Blizzard has announced that gamers still running Windows XP and Vista would no longer be able to launch several of its titles, including here World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.
There’s no ETA as to when this change would occur, but Blizzard explains that it’s all happening because Microsoft itself is no longer offering support for Windows XP and Vista, and given the fact that most players are already on newer versions of Windows, such as 7 or 10, it only makes sense to focus all efforts on supporting these versions.
“Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions,” Blizzard explained in an announcement.
Most likely, updates that Blizzard will ship for these games will pull the plug on support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, so unless users upgrade their systems, they would no longer be able to play the games.
Of course, they can always delay the updates and stick with the version that still runs on Windows XP and Vista, but this means they would be giving up on multiplayer and all the improvements that Blizzard ships with updates.
“After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game,” Blizzard says.
Windows XP support ended in April 2014, and Windows Vista will stop getting updates and security patches in April this year. Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 are all still getting patches.