World Of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes Of The Storm Losing Windows XP, Vista Support

Time for an upgrade.

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Blizzard has said will it begin the process of ending Windows XP and Windows Vista support for World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm "later this year."

The announcement was made on the studio's forum by community manager Nate Valenta, who said the "vast majority" of players for each of those games had moved on to newer iterations of Microsoft's PC operating system.

"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," he explained. "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.

Valenta noted that once support for these operating systems end "the [aforementioned] games will not run on them."

"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."

Blizzard's latest release Overwatch launched without support for Windows XP or Vista and it hasn't had a noticeable impact on the size of its player base. Activision Blizzard recently reported earnings for its fourth quarter and full-year ended December 31 and, as part of this, Blizzard's monthly active users was cited as 36 million, up 37 percent from 2015. For the fourth quarter alone, Blizzard had 41 million monthly active users.

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