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StarCraft II LAN Dropped Due to Piracy

Joystiq has more clarity on Blizzard's rationale for dropping LAN support in StarCraft II, which has inspired much outcry, as well as a petition from unhappy fans. The explanation is as many expected, which is they are using Battle.net to combat piracy of the upcoming RTS sequel. Here is the statement they received from Bob Colayco at Blizzard PR:

We don't currently plan to support LAN play with StarCraft II, as we are building Battle.net to be the ideal destination for multiplayer gaming with StarCraft II and future Blizzard Entertainment games. While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with StarCraft II and safeguard against piracy.

Several Battle.net features like advanced communication options, achievements, stat-tracking, and more, require players to be connected to the service, so we're encouraging everyone to use Battle.net as much as possible to get the most out of StarCraft II. We're looking forward to sharing more details about Battle.net and online functionality for StarCraft II in the near future.

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151 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 1.
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151. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 5, 2009, 13:19 xXBatmanXx
 
Boggles my mind that with the popularity and sales they have with all of their games IN SPITE OF PIRACY - that they make this foolish decision. Sad. Very sad.

I think I have purchased a number of their games multiple times over the years......
 
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150. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 3, 2009, 07:39 Masa
 
Blizzard has more leverage than any developer ever.

Except maybe Rockstar and their relationship with Take-Two, but I digress.

They don't need Activision.

Need and autonomy aren't the same thing. Blizzard gets bought and sold because it's a profitable company, not because they can't stand alone. Their brand-label on products is a pretty good sell by itself, and people tend to buy their games in droves; so they're given more breathing room and run more or less autonomously. Blizzard operates under a parent corporation (at this time Activision Blizzard, majorly owned by Vivendi SA) but other brands like Sierra and Vivendi Games weren't so fortunate.

They could probably buy Activision.

They could if they coughed up $18 billion, which is what Activision Blizzard is reportedly worth (more than EA, now there's a thought provoker); though Blizzard Entertainment's revenue for 2008 was "only" around $1 billion. In Vivendi SA's corporate structure, Activision and Blizzard Entertainment are both subsidiaries of Activision Blizzard which is subordinate to Vivendi SA.
 
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149. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 2, 2009, 08:05 kanniballl
 
I've seen it before: a higher-up makes a decision that affects the features or IT-end of a product and the team is unable to dissuade them... so they get stuck adding or removing a feature.


Except that doesn't make any sense. Blizzard has more leverage than any developer ever. They don't need Activision. They could probably buy Activision. If some suit told Blizzard to cut a feature and Blizzard said no, what would Activision do? Threaten to dissolve Blizzard? Cancel Starcraft 2? Refuse to distribute it? All those options would only hurt Activision.

I never said the problem lied outside of Blizzard (ie Activision). It very well may have been a higher-up within Blizzard itself that made the decree.

A software company is more than it's programmers, they have to follow orders from someone.

Therefore, not lazy programming but idiot project lead / manager / CFO / CEO / etc.

As a programmer, I cannot decide which features do and do not go in. I get requirements from either my boss or the group that owns the project. I can argue for or against something, but if I'm lazy and decide on my own to not include a feature them I'm in deep trouble.

Lazy would be if I left 2 stray shopping carts in the parking lot while working for a super market and had to round up all of the carts. It's hard to do the equivalent while programming for a large company and not getting penalized.

This comment was edited on Jul 2, 2009, 08:28.
 
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148. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 2, 2009, 06:37 The PC Warrior
 
As much as people would love to believe there is some sinister guy in a business suit directing everything behind the scenes, Blizzard remains entirely autonomous from Activision and this is more of a sign of the times or a bad business decision by them. They have a pretty "democratic" system with their developers in terms of game features, moreso than most companies. They're also pretty good about listening to their fans, I wouldn't be surprised to see this change before launch.  
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147. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 2, 2009, 02:33 Jerykk
 
I've seen it before: a higher-up makes a decision that affects the features or IT-end of a product and the team is unable to dissuade them... so they get stuck adding or removing a feature.

Except that doesn't make any sense. Blizzard has more leverage than any developer ever. They don't need Activision. They could probably buy Activision. If some suit told Blizzard to cut a feature and Blizzard said no, what would Activision do? Threaten to dissolve Blizzard? Cancel Starcraft 2? Refuse to distribute it? All those options would only hurt Activision.
 
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146. Re: Everyone rise up Jul 1, 2009, 18:58 Kxmode
 
You don't need to know how to read Korean to know all those words are eff this, eff that, ship this, fudge that, ass this, ass that. It's basically one big #@$%^$ discussion, like from comic books!  
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145. Re: Everyone rise up Jul 1, 2009, 14:01 Muscular Beaver
 
One thing I would really like to know is how the Korean forums look like after this announcement.
Can anyone read Korean?
 
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144. Re: Everyone rise up Jul 1, 2009, 12:10 Kxmode
 
jmtinfinitet tear down your wall!  
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143. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 09:04 kanniballl
 
If steam has hacked copies floating about then im sure battlenet will for SC2. Plus I turn my steam client "offline" for LAN play at lan parties, why can they not have an "offline mode" that makes you authenticate and hold an authentication ticket on your machine?

Lazy programming really. Im sure they will reverse the decision in the end.

Something like this doesn't sound like lazy programming but a business rule or design decision. I've seen it before: a higher-up makes a decision that affects the features or IT-end of a product and the team is unable to dissuade them... so they get stuck adding or removing a feature.

Also

Comparing something Steam does with Battle.Net and saying Blizzard is lazy for not doing something that Valve does is not really fair as you're not comparing Apples to Apples. Steam is essentially an all-on-one solution: online store, content delivery system, online play, community tool, etc. From what we've been told about BattleNet 2 it's only some of those items (online play, community tool, etc).


I'm a developer and I've heard people complain that Application A doesn't do what System B does... when A and B are completely different things used for different purposes using different data.

This comment was edited on Jul 1, 2009, 09:06.
 
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142. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 06:44 Armengar
 
If steam has hacked copies floating about then im sure battlenet will for SC2. Plus I turn my steam client "offline" for LAN play at lan parties, why can they not have an "offline mode" that makes you authenticate and hold an authentication ticket on your machine?

Lazy programming really. Im sure they will reverse the decision in the end.
 
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141. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 04:30 InBlack
 
I think Blizzard really buggered themselves in the ass with this one guys. The game will get pirated anyway. A workarround will be found for both illegal net and LAN play. They just lost face and some of that "respect" granted to very few developers these days.

This is a no win situation for Blizz. My 2'cents.

 
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140. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 01:47 Jerykk
 
Arma 2 seems like a game that never would have gotten off the ground if DICE had stayed PC focused.

Eh? ArmA2 and BF are totally different games that appeal to different audiences. Nobody plays BF if they're looking for a military sim (well, maybe if they're playing Project Reality). OFP and ArmA got off the ground back when DICE was a PC developer. I don't see why ArmA2 would be any different.
 
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139. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 00:54 Umbragen
 
I'm looking forward to Diablo 3, any news about that?  
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138. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jul 1, 2009, 00:45 Bhruic
 
What's interesting is how many people who aren't known for "nerd rage" as it's affectionately known around here are coming out and saying they are angry/upset/disappointed by this.

Indeed, it's quite interesting. Of course, for me, it's more interesting because I kinda saw this as a "non-issue". I've never played SC over a LAN, so I had no idea there were this many people attached to the idea.

As for the whole "ads" idea, I think those dismissing it are being a bit premature. One of the major selling points for Steam is that once you get someone on the service, you have a prime candidate to market more games to. It looks like they'd like to do something similar with Battle.net - "we are building Battle.net to be the ideal destination for multiplayer gaming with StarCraft II and future Blizzard Entertainment games". So forcing people to multiplay through it would be a valid step in that direction - creating a "captive" audience to market games to.

That's assuming that Blizzard games need further marketing, but that's a different discussion. Certainly I wouldn't say that ads are their primary motivation.
 
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137. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jun 30, 2009, 23:41 Beamer
 
See, again, it all comes down to goodwill and behavioral economics.

No one else offered spawn installations (well, mostly no one else), so when other companies kill LAN support no one pays attention. Blizzard gave up that good will and it's biting them.

It's very similar to that whole Valve thing that none of us can shut up about.
 
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136. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jun 30, 2009, 23:09 swaaye
 
I don't really see a problem with this as long as it doesn't introduce lag. I don't see how it won't introduce lag into a RTS. Maybe SC2 is small enough scale that it'll work fine.

I kinda wish that SC2 and Diablo 3 would turn out to be utter garbage though. Frankly, the original SC didn't do all that much for me past the single player campaign.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2009, 23:11.
 
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135. Re: Everyone rise up Jun 30, 2009, 21:49 Krovven
 
Paragraphs.

 
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134. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jun 30, 2009, 19:51 The PC Warrior
 
A game doesn't have to be good to be a hit. And it certainly doesn't have to live up to the standards of WC2, SC, and Diablo2. I didn't say they wouldn't sell well. I said their reputation will take a hit. And yes, you can quote me on that.

Nah that's too convenient, you're talking about something that can't be objectively measured. I'll stick to sales and reviews

We've given the game industry to much power, look at how greedy they are becoming. If i'm not mistaken isn't it common courtesy to not treat people like they are thieves until you catch them in the act? Who are they to judge honest people because of something that MIGHT happen!!! That is completely ridiculous and if we were smart we would start a huge no one buy sc2 uprising and show them where the money comes from! Remeber sc1 people when you could install a spawn on all your LAN pcs! Thats before we gave all these greedy fools our hard earned pay, it's so predictable, you needed us and now you don't so your trying to flip the script. i know it's unrealistic that people would actually come together for once and have some BALLS to stand up and all consecutively not buy sc2 because no one has that strong of faith but i know we could do it if the word was spread and people cared but they don't, just keep rolling with the punches you weenies!!! let them shape and make what used to be a great generous industry!!! we aint gotta keep getting punked seriously!!! nothing better to do anyways lets show em who's boss! start making youtube videos start sending emails lets do this shit! make t-shirts that say dont buy starcraft2, quit calling me a thief before i even stole something!!!!! do somethin! i have a friend that used to always go out of his way for people when he was kinda broke and needed someone to lean on, but now that hes rich he wont lift a finger for nobody!!!! GREED straight up its a disease and a delusional unhealthy empire we have let this industry become. Games are hardly about gameplay anymore it's about the way it looks, who cares i want something that works not something thats pretty and hyped up, liars and fakes game industry, thats what your becoming. PLEASE SPREAD THE "DO NOT BUY STARCRAFT 2" WORD! TAKE THE POWER BACK PEOPLE! MAKE THEM GIVE US THE LOVE THEY STARTED US OFF WITH! THEY MADE US FIENDS AND TOOK US OFF THEIR CRACK! THATS F'ED UP!!!

Wow.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2009, 19:52.
 
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133. hey Jun 30, 2009, 19:49 jmtinfinitet
 
yo

This comment was edited on Jul 22, 2009, 19:19.
 
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132. Re: SC2 LAN & Piracy Jun 30, 2009, 19:44 Endo
 
I'll be sure to quote you on that after SC2 and D3 hit
A game doesn't have to be good to be a hit. And it certainly doesn't have to live up to the standards of WC2, SC, and Diablo2. I didn't say they wouldn't sell well. I said their reputation will take a hit. And yes, you can quote me on that.
 
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151 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 1.
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