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View Full Version : Forbes: LoL Rises as SC2 Flails



DemolitionSquid
10-18-2012, 12:51 PM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/10/18/starcraft-2-struggles-as-league-of-legends-rises/

I think Blizzard needs to tell Activision to fuck off, and rehire the people who made D2 and SC2 a success.

Triceron
10-18-2012, 03:41 PM
Sad times indeed.


Blizzard has devoted an incredible amount of energy to balancing the game for professional 1v1 matches, they forget about the 95% of their player base who doesn’t like to or want to play the game that way

This even remotely true or is he pulling numbers out of his ass?

mr. peasant
10-18-2012, 05:05 PM
I'm hardly surprised by the current situation. SC2 is pay-to-play. So, in terms of income, Blizzard's may concern is shifting new copies off shelves. Once sold, it matters a lot less, in a financial sense, to the company. In contrast, LoL is built on a free-to-play model filled with micro-transactions. Meaning, continued success and income is dependent on people continuing to play the game. And this is all ignoring that Blizzard (and Activision) has a larger library of games to earn from compared to Riot Games, which has only LoL as its income generator. Meaning, if LoL ceases to be a thing, they are dead in the water (until they come up with a new game).

Moreover, Riot Games is currently owned by a Chinese giant who is actively pushing LoL as an eSport. Consequently, there is a lot of money being dumped into the scene; both in the prize pool and the promotion/development of the game as a spectator sport. It helps that many of the parent company's other subsidiaries are IT and internet focused.

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard neither has the intention nor the means to do any of this. It's purely a game company (and so can't directly build the infrastructure themselves) and has too many subsidiary studios who are all making games as well (i.e. competing with one another) to devote exclusively to one title (thereby sabotaging its other titles and companies).

Rake
10-19-2012, 02:02 AM
I think that article overdramatises things a bit. For example, D3 was enormously successful. People look at the large drop off in players to say that it wasn't and compare it with D2, but the numbers weren't collected for D2.

For SC2, I think that the biggest short term concern is the drop off in tournament viewers. But there are some that think that the problem is that we have too many tournaments and so people can't concentrate on one. Frankly, I don't understand how people can watch LoL. The games are long and slow and it is impossible to tell what is happening in any fight. The readability just doesn't compare with SC2. However, I don't play Lol, so perhaps I would enjoy watching it if I did.

The free-to-play model is a compelling one and Blizzard will have to come up with some way to compete with it. Perhaps they will make Blizzard DOTA free to play with microtransactions. That could be why it is taking so long.

An interesting problem that the article raises is the accessibility for new players. It is true that in SC2 if you are new you can instantly die to rushes, etc. I suppose that isn't true for Lol. However, I don't think that is something Blizzard should try and fix for Starcraft.

TcheQuevara
10-19-2012, 12:36 PM
Does anyone think there was anything Blizzard could do to compete with a free-to-play game?

I mean, they screwed up a lot, but even if they did no mistakes, we'd be seeing the same stuff going on because SC 2 can't compete with LoL for e-sport dominance. If SC2 was being better handled, the only difference it would make is that the fan-base would be more proud, loyal and having more fun.

A 32 million player base? Hah. No matter how many copies were sold, SC 2 would never reach that 2 years afters launch...

Triceron
10-19-2012, 01:21 PM
LoL took the current WoW design approach, making the game accessable so it's easy to follow even in the pro scene. If you've played the game and know how the champions work, you can pretty much follow the game no matter what skill level you are.

SC2 is designed using classic WoW design approach. Lets design this game solely for the Hardcore players and making the top of the top the best while everyone can aspire to being that good one day if they put many hours into the game. 1v1 is where all the focus is put on, and the whole game is designed poorly for more casual games that make things like Big Game Hunters a thing of the past. BGH was more or less the definitive reason to play SC1 for a lot of players.

And I agree above, that even if Blizzard decides to go F2P at this point, it's going to be hard to attract a huge audience 2 years into it with a game that's still as hardcore-centric as it is. It would need a massive facelift to get people interested again.

Rake
10-19-2012, 01:41 PM
BGH was more or less the definitive reason to play SC1 for a lot of players.

I'm curious as to why there haven't been any standout maps like BGH or WC3's Dota. I thought the engine was supposed to be so powerful that amazing things could be created on it. Nexus wars is fun but it isn't transformative.

mr. peasant
10-19-2012, 04:04 PM
I'm curious as to why there haven't been any standout maps like BGH or WC3's Dota. I thought the engine was supposed to be so powerful that amazing things could be created on it. Nexus wars is fun but it isn't transformative.

I suspect the reason for this is that the editor is a little too powerful. In that it is also really complicated to fully understand and use in order to achieve quality content. This limits the number of people able to muck around with it successfully.

Meanwhile, those who do know how to use it and who are organised enough to work on an ambitious project would, in all likelihood, prefer to instead work using an open source engine (or one that they can buy) in order to produce their own game. Compared to the days of SC1 and WC3, there are now many more options available to the amateur game designer, both in terms of producing content and distributing the final product.

Triceron
10-19-2012, 08:30 PM
I'm curious as to why there haven't been any standout maps like BGH or WC3's Dota. I thought the engine was supposed to be so powerful that amazing things could be created on it. Nexus wars is fun but it isn't transformative.

The editor can do some amazing things, but a big part of what's killed custom maps was the whole popularity system. It was a huge step backward from what SC and War3 had. The only thing that dominates popularity system are quick competitive maps playable under 15 minutes. Since that's the only thing on the first page available, that's all people would navigate to, and other maps get pushed further and further back. Then it gets to the point where even if you wanted to play another map, no one would join because it would be on page 3+ with absolutely no exposure.

The arcade was a step in the right direction, but I haven't really came back to SC2 yet. The interface change will definitely help, but overall everything still needs work.

Rake
10-20-2012, 02:01 AM
Thanks to both of you. Really interesting.

TheEconomist
11-06-2012, 05:08 PM
In other derp news, more people watch TV for free than pay for movie tickets.

Gifted
11-13-2012, 09:50 AM
A few of you have understanding of the points you are focusing on, but it's generally the following reasons that allow League of Legends to surpass StarCraft II in terms of it's e-Sports right now:

1. League of Legends is the most played game on the planet right now. [Source: Current 2012 Statistics (http://majorleagueoflegends.s3.amazonaws.com/lol_infographic.png) - 2011 statistics for growth comparison ("http://riot-web-static.s3.amazonaws.com/images/news/November_2011/2011_11_17_lol_numbers/riot_lol_infographic_full.jpg)]
2. Free to play model assisted in this popularity
3. Ease of entrance by team assisted in this popularity (Team games allow for noobs to "learn from friends")
4. Game genre assists in lower skill requirement for play entry assisted in this popularity. (Moba vs oldschool RTS, by design is easier)
5. Skill involves team play vs solo play (Typically thought of as a more accessible to watch sport. Think "Football/Soccer vs Boxing")
6. There are multiple goals in a game that are clearly identified every game, allowing for milestones to be easily identified to a viewer. (SC2: Kill all buildings to win, this differs every game as destroying critical units from group comp, building orders, varied strategies can change priorities drastically between games/ LOL: Kill heros, kill towers, kill priority creeps, kill inhibitors, kill nexus.. EVERY game.)
7. Metrics are more clear in League of Legends (All you truly need to do is compare gold in each game to clearly show where advantage lies. It's the true "score" between teams / SC2 metrics have caveats. Terrans can kill 100 zerglings to 10 seige tanks, and the metrics show a different story than what's truly happened because it changes per game/matchup)
8. Less units to watch means more clarity for the viewer to understand.
9. Cleaner/more visual look appeals to casual gamer/viewers
10. One core "league" that spans the course of a season makes for a relate-able sport.

Do I agree with the article that StarCraft II is failing? Not in the least. It's simply the high skill, "hardcore" e-Sport. As I noted above, it's comparable to real sports today. All one on one sports are considered more hardcore sports to follow in a sense, while all team sports are more mainstream. To compare the popularity of Singles Tennis vs American Football shows Tennis as an "inferior" sport if you look at that statistic on it's own, but tell that to a Tennis fan to their face and you'll probably be missing a few teeth at the end of the night.

Disclaimer: Despite the claim of one-on-one sports vs team sports, It's important to note that all sports have their dedicated hardcore, but even this is comparible to e-sports as they stand as well.

That's an inkling of my thoughts on it.

Twilice
11-17-2012, 05:54 AM
One thing everyone have forgotten to factor in is the amount of heavy promotion by riot themselves for it to try and be an e-sport.

Most other games have their tournaments and active e-sport from a third party and the generall "want-part" for people to watch. (starcraft 2, dota 2)
While lol didn't really start of as an e-sport until riot started to create a lot of tournaments and pooled their own money into them as price money.

TheEconomist
11-18-2012, 11:50 PM
Very, very nice post Gifted. About time someone wrote that since I'm just too damn lazy these days.

The_Blade
11-19-2012, 03:23 PM
Great post gifted. I have to agree fully on it.

Now, what if this cash flow gives Riot the resources needed to knock Blizz off the MMO Kingdom? IIRC, they hired the guy who developed World of Starcraft. SC2 and LoL might be independent from each other, but e-sports change faster than sports. I belive the headline should be renamed "Blizzard struggles as Riot rises".

Twilice
11-19-2012, 05:29 PM
I hope not, I dislike Riot as a company (or rather the pr approach)
The game is fine, but it's like everything they do is trying to promote how bad dota is. They even have dota examples and clarify them as bad as justifications for their own designs.

Also I would like to know how they got their numbers, dota 2 got about 60-150K concurrent players each day. So using "top 100" steam games is a bit misleading, seeing only a few of the games might have a lot of concurrent players.

It's also very hard to actually check the current concurrent players in lol, which I'm interested in.