StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is an expansion pack to the military science fiction real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and the second part of the StarCraft II trilogy developed by Blizzard Entertainment, with the final part being Legacy of the Void. The game was released on March 12, 2013.
The expansion includes additional units and multiplayer changes from Wings of Liberty, as well as a continuing campaign focusing on the Zerg race and following Sarah Kerrigan in her effort to regain control of the swarm and exact her revenge on the Terran Dominion’s emperor, Arcturus Mengsk.
During BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard announced that StarCraft II would be re-branded as a free-to-play game, hence opening the multiplayer mode to everybody and bringing some changes to previously paid features of the game. The Wings of Liberty campaign was made completely free while the campaigns for Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void still required payment. However, those who had already bought Wings of Liberty before the free-to-play announcement were gifted the Heart of the Swarm campaign free of charge. This new free-to-play model and changes to the availability of the campaigns was in line with Blizzard’s vision to support the game differently going forward. Micro-transactions such as Skins, Co-op Commanders, Voice Packs, and the War Chests proved to be successful enough to sustain StarCraft II as a story-driven and eSport title.
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