Blizzard Entertainment's real-time strategy game series StarCraft revolves around interstellar affairs in a distant sector of the galaxy, with three species and multiple factions all vying for supremacy in the sector. The playable species of StarCraft include the Terrans, humans exiled from Earth who excel at adapting to any situation; the Zerg, a race of insectoids obsessed with assimilating other races in pursuit of genetic perfection; 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. Each of these races has a single campaign in each StarCraft real-time strategy game. In addition to these three, various non-playable races have also been part of the lore of the StarCraft series; the most notable of these is the Xel'Naga, a race which features prominently in the fictional histories of the Protoss and Zerg races. The original game has sold over 10 million copies internationally, and remains one of the most popular games in the world. One of the main factors responsible for StarCraft's positive reception is the attention paid to the three unique playable races, for each of which Blizzard developed completely different characteristics, graphics, backstories and styles of gameplay, while keeping them balanced in performance against each other. Previous to this, most real-time strategy games consisted of factions and races with the same basic play styles and units with only superficial differences. The use of unique sides in StarCraft has been credited with popularizing the concept within the real-time strategy genre. Contemporary reviews of the game have mostly praised the attention to the gameplay balance between the species, as well as the fictional stories built up around them.
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