Three deep, fifteen strong.
Happy Birthday Starcraft!
Fifteen years ago to the day, the seminal military science fiction real-time strategy game Starcraft was first released for the personal computer. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Activision, Starcraft features three races– the human Terrans, the insectoid Zerg, and the humanoid Protoss– as they battle for for supremacy in the fictional Koprulu Sector of the Milky Way galaxy several centuries into the future. Starcraft is a highly rated game, posting high scores on both Metacritic and Game Rankings, as well as being heralded as one of the best games of all time by several publications like Empire and Gamespot.
Starcraft is renown for its incredibly balanced combat between its three races, its allowance for strategic depth, and it’s excellent online mulitplayer mode. The multiplayer especially has given the game incredible staying power. As of this day, Starcraft is still played online through Blizzard’s Battle.net service.
Starcraft was a hit upon its release, becoming the best selling PC game of 1998 with sales of 1. 5 million copies worldwide. Starcraft would eventually sell over 9 million copies worldwide, with 4.5 million of those sales coming in South Korea alone.
Due to its success, Starcraft would eventually receive some expansions, the first being Insurrection, which debuted in July of 1998. Insurrection was developed by Aztec New Media with approval by Blizzard. A second expansion, the Stardock developed and WizardWorks’ published Retribution, was also released in 1998 with Blizzard’s approval. Later on 1998, Blizzard released its own expansion, titled Starcraft:Brood War.
In 2001, Starcraft was ported onto the Nintendo 64 console as Starcraft 64. This version of Starcraft features all of the missions from both PC versions of Starcraft and Brood War, as well as a few exclusive missions and a secret mission called “Resurrection IV”. Furthermore, Starcraft 64 features a two-player cooperative mode which allowed two players to play as the same race.
The legacy of Starcraft has branched out into the world of professional competitive gaming. In South Korea, professional Brood War tournaments were held for a number of years until finally ending last year in favor of Starcraft II. Over the course of the Brood War tournaments’ run, over $4 million of prize money had been awarded.
Starcraft‘s legacy now continues with its sequel Starcraft II, which has been divided into three parts. The first two parts, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, have been released, the latter last week. The third part, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, has yet to be released.
It’s been a great 15 years of Starcraft. Here’s looking forward to many more. Until next time.
Peace & Pixels
Edit: I hadn’t heard about this promotion from Activision in celebration of today, but its actually cool.