Come October, Most Of Blizzard's Games 'Will Not Run' On Windows XP Or Vista

Image: Blizzard

Back in February, Blizzard announced that it would stop supporting Windows XP and Vista "later this year" for a swathe of its games, including Hearthstone, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm. Well, "later" has transformed into October, giving players on older operating system a good deal of time to upgrade.

A fresh announcement on the company's Heroes of the Storm forum outlines the hard date:

Starting in October of this year, we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.

The post goes on to mention that the "vast majority of [Blizzard's] audience" no longer uses either operating system, originally released in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

It also makes it clear that when support does end, it won't just mean you can't hit up Blizzard's support if you run into the problems:

The games will not run on these older operating systems once they are no longer supported, 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.

In the unlikely event you're running a creaky install of Vista -- or even worse, XP -- and enjoy blasting around in the following games, you've been warned:

  • World of Warcraft
  • StarCraft 2
  • Diablo 3
  • Hearthstone
  • Heroes of the Storm

Ending Support for Windows XP and Vista [Blizzard]


    This is the problem with making gaming online only and requiring them to be patched *all* the time. In the past if you had an old box you could just choose not to install an update that would break compatibility with your OS and keep playing offline or lan mode. Really not a fan of the current approach which is forcing upgrades all the time.

      To be fair, most of Blizzard's titles are online-only because they're multiplayer-only - WoW, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. The only ones that have a single player mode are SC2 and D3, and of those only D3 requires internet even for solo play (except on consoles, where you can play offline if you want).

      That aside, you can turn off automatic updates in the Blizzard launcher if you don't want the games updated. You should be able to keep SC2 at an older version and play it offline that way.

        Hearthstone is supposedly getting an offline mode in a future update. Not 100% sure on this though.

        Guess which are the only Blizzard games I play these days :P

        It's not just Blizzard who do it though, lots of companies have jumped on the bandwagon. It's why I tend to buy from GOG now. If it's not DRM free I refuse to buy it. At least with GOG I know I can stick with a version that works and don't *have* to upgrade it.

        @Soldant: They also said Vista. Bear in mind this will be a moving target, in another 2 years they'll be saying the games will no longer run on Windows 7, then Windows 8... And yeah some of us like older games and still enjoy playing them. Maybe not all the time, but at least revisiting them.

        Combine this with the "Latest Windows 10 update won't run on a bunch of hardware" news and it means you start looking at having to buy new hardware and a new OS just to support an old game.

          Again: who wants Vista? If it runs on Vista it runs on at least Win7.

          Windows XP is over a decade old. At some point support has to die. You might as well have complained that Windows XP doesn’t have robust DOS support. We can’t keep up eternal legacy support forever.

            " I still use the ford model T! I demand Ford still support this car and produce parts for it because i use it!" - Skrybe logic.

      Why does anybody want Windows XP today? If you’ve got old games that aren’t updated that need it then okay sure, but if you’re playing modern titles there’s no reason to keep such an old OS.

      It was released in 2001. Time to move on.

    If you are still using XP or Vista, you are just asking for trouble. Update your damn OS... and if your PC can't run 7 or up.... Elune save you.

    Hmm reply is weird, doesn't seem to want to go where it should...

    @Soldant and @djbear: I actually use Windows 8.1 on my main PC, Windows 10 on my laptop (it's my test PC to see how bad win10 is) and Windows 7 on my other two old PCs. My Mum however has been using Vista for ages and sees no reason to upgrade.

    For that matter I see no reason to upgrade the two Windows 7 PCs I have. So when D3 stops working on them in a couple years time I'm going to have to not just upgrade the OS I'm going to have to (probably) throw them out altogether and get new hardware since Windows 10.x.x probably will refuse to run on them. That's super news!

    I'm not complaining about not being able to run the *latest* games and software on old rigs. I'm complaining about the fact they're making upgrading *old* games/software that used to run on those rigs so that they no longer run. And there is nothing that can be done about it. Used to be I could just leave the apps alone and if some mates came around we could fire all the PCs up and have a blast on some old games for Shits n giggles. That's becoming more and more difficult

      Maybe this case is different - but other companies have previously stated on given date the program won't run on given OS before. Patch comes and it was all a hoo-haa about nothing. Will that be the situation here? I don't know.

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