Blizzard Denies Milking StarCraft II

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Blizzard Denies Milking StarCraft II

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Splitting one decidedly sexy game into three installments to be released over several years may seem a bit excessive, but Blizzard Entertainment doesn't seem to think so.

At BlizzCon last month, Blizzard's announcement of the decision to release the hotly anticipated StarCraft II in three separate installments didn't sit very well with some series fans who criticized the move as a money-making scheme. This week, Blizzard Entertainment's COO Paul Sams defended the decision.

Speaking to Video Gamer, Sams said the goal was not about making more money off the game and claimed the move to an expansion trilogy format is rooted in a desire to give players a better gaming experience. However, the over-emphatic tone of Sams' comments on the matter possesses a distinct bouquet.

"The fact of the matter is it's absolutely, positively untrue about us trying to stretch it out and milk it. People think that it was a monetary driven decision. I can absolutely, positively tell you, with 100 percent certainty, that that was not part of the conversation," he said. "I guarantee it. I give my word. There was never, ever a conversation where we said, 'let's do this because we're going to make more money'. I guarantee it. As a matter of fact the sole reason we did it was because we thought it was going to be a better experience. Anybody that says otherwise is not correct. It is absolutely not what we did it for."

Geez Sams, I think we need a little more reassurance.

Each StarCraft II installment will focus on one of the game's three playable races - Terran, Zerg, and Protoss. As expected, the first installment will be Terran: Wings of Liberty. Zerg: Heart of Swarm and Protoss: Legend of the Void will follow. The first installment is expected some time in 2009, though a solid release date has yet to be announced.

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I mean, when have Blizzard ever been accused of immoral ventures? Oh, apart from Battlenet...

I think he's serious. Like REALLY serious. You may not think he's serious, but I do. I've never been so serious as I am now, describing his seriousness. Seriously.

/sarcasm.

I actually laughed when I read this. I can't believe someone would be so defensive.

It sounds like they realized Dawn of War 2 was going to be more innovative than their linear tri-campaign game and just couldn't stand being one upped at their own genre.

Good luck Blizzard, you're gonna need it.

Each of these games better have a campaign mode 3 times the length of Starcraft I.

Also, what's going to happen to the units in the later releases? Will there be upgrades with each new edition? That could piss off more fans who find the balance of their favored troop disposition ruined when the Terran tanks from episode 2.1 are juiced up, or whatever.

He seems a little repeatedly, recurringly, redundantly redundant there, a couple times too often in fact.

If money isn't an issue why not just give us all 3 games for $30! Because hey, you said it yourself it's not about the money!

I wouldn't mind the approach if it was more episode minded so smaller game but smaller price tag, as it is it seems like we're going to get 3 smaller games at full price tags.

L.B. Jeffries:
It sounds like they realized Dawn of War 2 was going to be more innovative than their linear tri-campaign game and just couldn't stand being one upped at their own genre.

Good luck Blizzard, you're gonna need it.

Huh...I'd always considered the DoW series a genre within' a genre, an RTT (Real Time Tactics) as opposed to an RTS, that's not to say it's not awesome, it is, but just there's not much to compare it with Starcraft. From what I've read, DoW 2 is set to have even -less- traditional RTS elements than even it's predecessors.

I wonder if it will be episodic game price (around $20) or new game price ($50.)

Bah. Might as well stick it out for a few more years until the collection is released.

That quote almost made it sound like he had a gun pointed at his head.

At least we know that someday in the not-too-distant future we will be able to get all 3 of them together in one box for a low price. I'd say less that a year after the final one is released, maybe soner if the game isn't as good as everyone wants it to be.

Of course, maybe they will give use each at a resonable price, say $30 each or less. Or maybe each one will be as large as a normal game, with lots of levels and lots of play time.

GothmogII:

L.B. Jeffries:
It sounds like they realized Dawn of War 2 was going to be more innovative than their linear tri-campaign game and just couldn't stand being one upped at their own genre.

Good luck Blizzard, you're gonna need it.

Huh...I'd always considered the DoW series a genre within' a genre, an RTT (Real Time Tactics) as opposed to an RTS, that's not to say it's not awesome, it is, but just there's not much to compare it with Starcraft. From what I've read, DoW 2 is set to have even -less- traditional RTS elements than even it's predecessors.

That's what I liked about it, they didn't just reskin an RTS they added a lot of new mechanics to it. I never really thought of it as an RTT but that's a good way to put it. The upcoming game's biggest edge on an RTS with linear missions is that it's going to change and adapt depending on what missions you lose or beat.

I dunno, I'm not trying to stir anyone up but I admit I'm glad Blizzard is going to push the envelope. When they were first releasing info for the game I kept thinking, "This is sorta behind the times." Their new approach sounds a lot more interesting.

I'm not against the 3-game split so long as each of the three campaigns are long enough to justify being their own release, and as well, the multiplayer end must contain all three races as playable, not "you can only play skirmishes with Terrans if you only have the Terran game".

The_root_of_all_evil:
I mean, when have Blizzard ever been accused of immoral ventures? Oh, apart from Battlenet...

Wait, what? Except for WoW battle.net is completely free as opposed to a lot of console venues for example. Where does the immoral venture come in?

Scott Adams (he draws Dilbert) once said that it's easy to identify liers, because when you ask them about something they don't say "No" or "That's wrong". Instead they say "What gave you that idea?" or "Who told you that?". I think they actually ARE shocked that people are angry about this, but I think they must learn to take the gaming communities temperature a bit better than they have.

I have a theory that people inside the gaming industry aren't as good at judging what constitutes a good idea when it comes to these things as those outside it. : /

Go to the Blizzard forums.

The hardcore fanbase and arguments over gameplay get mind numbing. The fans quibble over everything.

From what I can tell it's the reason that they hardly update the site anymore. Most info updates come from the StarCraft 2 forums.

Khell_Sennet:
I'm not against the 3-game split so long as each of the three campaigns are long enough to justify being their own release, and as well, the multiplayer end must contain all three races as playable, not "you can only play skirmishes with Terrans if you only have the Terran game".

They said that each campaign section for SC2 (Terrans, Zerg and Protoss) will amount to about the same length of the original Starcraft. Something like 30-odd missions I believe, and you'll be getting that per race.

Fairly sure they also said that multiplayer/skirmishes wouldn't be race-restricted depending on what pack you bought. You can play as Terran/Zerg/Protoss from the get-go.

Considering how much fun I've had with all the Blizzard products I've played thus far I trust that each installment will be worth the money.

Dectilon:

The_root_of_all_evil:
I mean, when have Blizzard ever been accused of immoral ventures? Oh, apart from Battlenet...

Wait, what? Except for WoW battle.net is completely free as opposed to a lot of console venues for example. Where does the immoral venture come in?

Here's some pertinent information. Battlenet's agreement was also rewritten after the original EULA circumvented protection laws. And the clamp down on b.net.

Scott Adams (he draws Dilbert) once said that it's easy to identify liers, because when you ask them about something they don't say "No" or "That's wrong". Instead they say "What gave you that idea?" or "Who told you that?".

The problem is that good liars have probably read that as well.

I think they actually ARE shocked that people are angry about this, but I think they must learn to take the gaming communities temperature a bit better than they have.

I have a theory that people inside the gaming industry aren't as good at judging what constitutes a good idea when it comes to these things as those outside it. : /

The real problem is neither are those outside the gaming industry, just look at Hilary Clinton.

Wow, that's a whole lot of bollocks coming straight from the horse's mouth. They had better not mutilate Warcraft 4 in the same way, or take away our level editor.

As long as all three campaigns are long enough to satisfy me aas a full game, I won't care that much. Still, It'd be nice if they could decrease the price on each a bit...

Blizzard don't need any more money, they aren't EA and they have proved that in the past; they care about more than money; thats why they are sucessful.

Ronwue:
That quote almost made it sound like he had a gun pointed at his head.

Agreed, but perhaps more like an anti-aircraft turret oe some such, he really did sound like he was on the verge of tears, puppy eyes and all^^ Almost ashamed for mocking him xD

Is it me or is the starcraft universe very similar to the 40k one? you know TERRANS (Earth in 40k is called Terra) Zerg= A weaker version of the Tyranids and Protoss= Eldar, but 40k came out first. Though I admit that 40k did pinch some of those ideas from various different things but for Blizzard to copy them again, can't they copy separate ideas?

It makes me feel uneasy seeing this. Then again, as I was working in Gamestop for the WoW: WOTLK launch, I asked alot of people on line if they played a Blizzard title before WoW. 95% of them said that they only like WoW and not any of the other titles Blizzard has released.

Are they trying to pull WoW gamers over to their other projects or what?

Well, despite my misgivings for fans who will have to shell out more, I kind of like the idea in theory at least, as I was only interested in the Terran SP campaign anyway. Perhaps a decoupling of the SP and MP packaging would be better; release the MP first (which will not be faction-divided), then release the SP campaigns later; SP campaigns could function like expansion packs. Everyone could pick up the full MP at the same time and then their choice of SP later. As long as it was price:quality:quantity balanced appropriately, I think that'd be an even better model still.

I'm taking him at his word. Why not? The Multi-Player is what most people are gonna be interested in. Let them have their glorified expansions and if they demand full price *shrugs* well you can decide then if it's really worth it for the extra Multi-Player units. Probably gonna see a new race or two before this saga is over though.

gains:
Each of these games better have a campaign mode 3 times the length of Starcraft I.

Also, what's going to happen to the units in the later releases? Will there be upgrades with each new edition? That could piss off more fans who find the balance of their favored troop disposition ruined when the Terran tanks from episode 2.1 are juiced up, or whatever.

I think each game (campaign) will have 30 missions, the total from SC1 - so you'd end up getting a campaign mode three times the length, yes.

As far as I understand it from Blizzcon and speaking with the devs, any updates in multiplayer that come with the three new games will just be patched in. So if the Zerg game updates some of the units in multiplayer, someone who has just the Terran game will get it patched in like they've always done. It won't affect the single-player game since those have been balanced accordingly (one of the reasons for the trilogy was that it allowed them to divorce single-player from multi-player balance).

Even if the trilogy announcement was the only thing they were doing, I still wouldn't believe him. But with the announcement that Battle.net will soon have some fees in place, and the rumor that Diablo 2's MP will be pay to play, its obvious that they really are just going for the money right now. And that doesn't even bother me, I've always understood that it is about money. That is the point of starting a business, to make money off of your talents. What bothers me is them doing this for their own wallets and then desperately trying to convice us that it is for our benefit, that they were only thinking about us.

Neosage:
Is it me or is the starcraft universe very similar to the 40k one? you know TERRANS (Earth in 40k is called Terra) Zerg= A weaker version of the Tyranids and Protoss= Eldar, but 40k came out first. Though I admit that 40k did pinch some of those ideas from various different things but for Blizzard to copy them again, can't they copy separate ideas?

Warcraft was born from the Warhammer universe. Blizzard began making Warcraft as a Warhammer game. I'm not sure if they then tried to pitch it to Games Workshop and were refused, or if Games Workshop suddenly backed out of the deal, but Blizzard ultimately tweaked a few story elements and released it as Warcraft. By Warcraft II they had had enough time to turn it into their own story. They may have just used the same method for Starcraft, lightly basing it off the Warhammer universe, then creating their own story from that.

I'm being SOOPER SOOPER SERIOUH righ now, we need to kill ManBearPig.

No, I believe him. And i'm glad he came out and directly addressed the criticism. Fans are so fickle- remember when Blizzard could do no wrong? Then they get aquired by another company and suddenly, regaurdless of there being no visible changes to their development system, EVERYTHING they do was wrong. If Activision didn't own them people would be lauding this as a revolutionary move.

I'm not saying Blizzard can do no wrong mind you, horrible things do happen. I'm just saying it's Blizzard and i'll wait till I see it to pass judgement.

santaandy:
Well, despite my misgivings for fans who will have to shell out more, I kind of like the idea in theory at least, as I was only interested in the Terran SP campaign anyway. Perhaps a decoupling of the SP and MP packaging would be better; release the MP first (which will not be faction-divided), then release the SP campaigns later; SP campaigns could function like expansion packs. Everyone could pick up the full MP at the same time and then their choice of SP later. As long as it was price:quality:quantity balanced appropriately, I think that'd be an even better model still.

Okay, this -IS- what they did. PLEASE read the news posts people. Full undivided multiplayer will come with the FIRST game, so if the singleplayer campaign doesn't interest you, you can just buy the first release and play online forevar.

KSarty:
Even if the trilogy announcement was the only thing they were doing, I still wouldn't believe him. But with the announcement that Battle.net will soon have some fees in place, and the rumor that Diablo 2's MP will be pay to play, its obvious that they really are just going for the money right now. And that doesn't even bother me, I've always understood that it is about money. That is the point of starting a business, to make money off of your talents. What bothers me is them doing this for their own wallets and then desperately trying to convice us that it is for our benefit, that they were only thinking about us.

This rumor has been disproved. Blizzard has come right out and said they will not make Diablo 2 nor Battle.net Pay to Play.

http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=10972023506&sid=3000

Q u o t e:
So Julian Wilson told us that you guys are looking monetize Battle.Net in some way. Is that right?

Rob Pardo: Wow, that's an evil way of putting it. Julian's turning into a business guy on me. Here's the way I would put it. We're definitely not looking at turning Diablo into a subscription based game. It's clearly not an MMO, so it's not appropriate to do a business model like that. The way we approach all of our games now, is we come up with what we think is a great game, and then we wrap the appropriate business model around it. If that's just a box price, then that's that.

With Battle.Net we're definitely looking at possible different features that we might be able to do for additional money. We're not talking about Hellgate or anything like that. We're not going to tack things on. I think World of Warcraft is a great example to look at. We charge people if they want to switch servers or if they want name changes, things that aren't core to the game experience, they're really just optional things that some people want. It takes us some development work to do it, so it makes sense to charge for it. We would never do something like say to get the full game experience, you'll have to pay extra.

Although you could see it as a cynical ploy to make money (which is how I see it), there's also the point of view that says "this will allow players to buy the campaign they want".

After all, I'm guessing most people will just buy one, and move on. Especially since the multiplayer content is the same on all the boxes.

Where this doesn't make sense (for them) is that splitting up the game like so means they'll essentially be diluting their own advertising, not to mention that the boxes will be competing with each other on the game shop shelf. Maybe their new corporate masters had something to do with the decision?

For what it's worth, I also think that Sams is saying the truth. It's not about money. It's about *sales*.

domicius:
Although you could see it as a cynical ploy to make money (which is how I see it), there's also the point of view that says "this will allow players to buy the campaign they want".

They also of course have to wait a certain amout of time to get the campaign they want and if they want to play multiplayer, well...

Basically I hold this "it's not about the money" statement to be about as true as when Roger Clemens said it right after he signed a huge-ass contract with the New York Yankees to sit on his ass for most of a year and do steroids completely suck as a pitcher for them.

Of course it's about money.

Neosage:
Is it me or is the starcraft universe very similar to the 40k one? you know TERRANS (Earth in 40k is called Terra) Zerg= A weaker version of the Tyranids and Protoss= Eldar, but 40k came out first. Though I admit that 40k did pinch some of those ideas from various different things but for Blizzard to copy them again, can't they copy separate ideas?

Blizzard has fully acknowledged that both Warcraft and Starcraft were parodies on the Warhammer/40K franchises. Games Workshop and Blizzard have always been fine with this, even making fun of it from time to time, and because one is a parody of the other, they've both taken bits and pieces from eachother's IP. Nothing new about that.

But re: Terra, that's not a Warhammer thing, or is it related between the two games. Terra Firma (latin, lit. Solid Earth), or Terra for short, is one of the less common but still well known proper names for earth. Warhammer 40K sometimes refers to Earth as Terra, but the Terra from Starcraft is unrelated, it is not Earth. It's not in the Milky Way galaxy, or the Sol system, it's entirely fictional. Thus Starcraft Terrans are not Earthlings, but some 40K humans are the descendants of earthlings.

CantFaketheFunk:

gains:
Each of these games better have a campaign mode 3 times the length of Starcraft I.

Also, what's going to happen to the units in the later releases? Will there be upgrades with each new edition? That could piss off more fans who find the balance of their favored troop disposition ruined when the Terran tanks from episode 2.1 are juiced up, or whatever.

I think each game (campaign) will have 30 missions, the total from SC1 - so you'd end up getting a campaign mode three times the length, yes.

All I have to say is, F**K YEAH!
3x the Starcraft is a good thing. Now if only they can get the damn thing on shelves sometime before I die of old age.

AceDiamond:

domicius:
Although you could see it as a cynical ploy to make money (which is how I see it), there's also the point of view that says "this will allow players to buy the campaign they want".

They also of course have to wait a certain amout of time to get the campaign they want and if they want to play multiplayer, well...

Basically I hold this "it's not about the money" statement to be about as true as when Roger Clemens said it right after he signed a huge-ass contract with the New York Yankees to sit on his ass for most of a year and do steroids completely suck as a pitcher for them.

Of course it's about money.

A business wanting to make money?

Perish the fucking thought.

There is truth in their words. They have always aimed at quality since... ever.

Amnestic:

AceDiamond:

domicius:
Although you could see it as a cynical ploy to make money (which is how I see it), there's also the point of view that says "this will allow players to buy the campaign they want".

They also of course have to wait a certain amout of time to get the campaign they want and if they want to play multiplayer, well...

Basically I hold this "it's not about the money" statement to be about as true as when Roger Clemens said it right after he signed a huge-ass contract with the New York Yankees to sit on his ass for most of a year and do steroids completely suck as a pitcher for them.

Of course it's about money.

A business wanting to make money?

Perish the fucking thought.

Yes because what I totally said was that I hate capitalism and the idea of profit. I am so glad you're here to do my thinking for me and put words in my text boxes.

Now then what I was saying is that not only are they lying about their motivations but they're being a dick about it. Why not, oh, say, release all 3 versions at the same time? That way people can get the campaign they want AND play multiplayer without having to buy two versions of the same damn game just to satisfy the multiplayer half of the equation as soon as possible.

Khell_Sennet:

Neosage:
Is it me or is the starcraft universe very similar to the 40k one? you know TERRANS (Earth in 40k is called Terra) Zerg= A weaker version of the Tyranids and Protoss= Eldar, but 40k came out first. Though I admit that 40k did pinch some of those ideas from various different things but for Blizzard to copy them again, can't they copy separate ideas?

Blizzard has fully acknowledged that both Warcraft and Starcraft were parodies on the Warhammer/40K franchises. Games Workshop and Blizzard have always been fine with this, even making fun of it from time to time, and because one is a parody of the other, they've both taken bits and pieces from eachother's IP. Nothing new about that.

But re: Terra, that's not a Warhammer thing, or is it related between the two games. Terra Firma (latin, lit. Solid Earth), or Terra for short, is one of the less common but still well known proper names for earth. Warhammer 40K sometimes refers to Earth as Terra, but the Terra from Starcraft is unrelated, it is not Earth. It's not in the Milky Way galaxy, or the Sol system, it's entirely fictional. Thus Starcraft Terrans are not Earthlings, but some 40K humans are the descendants of earthlings.

I suppose, Oh and about Terra I did know that it wasn't GW's idea though i just think its a little coincidental that they are sci-fi similar setting and just HAPPEN to have the same name for the first human planet

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