StarCraft[a] is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for Microsoft Windows on March 31, 1998. The game later spawned a franchise, and is the first game of the StarCraft series. A Mac OS version was released in 1999, and a Nintendo 64 adaptation co-developed with Mass Media was released on June 13, 2000. Work on the game started shortly after Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness 's release in 1995. StarCraft debuted at the 1996 E3, where it was unfavorably compared to Warcraft II. As a result, the project was entirely overhauled and then showcased to public in early 1997, receiving a far more positive response.
Set in a fictitious timeline during the Earth's 25th century, the game revolves around three species fighting for dominance in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector: the Terrans, humans exiled from Earth skilled at adapting to any situation; the Zerg, a race of insectoid aliens in pursuit of genetic perfection, obsessed with assimilating other races; and the Protoss, a humanoid species with advanced technology and psionic abilities, attempting to preserve their civilization and strict philosophical way of living from the Zerg.
Many of the industry's journalists have praised StarCraft as one of the best and most important video games of all time, and for having raised the bar for developing real-time strategy games. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, StarCraft is one of the best-selling games for the personal computer. The game has been praised for pioneering the use of unique factions in real-time strategy gameplay and for a compelling story. StarCraft 's multiplayer is particularly popular in South Korea, where players and teams participate in professional competitions, earn sponsorships, and compete in televised tournaments. StarCraft has had its storyline adapted and expanded through a series of novels, the expansion pack StarCraft: Brood War and two authorized add-ons. Over 12 years later, a sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, was released in July 2010.