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StarCraft, the classic strategy RTS from Blizzard Entertainment, has been updated and is now available for free as of this morning. A fully remastered version with 4K graphics is also in the works, slated for release later this year (at a cost).
StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War together is iconic for being one of first games to become an eSports, particularly in South Korea where viewers would flood entire stadiums dedicated to hosting StarCraft matches. StarCraft's huge success in South Korea paved the way for eSports to become an internationally recognized phenomenon.
Despite the release of StarCraft II, StarCraft: Brood War has retained popularity in South Korea, where there is still a lively professional scene and regular tournament broadcasts.
As of patch 1.18, StarCraft and its expansion, StarCraft: Brood War are free, and revamped with modern OS support and remastered graphics and sounds. The first patch in over eight years brings numerous much needed improvements including:
- Support for Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and Mac Beta 10.11 and above
- Improved graphics
- Added anticheat
- Low latency multiplayer
- Fullscreen and windowed options
- Improved multiplayer experience
Although Blizzard has thus far allowed third party servers (e.g. iccup, fish) to implement these features on their own, Blizzard has vowed to work with developers to make patch 1.18 compatible.
StarCraft patch 1.18 is a precursor to StarCraft Remastered, a re-imagining of the classic RTS in 4k graphics, slated for release in summer of 2017. StarCraft Remastered edition will need to be purchased separately, but Blizzard promises that players with patch 1.18 and the upcoming Remastered edition will be able to do battle with each other online.