You can now play any custom map with the free-to-play "Starter Edition" of StarCraft II.
A YouTube video that was leaked ahead of an official announcement has revealed that the entire StarCraft II arcade, or "custom maps" as they are also known as, will be completely free-to-play for everyone in an upcoming patch. All players will have to do is download the free Starter Edition of StarCraft II, and they'll be able to play any custom map without paying a cent.
A Blizzard posted has confirmed that the 2.1 patch which will make the entire arcade free will release some time today. Previously, only a rotating selection of custom games were available to those playing on the starter edition. Furthermore, all three races have been unlocked for started edition players in standard multiplayer games. They were previously limited only to Terran.
This is a fantastic move from Blizzard. Most people who played WarCraft III will fondly remember its custom games much more than the actual RTS. Defense of the Ancients, which birthed an entire genre, arose from a WarCraft III custom game. Giving anyone and everyone the freedom to play (and make) custom games should only drum up more support for the game.
The 2.1 patch will also bring with it a wealth of balance changes, extension mods, level cap increase, and the option to use the original Broodwar soundtrack in any non-campaign mode.