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Blizzard "Looking At" F2P StarCraft II Multiplayer

Blizzard is "looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer" in StarCraft II, reports StarcraftN, quoting lead designer Dustin Browder during a panel discussion at the Valencia eSports Congress. He also notes that the nature of their RTS sequel may not make this worthwhile. "We donít know how we would monetize it," he adds. "While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, thatís not going to be an enjoyable experience for them." Thanks Eurogamer.

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35. Re: Blizzard Sep 24, 2012, 11:51 Verno
 
Krizzen wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 17:54:
Wow, I don't know how you guys found the comments section, because most of you don't know how to read...

You keep saying, "We'll have to buy the units!" "Unbalanced esport!" and all that, but you seemed to have missed this one IMPORTANT LINE: "While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, thatís not going to be an enjoyable experience for them."

Also, CNC Generals/other F2P RTS isn't the real competition. Starcraft II has always been one hell of an esport, and it practically defined esport. The other largest esports (aside from FPS titles) are League of Legends and Dota 2. I believe they've spotted their wildly successful business model as F2P esports games, and a light bulb lit up. Too bad Starcraft just doesn't fit that model -- everyone needs access to the full array of units for it to make sense. They can't nickel and dime everyone to death for "Unit of the week! From the streets of the Terran homeworld, we bring you ______" like League of Legends can.

So that's what the article is about. It's about Blizzard releasing SC2 multiplayer while respecting the fact you must absolutely have all units.

I would love a F2P SC2! I don't think they'll pull it off, but they'll have to come up with some genius shit to repair their recently tarnished image, and they know that.

Obvious parachute account spotted!
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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34. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 19:47 007Bistromath
 
Krizzen wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 17:54:
So that's what the article is about. It's about Blizzard releasing SC2 multiplayer while respecting the fact you must absolutely have all units.

No, it's about them being complete morons because they can't figure out how to do it. The only idea they talked about having is the wrong one. Meanwhile, I could name five different ways to turn this game into a cash cow in as many minutes. One of them doesn't even require going F2P. I'm pretty sure they already do it. They just have to charge less for each map and make more of them, and they'll sell like hotcakes to freepers.
 
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33. Re: More Big Picture Details Sep 22, 2012, 18:13 HorrorScope
 
Cyanotetyphas wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 16:01:
I think it would be easy to monetize an Esport. Run cash tournaments. Players pay in, top 3 place in the money and the house takes 40-60%. Poker is big now because its stupid easy to make money off of providing a thorough fair for greed.

I mean if you want it to be an esport, you got to get real life cash pumping into it and back to the players. No diff then poker as you say.
 
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32. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 17:54 Krizzen
 
Wow, I don't know how you guys found the comments section, because most of you don't know how to read...

You keep saying, "We'll have to buy the units!" "Unbalanced esport!" and all that, but you seemed to have missed this one IMPORTANT LINE: "While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, thatís not going to be an enjoyable experience for them."

Also, CNC Generals/other F2P RTS isn't the real competition. Starcraft II has always been one hell of an esport, and it practically defined esport. The other largest esports (aside from FPS titles) are League of Legends and Dota 2. I believe they've spotted their wildly successful business model as F2P esports games, and a light bulb lit up. Too bad Starcraft just doesn't fit that model -- everyone needs access to the full array of units for it to make sense. They can't nickel and dime everyone to death for "Unit of the week! From the streets of the Terran homeworld, we bring you ______" like League of Legends can.

So that's what the article is about. It's about Blizzard releasing SC2 multiplayer while respecting the fact you must absolutely have all units.

I would love a F2P SC2! I don't think they'll pull it off, but they'll have to come up with some genius shit to repair their recently tarnished image, and they know that.
 
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31. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 16:01 Cyanotetyphas
 
I think it would be easy to monetize an Esport. Run cash tournaments. Players pay in, top 3 place in the money and the house takes 40-60%. Poker is big now because its stupid easy to make money off of providing a thorough fair for greed.  
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Synthetic Error - Entertainment bloggin http://syntheticerror.wordpress.com/
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30. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 10:36 Wallshadows
 
El Pit wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 01:04:
Solution: RMAH UNIT RENTAL! Players won't be able to BUY additional units from an RMAH, but RENT them from BLIZZRENT! Rent 10 battle cruisers with extra BAZOOM power for $4.99 for 5 multi player games! WIN!!! $$$

They'll be pissed off when the units are all returned in pieces. You'll have to buy it!

...well player...
 
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29. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 08:49 Mr. Tact
 
"looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer"

"We donít know how we would monetize it,"

Translation: Both I and the company I work for seem to have lost the clue we once had.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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28. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 06:04 Julio
 
Its easy to monetize, just charge $4.99 at the start of each multiplayer game to each player. Of course nobody would give you money.

But its Blizzard, just like they screwed up the D3 monetizing, I expect nothing more for StarCraft.
 
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27. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 05:26 jdreyer
 
Prez wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 23:04:
As long as Starcraft 2 continues to have a dedicated offline singleplayer campaign, I don't care what they do with multiplayer. I never touch it. I really enjoyed SC2's campaign and would like to see more with the expansions if Blizzard ever finishes the things. As an aside it is utterly befuddling that companies nowadays think consumers give a crap about their never-ending quest to monetize everything. Why in the world would they think we give a shit about their struggles with figuring out how to make more money off of their customer base?

Prez is like my twin brother or something.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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26. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 03:08 007Bistromath
 
Blackhawk wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 00:53:
A company making money isn't greed. It is their job, and with most companies, it is the law.

That is exactly the problem. Making money is a terrible goal for a company producing arts & entertainment. In other industries, the impact can be variable, but here it is always bad. I'm not talking about morality; pride of workmanship is a necessity for this industry, and the moment you are publicly traded, you're legally barred from having any. Every single thing you do must be calculated to squeeze the most money out of the least effort. It is a slow death sentence.
 
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25. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 02:50 ajax
 
They can monetize the heck out of Warcraft 4 multiplayer. Simply make some Heroes purchasable along with new skins and possibly special items. Do it just like their baby, LoL.  
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24. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 01:04 El Pit
 
"While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, thatís not going to be an enjoyable experience for them."

Solution: RMAH UNIT RENTAL! Players won't be able to BUY additional units from an RMAH, but RENT them from BLIZZRENT! Rent 10 battle cruisers with extra BAZOOM power for $4.99 for 5 multi player games! WIN!!! $$$
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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23. Re: Blizzard "Looking At" F2P StarCraft II Multiplayer<br> Blizzard is "looking at free to play as a Sep 22, 2012, 00:53 Blackhawk
 
A company making money isn't greed. It is their job, and with most companies, it is the law.  
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22. Re: More Big Picture Details Sep 22, 2012, 00:29 HorrorScope
 
Company is making money hand over fist.

Company is imploding due to the demands of the vampire known as Wall Street. You take out Wall Street and this continuous gains race suddenly ends, making a nice profit is once again all that is needed. Insane.

That is why Gabe and Valve seem nice a laxed, they don't have Wall Street expectations hanging over them. Extremely sad events.
 
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21. Re: Blizzard Sep 22, 2012, 00:11 BobBob
 
Still pondering Jay Wilson while playing Torchlight 2.  
http://tinyurl.com/WeatherImmunity Whew
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20. Re: Blizzard Sep 21, 2012, 23:59 Dades
 
eunichron wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 23:08:
Neither was TF2 before it went F2P, and now it's Valve's biggest cash cow. In fact I think Valve's own figure was a 1200% increase in revenue just from TF2 going F2P.

So what? He made it sound like they needed to get cashflow from somewhere, as if they were struggling. That's not the case, it was a very successful product. If they want to do this out of greed to make even more money then that is certainly their right but people painting them in any other light is ridiculous. I don't like products I've paid for going F2P without compensating players unless there is no other alternative. Then there's a myriad of gameplay related reasons why F2P can be bad in the hands of a greedy company but others have covered that.
 
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19. Re: Blizzard Sep 21, 2012, 23:52 eunichron
 
007Bistromath wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 23:32:
TheEmissary wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 21:24:
As far as people bitching about them worrying about how they would monetize it, what the fuck do you expect? No one would do F2P if they couldn't make money off of it. Even Valve makes boatloads of cash off of their F2P model. If you're expecting developers to just hand you shit with no way for them to make money, you're either stupid or naive. Seriously, your complaints aren't even making sense anymore, just go fuck yourselves.

NO U

They are taking an existing product and screwing it up. I don't play SC2, and wouldn't if they paid me, but I know when something is Fd in the A zone. With successful F2P schemes, a game is either built from the ground up to be playable as an a la carte experience, or the parts you buy are things that don't change the core gameplay. If they wanted to sell maps on a microtransaction basis, that'd be fine. Even small efficiency tweaks would be a sensible way of doing this, because people just go apeshit for advancement mechanics of any kind, and the existing competitive scene could continue to exist at the end of that silly little metagame.

Their best idea, which they admit is stupid, is "give people a broken version of our game."

That's not even how you make a good demo, in the traditional scheme. It makes even less sense in the new model. It is full retard, and even talking about it shows that they're putting zero thought or effort into this.

Having a F2P game that is actually just a portion of your hard drive that says "buy the real thing and this won't suck anymore" is not magnanimous. They sold their game to just about everyone who actually wants it. They got paid. If they want to convert less interested people into sales, this crap is not how to do it.

I was talking about F2P in general, not this situation in particular, but if Blizzard can find a way to make SC2 F2P without screwing over those of us that paid $60 already, then more power to them.
 
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18. Re: Blizzard Sep 21, 2012, 23:32 007Bistromath
 
TheEmissary wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 21:24:
As far as people bitching about them worrying about how they would monetize it, what the fuck do you expect? No one would do F2P if they couldn't make money off of it. Even Valve makes boatloads of cash off of their F2P model. If you're expecting developers to just hand you shit with no way for them to make money, you're either stupid or naive. Seriously, your complaints aren't even making sense anymore, just go fuck yourselves.

NO U

They are taking an existing product and screwing it up. I don't play SC2, and wouldn't if they paid me, but I know when something is Fd in the A zone. With successful F2P schemes, a game is either built from the ground up to be playable as an a la carte experience, or the parts you buy are things that don't change the core gameplay. If they wanted to sell maps on a microtransaction basis, that'd be fine. Even small efficiency tweaks would be a sensible way of doing this, because people just go apeshit for advancement mechanics of any kind, and the existing competitive scene could continue to exist at the end of that silly little metagame.

Their best idea, which they admit is stupid, is "give people a broken version of our game."

That's not even how you make a good demo, in the traditional scheme. It makes even less sense in the new model. It is full retard, and even talking about it shows that they're putting zero thought or effort into this.

Having a F2P game that is actually just a portion of your hard drive that says "buy the real thing and this won't suck anymore" is not magnanimous. They sold their game to just about everyone who actually wants it. They got paid. If they want to convert less interested people into sales, this crap is not how to do it.
 
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17. Re: Blizzard Sep 21, 2012, 23:08 eunichron
 
Dades wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 22:37:
Dagnamit wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 22:32:
you guys say monetize like it's a 4 letter word, but forget that free 2 play means that they have to get some cash flow from somewhere. I sure as hell don't work for free. Do you?

Starcraft 2 is not a free product, they got their money already. Several million copies and counting.

Neither was TF2 before it went F2P, and now it's Valve's biggest cash cow. In fact I think Valve's own figure was a 1200% increase in revenue just from TF2 going F2P.
 
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16. Re: Blizzard Sep 21, 2012, 23:07 Lokust
 
Someday we're going to be telling our grandkids how we used to be able to outright buy games, and they aren't going to believe us.  
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