Blizzard announced over the weekend that it intends to end support for gamers on Windows XP and Vista by the end of 2017.
“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,” a Blizzard representative said.
“After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version,” the company also added.
Blizzard plans to roll out this update in different stages for each of these games and promises to post future updates when the XP and Vista deadline nears for each.
The gaming company explained that their decision to phase out XP and Vista support had nothing to do with overall Windows OS market share, but the number of in-game users.
As the number of XP and Vista gamers went down, it became economically unfeasible to support the two platforms any longer.
Most impacted by Blizzard’s decision are Asian gaming bot farms, which mostly rely on XP machines.
Gamers don’t necessarily need to upgrade to a newer Windows OS since most Blizzard games can also be played on Linux.
Even Google recently dropped support for Gmail on Windows XP, signaling it was time for XP fans to move on.
Microsoft ceased mainstream support for XP and Vista in 2009 and 2012, respectively. According to StatCounter, XP is the fourth most popular Windows OS, with a market share of 5.72%, and Vista is ranked sixth, with 1.2%.