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View Full Version : Blizzard Discusses SC2 Multiplayer F2P



DemolitionSquid
09-23-2012, 04:28 PM
https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&gl=ca&tbm=nws&q=starcraft+2+F2P&oq=starcraft+2+F2P&gs_l=news-cc.1.0.43j43i400.948.948.0.3759.1.1.0.0.0.0.135.13 5.0j1.1.0...0.0...1ac.1j2.6hvvi4f7IvM


Speaking at a panel during the Valencia eSports Congress, Dustin Browder, the lead designer of StarCraft II ,revealed that Blizzard is “looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer”, reports PC Games N.

“We don’t know how we would monetise it. While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them.”

Its one thing to create their map store, but this is just getting ridiculous. This isn't fucking DotA/LoL/HoN where each hero is a separate unit with no impact on the others. Every unit in SC2 is cohesive as a whole to the race balance. What the fuck are they gonna try and do? Five free matches to play per day, 1$ per match after that? Paying 10$ to increase your goddamn ladder division?

http://i56.tinypic.com/fmnn2r.jpg

Kknewkles
09-23-2012, 05:14 PM
I know this is irrelevant to the thread, and he may not be behind this singlehandedly, but I still want to skin Kotick.

Hawki
09-23-2012, 05:32 PM
“We don’t know how we would monetise it. While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them.”

http://sfgospel.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce22f53ef011168c500d4970c-popup

That's it. It's official. First the RMAH in D3 and now this? Activision or Blizzard itself, we've got a new EA on our hands. One that makes good games still (hopefully), but...ugh.

The_Blade
09-23-2012, 05:37 PM
Dustin said that skins might not work either, because the game has to load more data and the lower specs players won't be able to handle it. I guess he still believes this, because he said he doesn't know. A data matrix attatched to a player's account might help reduce the data loaded, but in the end it might take from 2-5 minutes of loading time if this is implemented.

The PC game industry is switching to FTP games. I feel like Blizzard has to adapt or face a lack of growth in fanbase. Lol, as an example, is a mainstream game that is taking up SC2's spot in some tournaments. Not only do you need more skill to play SC2, but you need more money. This creates a small hardcore fanbase, that might not return enough money.

Popularity creates money and Riot is winning.

I believe the fact that SC was copied and used illegaly through Asia was one of the main reasons it became so popular in South Korea. Blizzard gained no money, but they can always sue the profits out of KeSPa or something. A proper sale of the intelectual property through TV and internet TV industries might give Blizz the revenue it needs.

On the other hand, Blizzard can monetise custom maps and campaigns. While, Blizzard All-Stars faces LoL directly on the world stage.

Kimera757
09-23-2012, 08:09 PM
I'm not taking those comments too seriously, but I think World of Warcraft ruined Blizzard. WoW requires a fee per month, while StarCraft II and Diablo III do not. Activision and/or Blizzard look at the amount WoW brings in compared to what SC II brings in and drools :(

DemolitionSquid
09-23-2012, 08:20 PM
... World of Warcraft ruined Blizzard...

Bro, WoW ruined EVERYTHING.

TheEconomist
09-23-2012, 08:26 PM
What am I missing here? All I see is where Dustin said they were considering an option to allow some players to play StarCraft for free. Makes sense since, as said before, gaming is (especially PC gaming) is going that way and Blizzard has to adapt. I can think of several ways that Blizzard could release melee for free, and then gain money from other features, without hurting anyone's experience.

DSquid, for the love of God, can you for once not overreact?

DemolitionSquid
09-23-2012, 08:40 PM
What am I missing here? All I see is where Dustin said they were considering an option to allow some players to play StarCraft for free. Makes sense since, as said before, gaming is (especially PC gaming) is going that way and Blizzard has to adapt. I can think of several ways that Blizzard could release melee for free, and then gain money from other features, without hurting anyone's experience.

DSquid, for the love of God, can you for once not overreact?

Birds gotta fly. Fish gotta swim. Trolls gotta make mountains outta molehills. Such is the circle of life. Hakuna Matata.

Hawki
09-23-2012, 08:49 PM
But Hakuna Matata means "no worries." How is this applicable?:(

Minor note, I don't think WoW ruined Blizzard per se. As insipid as some of D3's functions are (RMAH, always online), I kind of see it as its own thing/blip. If the F2P model becomes implemented however, then I fear it won't be a blip, but rather a trend, of charging for stuff that shouldn't be charged for.

DemolitionSquid
09-23-2012, 10:12 PM
But Hakuna Matata means "no worries." How is this applicable?:(

There are several secrets to successful sarcasm and trolling. One is misdirection through association. I related the "circle of life" to the beginning of The Lion King with Elton John's - Circle Of Life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zLx_JtcQVI&feature=related), which I then related to Hakuna Matata as a double-entendre for comic effect.

Its all very scientific.

Quirel
09-23-2012, 10:31 PM
But Hakuna Matata means "no worries." How is this applicable?:(

Minor note, I don't think WoW ruined Blizzard per se. As insipid as some of D3's functions are (RMAH, always online), I kind of see it as its own thing/blip. If the F2P model becomes implemented however, then I fear it won't be a blip, but rather a trend, of charging for stuff that shouldn't be charged for.
So long as I can purchase and play Blizzard products the old way, I don't care if there is a free-to-play option.

Hawki
09-23-2012, 10:51 PM
So long as I can purchase and play Blizzard products the old way, I don't care if there is a free-to-play option.

Fair enough. However, looking at this by itself, it's kind of iffy - if I'm playing multiplayer with the full version, facing someone who only has access to some of his race's tech tree as per a F2P model...well, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd feel that good about beating him. Yes, I paid more, but I don't feel 'entitled' to win if that makes sense. I hope that if there's F2P, it's on its own system or something.

Granted, I haven't played multiplayer in ages-actually keep SC2 uninstalled for the most part right now due to having to make room for other games (D3 in this case, will reinstall once HotS comes out). I guess my main concern is that it's part of a worrying trend I've noticed over time. Perhaps selfishly, I haven't cared too much, as I've never been in a position to play LAN for SC2, nor have I had to use the RMAH in D3, and so far I've only had one server error and could still play on another server. If F2P enters singleplayer however, then I'm concerned. Especially after Generals 2.:(

handclaw
09-23-2012, 11:18 PM
Fair enough. However, looking at this by itself, it's kind of iffy - if I'm playing multiplayer with the full version, facing someone who only has access to some of his race's tech tree as per a F2P model...well, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd feel that good about beating him. Yes, I paid more, but I don't feel 'entitled' to win if that makes sense. I hope that if there's F2P, it's on its own system or something.

....he was obviously making a joke 'bout the units, referencing the common way how such things are monetized?

Obviously, if Starcraft 2 Multiplayer becomes F2P, they'd monetize it somehow as they want after all some profit, but they would never forsake the balance for it.

Kimera757
09-24-2012, 08:34 AM
Maybe people are worried about something like Command & Conquer IV, where they did break balance like that (although not for money). Not that Blizzard will ever fall that far...

Twilice
09-24-2012, 08:54 AM
https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&gl=ca&tbm=nws&q=starcraft+2+F2P&oq=starcraft+2+F2P&gs_l=news-cc.1.0.43j43i400.948.948.0.3759.1.1.0.0.0.0.135.13 5.0j1.1.0...0.0...1ac.1j2.6hvvi4f7IvM



Its one thing to create their map store, but this is just getting ridiculous. This isn't fucking DotA/LoL/HoN where each hero is a separate unit with no impact on the others. Every unit in SC2 is cohesive as a whole to the race balance. What the fuck are they gonna try and do? Five free matches to play per day, 1$ per match after that? Paying 10$ to increase your goddamn ladder division?

http://i56.tinypic.com/fmnn2r.jpg

Implying you don't get all the heroes for free in Dota...

It's always been the whole game 100% free (apart from the game engine of warcraft 3) and will always be.


LoL on the other hand is more pay for advantage.

Hawki
09-24-2012, 09:06 AM
Well, I'm not adverse to paying for more heroes in DotA ala DLC. Just as long as the game itself is an up-front payment.

Twilice
09-24-2012, 09:09 AM
Well the game is going to be 100% free at release apart from "hats". No first time payment, and no gameplay DLC.

RamiZ
09-24-2012, 11:08 AM
Well the game is going to be 100% free at release apart from "hats". No first time payment, and no gameplay DLC.

Exactly, and that is what makes DotA 2 so good, Valve really knows what they are doing.

Back on topic, I don't we should be worried about this, seriously. F2P model doesn't really work in RTS genre games, maybe they will do it, after they release all of the expansions, and after they are finished with all of the patching.

Carsickness
09-24-2012, 03:59 PM
I think the best way to make this work would be to attach fees to out of game features. Give everyone a fully rendered avatar to show off on their profile (and waiting rooms). Then charge for skins, equipment, cool looking hats yadda yadda.
Charge for battle.net UI skins. Or mouse cursors. Don't change the balance of the game to make a quick buck.

Either way this whole idea of F2P is stupid.

TheEconomist
09-24-2012, 04:03 PM
Either way this whole idea of F2P is stupid.

Except it will make more money and you would probably never notice if you weren't told so, enough with the hyperbole peoples.

Pr0nogo
09-24-2012, 05:24 PM
Yeah, I honestly don't understand what was going through your minds. Blizzard is shitty, but they're still hell-bent on making money. Remember which company they "paired" with. They won't remove half of the game for free-to-play multiplayer.

sandwich_bird
09-24-2012, 06:43 PM
Meh, I wouldn't really care if they did honestly assuming that we get all the perks because we bought the game.

An idea for a F2P version would be:
-Only the first 3 missions of single player
-Can only access the Arcade games in the spotlight section
-Menu UI has ads
-Can only play 1v1 and 2v2 as random (instead of just giving them 1 race, otherwise it's gonna suck for the rest of us)
-Not placed in leagues
-No achievements
-No map editor

How you make money:
-Sell the game for the full version
-Sell ads space in F2P version
-Sell a subscription based advanced stat tracking features with replay sharing functionality à la C.O.D. meets BW charts
-Sell vanity perks like avatars, additional advisors, additional UI skin, a big emblem under your HQ(see peepmode), pets(see peepmode)
-And of course the long awaited custom map marketplace thingy

Fire Browder, hire Sandwich_Bird, make more money :D

Does not represent what I would like to see happening.

DemolitionSquid
09-24-2012, 07:04 PM
Breaking news: Sandwich_bird is acctually Mitt Romney.

TheEconomist
09-24-2012, 09:54 PM
Oh Squid. So glad you stay at home and don't run for office.


Blizzard is shitty, but they're still hell-bent on making money

In Poland, money makers are pariahs. Ergo Poland is poor.

Pr0nogo
09-24-2012, 10:09 PM
I wouldn't know. :D

Kaiser
09-25-2012, 02:21 AM
It's pretty obvious StarCraft II isn't as financially successful as the original otherwise they wouldn't be doing this. It's too bad really.

TheEconomist
09-25-2012, 08:36 AM
You must be joking. This has NOTHING to do with how financially successful it was. StarCraft 2 has already sold close to 6 million while the original and the expansion sold 9.5 million over a decade. When all of the expansions come out and SC2 starts to come closer to its end, it will have drastically out sold the original.

This has to do with competing with similiar products and adapting to the changes in the industry; nothing else.

Gradius
09-25-2012, 09:41 AM
Entertains idea of making game free to play without simultaneously going bankrupt -> ? -> Greedy bastards

Not following the leap here. What did I miss? :P

topsecret221
09-25-2012, 09:55 AM
I think the general consensus is that F2P multiplayer will not have all of the units

Twilice
09-25-2012, 10:29 AM
I think blizzard would never do that. Skipping some units I mean.

DemolitionSquid
09-25-2012, 12:04 PM
I think blizzard would never do that. Skipping some units I mean.

Blizzard wouldn't. Kotick would.

TheEconomist
09-25-2012, 01:42 PM
With the Activision side getting weaker and weaker and the Blizzard side getting stronger and stronger, pretty soon Kotick won't mean anything to anybody.


What did I miss?

You missed the 'we need more trolling' meeting. Lots of complaints of boredom around here. Nothing like some headbanging frustration to remedy such an issue.

Sheliek
09-26-2012, 06:11 PM
Was thinking. Blizzard wants to monetize StarCraft II in some way, and I have the solution. As always.

Now, they've gone on record saying making it so that some people can use certain units and others can't, depending on who pays, is not the route they want to go. That's good news already. The question then becomes 'what should they do'.

Here's a good system. Maps and assets. Blizzard is sitting on a metric shit-ton of assets that won't ever see the light of day. Wasted art, wasted programming, wasted money. See where this is going? If Blizzard polishes these assets and release them for a fee, they'd be able to safely monetize the game without affecting balance.

Say I wanted to include the old soul hunter or dracolisk in a custom map; I would pay a dollar for the fully programmed unit to be activated on my account. This means I could see it, use it, and publish maps using it. Now this brings in a problem: how do people who've not bought it use these maps? The Arcade would note what assets are being used by the map that have been bought, and will disallow anyone who doesn't have them from playing, or substitute existing models into the game. Backups, basically.

Now here's how I think the asset system would work. You've a list of assets, divided by race or tileset (for terrain objects). You select one, enter your information, and it is activated on your account. They can be either packs (such as zerg-lair-ground, or protoss-robo-air) for, say, 5.00$, or individual items (the model, unit, programming and texturing/animation being one collective item, for simplicity's sake) for 1.00$.

Also maps, but that seems too obvious.

This solution is definitely in the community's best interest, as it brings new models, units, and tilesets into the game. And, since these assets will be monetized, they can also make new ones and update the out-of-date Alpha ones. Thoughts?

Pr0nogo
09-26-2012, 08:12 PM
I don't think you should disallow players from playing Arcade maps that have monetised assets. I think that if you were to play a map with one of these cool new assets, it'd only inspire more people to want to buy them so they could use such assets in their own maps.

I also think we should be given more assets to begin with, but if Blizzard wants to make even more money out of SCII, I don't see why they wouldn't do something along the lines of what you suggested.

Noctis
09-26-2012, 08:47 PM
i dont see the problem in monetizing multiplayer for people WHO DO NOT PURCHASE StarCraft II. itll be popular in korea and cafe's potentially. where say you dont want to or cant buy the game instead say pay 1-2 bucks a game and play multiplayer. buy the full game for 60 bucks? you get everything done deal no more pay needed. wanna pay as you play? ok here's your rate.

Triceron
10-07-2012, 08:36 PM
Big question to peeps here;

If SC2 multiplayer went free to play, would you still buy the expansions for the singleplayer? Lets say at the $40 expansion price. Multiplayer contains all playable units, no segregation of 'premium' content. I won't speculate what exclusive content the expansion could hold either, but I would assume it would mostly be Singleplayer content + use of the editor.

Kimera757
10-07-2012, 09:25 PM
i dont see the problem in monetizing multiplayer for people WHO DO NOT PURCHASE StarCraft II. itll be popular in korea and cafe's potentially. where say you dont want to or cant buy the game instead say pay 1-2 bucks a game and play multiplayer. buy the full game for 60 bucks? you get everything done deal no more pay needed. wanna pay as you play? ok here's your rate.

Blizzard does that in some countries, actually.


StarCraft II has both download and subscription models in Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Players can either download the entire version of the game, or pay a reduced price (about half), which will only offer gameplay for 60 days. Players could then pay another fee for more gameplay.[125]

South Korean gamers are be able to play three versions of the game. The full game can be purchased for 69,000 won, but a monthly and daily pass version of the game will be available (the game would be unlocked with purchased passes). South Korean players who own a World of Warcraft account can play StarCraft II for free without purchasing passes.[126] Players can play at PC baangs for a low price.[127]

In China, StarCraft II's open beta started on March 29, 2011[128] for free. Chinese StarCraft II players will pay 20 yuan (approximately $3) per month.[129]

Link: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/05/07/starcraft-2-offering-subscription-plans-in-latin-america-asia-a/

Link: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2010/06/28/koreans-get-starcraft-ii-for-free

Link: http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/netease-announces-starcraft-ii-open-beta-in-china-starts-march-29-2011


Big question to peeps here;

If SC2 multiplayer went free to play, would you still buy the expansions for the singleplayer? Lets say at the $40 expansion price. Multiplayer contains all playable units, no segregation of 'premium' content. I won't speculate what exclusive content the expansion could hold either, but I would assume it would mostly be Singleplayer content + use of the editor.

I would, but I'm a lore fanatic. Having said that, the campaign is only half the value of an expansion. I think $20 for a new campaign would be a more fair price.

It'd be a poor financial decision to make new units and gameplay for multiplayer without charging for it.

hyde
10-10-2012, 01:15 AM
Use DOTA 2 model. Only way is cosmetic monetization or monetized custom maps by community.

emphasis on community. Skins/custom maps must be made by the community and they must get a good share of it or it'll never fly IMO.....actually knowing the Blizzard fanbase...it would.

Caliban113
10-10-2012, 03:51 PM
Would F2P users only be playing other F2P users? (limited units, maps, etc) Sorry, not seeing whats missing here.

(edit)

Sorry - reading as I comment :) Seems like they wouldn't mess with limitations of units since it would unbalance the game - but they definitely could limit people to one map and and one race. Users could have a lot of fun at first, but after many games on the same map would want to try other races and other maps. (?)

Triceron
10-10-2012, 06:53 PM
I believe that's how Starter edition already works.