Sad news for World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm players still running the games on Windows XP and Vista. Blizzard recently announced that it will no longer support these operating systems starting October.
According to a forum post:
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 will no longer dedicate resources for Windows XP and Vista and they cannot be faulted for it. After Windows XP and Vista, Windows has released Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 10.
While ceasing support usually means no more fixes or patches, ceasing support for Windows XP and Vista will apparently render the games unplayable on the said systems. Many speculate that the decision coincides with future internet connection requirements. Blizzard fans ultimately agree with the decision, especially since many of them now use more recent versions of Window OS. There are some concerns about those who use older, non-Windows operating systems such as Ubuntu. But they don’t seem to be in the studio’s crosshairs.
Time for an Upgrade
If you are still running Vista or XP while playing Blizzard games, it would be best to upgrade to or a more recent operating system as soon as possible. Blizzard’s support is not ending due to lack of technical support – the games are simply not going to be able to run. Ultimately, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Windows XP came out in 2001 and Vista followed after in 2006. This update will affect mostly people who have PCs that cannot at least run Windows 7.
China Will Be Most Affected
The update may sting a few gamers here in the west, but gamers in the east, such as China, seem to be getting the bad end of the stick. Internet cafés are very much prominent in China and many still use Windows XP. They have heavily utilized Windows XP (sometimes questionable legal versions) for more than a decade.
Reliance on Windows XP doesn’t stop at the internet cafés. Some Chinese government institutions still rely immensely on Windows XP. Some went as far as creating Ubuntu Kylin, an OS that had a scary resemblance to XP. Why do they hold on to older operating systems? Government agencies might not always have the funds to procure new hardware and software.
What are your thoughts on this change? Let us know in the comments.