Thu. Dec 1st, 2022
Blizzard ends support for Windows XP and Vista

Jeff Christensen / EmployeeChristensen/WireImage

If you were to take all the remaining Windows XP and Vista users in the world — a surprisingly robust 10 percent — and put them on a Venn diagram with those who play Blizzard games, the intersection would probably be very, very small.

And yet, despite Microsoft ending regular support for XP and Vista in 2009 and 2012 (Windows XP hobbled with security updates until 2014), Blizzard continued to provide support. World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, hearthstoneeven heroes of the storm under the deprecated operating systems.

Or at least it did. Effective “later this year,” Blizzard will discontinue support for those games under XP and Vista. The change will be rolled out on a “staggered schedule”, with Blizzard promising to post individual messages for each game. The games will refuse to run on an unsupported operating system once support ends.

“Microsoft stopped regular support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively,” reads a Blizzard blog, “but since a significant portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued to support them. there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and right now the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions.”

The end of XP and Vista support is likely related to the online requirement for each of the games, which can be accessed through a launcher in the operating system. Technically, StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 do have single player modes, but require an online connection to function.

While few Vista and XP users in the west will be stung by Blizzard’s decision, a significant number of gamers in China will be affected. The nation’s Internet cafes have relied on Windows XP, or pirated and modified versions of it, for more than 15 years. Chinese government agencies also made extensive use of Windows XP and were reluctant to upgrade or pay for extended support.

The ubiquity of Windows XP in China is such that the government teamed up with Canonical to create Ubuntu Kylin, an operating system that looks almost identical to XP.

List image by Jeff Christensen / ContributorChristensen/WireImage

By akfire1

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