Blizzard's ending Windows XP, Vista support for Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, and more games

It's time to move on, folks.

Three years after Microsoft killed Windows XP for good, the rest of the tech world is ending its vigil for the venerated operating system. Even games that launched during the XP era are moving on, as over the weekend, Blizzard announced that its pantheon of PC-focused titles are dumping support for Windows XP and Vista.

“Starting later 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,” Blizzard wrote in its forums. “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.”

Once support ends, those games flat-out won’t work on Windows XP or Vista—a decision that may rankle some people, but nevertheless makes sense considering that Blizzard’s games all revolve around online multiplayer. Dropbox did the same when it dropped Windows XP support, but Chrome, Firefox, Gmail, and Google Drive all allowed old-school Windows diehards to continue using outdated versions of their programs once support was culled.

world of warcraft Blizzard

World of Warcraft.

The writing’s on the wall though. If you’re still using Windows XP on an Internet-connected PC, it’s time to move on.

The story behind the story: But maybe not to Linux, if you’re a World of Warcraft or Diablo fan. We typically suggest Windows XP and Vista users try Linux, as most major Linux distros are surprisingly polished, support aging hardware, and, you know, are still updated. But Blizzard games don’t officially support Linux. A 2015 petition to bring WoW and its brethren to Linux resulted in the equivalent of “lol nope” from Blizzard co-founder Michael Morhaime so don’t expect Linux support any time soon, either.

That said, most modern Blizzard games (aside from Overwatch) run pretty well in Wine, so you could certainly still give Linux a shot if you don’t want to pay to update your PC to keep playing Hearthstone. The price is certainly right, and it sounds like you have a few months to test Linux and Wine before Blizzard starts shutting down games.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags windows xp

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?