When Blizzard Entertainment began developing Starcraft sometime around 1995-96, they had no idea where they were going, or that they’d be changing the face of video games for all time. Blizzard was fresh off the success of Warcraft II and wanted to break into the realm of science fiction; Starcraft‘s first iteration was little more than a Warcraft II reskin, albeit in some of the most garish colors known to mankind.
Shortly after releasing their first screenshots and a gameplay demo, Blizzard scrapped everything. Starcraft, they decided, needed to be a lot more than a simple retread of their current success. They spent the next two years working on what would be the first RTS (Real-Time Strategy) game to feature, among any number of other innovations, a fully-voiced story that played out within the game UI and three objectively unique races which still managed to be (relatively) balanced in relation to one another. By comparison, Warcraft II‘s story played out almost entirely in cutscenes between maps, and the variation between the series’ iconic Orcs and Humans was so minimal as to be almost entirely skin-deep, and no more.
Twenty years later, Starcraft remains the sixth-best selling video game of all time, following its original release on March 31, 1998.
Twentieth anniversaries are a big deal, and according to Engadget, for a surprisingly limited time, Blizzard is ensuring that everyone can get in on the celebrations.
Starting on March 6, players who log into Starcraft Remastered and Starcraft II will receive commemorative interface skins, user portraits, and decals. And if you’re not really into Starcraft, never fear; Overwatch players will have a chance at grabbing Sarah Kerrigan as a skin for Widowmaker, Diablo III fans will have a shot at a miniature Terran Battlecruiser pet to follow them about, World of Warcraft will gain several Starcraft-themed pets in the week from March 31 – April 6, Heroes of the Storm will feature some Starcraft anniversary portraits from March 27 – April 7, and Hearthstone will be holding a Starcraft-themed Tavern Brawl from March 21 – 25. And although there aren’t any guarantees, presumably, there will be some extra goodies thrown in as well: if nothing else, there ought to be a few achievements for obtaining the anniversary goodies.
Overall, it sounds like the Starcraft anniversary event might not be too incredible, but it’s sure going to bring a lot of goodies for fans of the series.