouTube (screenshot)

The StarCraft franchise will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year on March 31. Blizzard Entertainment plans to make the day special with a string of streams, giveaways and a short film. All active games – including Diablo 3, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, StarCraft 2, StarCraft: Remastered and World of Warcraft – will offer in-game rewards.

Players logging in to Remastered and StarCraft II after March 6 will get portraits, interface skins and so on. Those who are not a fan of these titles, don’t need to be disappointed as Blizzard is offering rewards with other games as well. Players of Overwatch will get a special Sarah Kerrigan Ghost skin for Widowmaker between March 6 and April 3.

That’s not all as they can also get the Battlecruiser-themed pet in Diablo III (from March 6 onward), one of several StarCraft-themed pets in World of Warcraft (March 31 to April 6), play a StarCraft-inspired Tavern Brawl (March 21 to March 25) and anniversary portraits for the three StarCraft races in Heroes of the Storm (March 27 through April 7).

Further, Hearthstone fans will get three packs from the Kobolds & Catacombs after they play a StarCraft-inspired Tavern Brawl. The World of Warcraft players, who salute a StarCraft-themed companion pet, can get the Feat of Strength “Salute to StarCraft.”

Along with the in-game rewards, Blizzard will also release a short video – titled StarCraft is Life: A Celebration – on March 31 to remember some of the major moments in the game’s history so far. The short film would have interviews with players from all over the world, who would talk about how the series has brought a significant change in their lives and what it has meant to them.

“In StarCraft is Life: A Celebration, some of StarCraft’s biggest fans look back on their favorite memories from the past 20 years,” the company said.

Personalities who would feature in the film are yet to be revealed but some of the top players and community members in the history of the game are expected to make an appearance. Blizzard has not yet dropped the trailer on the internet, but one should come soon. Further, a livestream celebration via Twitch (on March 30 and March 31) would feature some popular personalities related to the game. More details will be added to the official site for the anniversary celebrations.

Tim Morten, production director of StarCraft 2, was the first to talk about the celebrations for the iconic game. Speaking to PCGamesN at the IEM Katowice 2018, Morten talked about the importance of StarCraft in his life.

“The thing that struck me, coming on to the StarCraft team, which was just the sense of community, not just the people that work on the game, but the players, the esports community, it really is something special to have continued this long,” Morten said. After eight years of StarCraft2 and almost 20 years for the original title, there has come a sense of family and belonging among the people connected with the game in one way or another, the executive said.

Introduced to the world on March 31, 1998, the first StarCraft game came when Windows gaming and internet multiplayer games were new. Despite this, its impact can still be felt in the modern day games. The game had everything revolutionary about it including a groundbreaking game play and a memorable story. The game had also helped in taking eSports to new heights, becoming extremely popular in South Korea with sponsorships and live broadcasts well before Twitch streaming started, notes Engadget.

Talking of other Blizzard games, Hearthstone is all set to enter a new season – titled Year of the Raven – while the multiplayer shooter Overwatch will get a new hero Brigitte. Further, there are rumors that Blizzard would soon debut Diablo III on Nintendo Switch.

In separate gaming related news, an update to the PUBG Xbox One edition has been released with noteworthy changes. The new updates are bug fixes, Game DVR support and most importantly the removal of a single starting area for all the players. The game now has various pre-match starting locations. All the weapons have been removed from the starting locations as well.

Further, the game has lowered the damage that was otherwise taken by players from different objects such as rocks, trees and uneven terrain. Also, the squad member colors are clearer than before. On the bug fixing front, water sound effects are improved. There is also a fix for the bug that caused some objects to float in the water.