Just months after 10th year anniversary celebrations kicked off for the game, Blizzard announced that StarCraft 2 support will be significantly cut in a statement released today. The StarCraft 2 10th anniversary saw one of the game's biggest patches ever, improvements to gameplay, and more, and seemed to signify a renewed commitment from Blizzard to a game that has had a tumultuous existence over its decade-long life cycle.

When StarCraft 2 first launched, it looked primed to become the next big esport - back when there weren't nearly as many competitors - and produced some of the game's most memorable moments. It also provided a huge upgrade to aesthetic, as StarCraft: Brood War had been around for over a decade at that point and its graphics were extremely dated. Over time, StarCraft 2 settled into more of a niche position in the gaming community, with a fair share of dedicated and passionate fans and a competitive scene that survived its lowest points to establish itself as a hub for frenetic, strategic play.

Today, Rob Bridenbecker, Executive Producer, Vice President at Blizzard, announced that StarCraft 2 support will be dramatically cut. In the statement, Bridenbecker likened the future support of the game to the same level as Brood War, which means it will see a sparse number of updates but will continue featuring balance fixes when necessary. The statement also confirmed StarCraft 2 esports will continue through partners ESL Gaming and GSL, but did not specify whether Blizzard would continue to sponsor these events or host its own World Championships, as it has done at BlizzCon for many years.

Obviously, the end of StarCraft 2 brings with it speculation for what the future of the franchise may be. Bridenbecker stated that the team at Blizzard will begin thinking about "what's next...for the StarCraft universe as a whole," but that doesn't sound particularly involved. Given the long life cycle of the game, if there aren't major plans already, it's hard to imagine any coming up soon now that StarCraft 2 support is being reduced.

It's hard not to be disappointed in the outcome, especially because there isn't a clear next step: StarCraft 2 has been around for a decade and remains a popular, if not smaller, esports fixture for players. The 10th anniversary celebrations seemed to indicate support would continue, and if it isn't, where does the franchise go from here? With no StarCraft 3 plans or announcements for a future title, fans have very little to help balance what is an ostensibly "bad" announcement.

It also seems pretty obvious what will happen to a game that needed support from its developer to support a tournament scene and, with it, an influx of new talent - so, if this really is the end for StarCraft 2 as fans currently know it, it will go down as one of the last great old-school RTS games. To this day, StarCraft 2 produces some of the most compelling storylines in esports, and has remained one of the most mechanically challenging titles available to players. Now, it's up to its community to keep it afloat - though it wouldn't be surprising if they managed, given how incredible they've been over the span of a decade leading up to this point.