I know this is not relevant to WoW and we are on a WoW blog - aren't we? - but most WoW fans are also Blizzard fans and many of these are big fans of Blizzard's other games, such as StarCraft and the Diablo series. This article is a continuation of sorts to Blizzard's Games and Business Model.
Over the past few weeks, even since Blizzard announced that SC2 most likely won't support LAN play, I've been thinking and thinking about this. Of course, the only conclusion anyone can draw from this is that Blizzard is simply concerned with stifling piracy and keeping things "under control". On the other hand, they are hurting customers who still need the LAN capability (and don't fool yourselves, there are still lots of them).
In a similar vein, EA (hated by many) have announced that Command and Conquer 4, which is primarily a single player game, will have to be played (in single- and any other- mode) with a permanent connection to the internet. Long story short, this is one of the most retarded moves I've ever heard of and ultimately will only serve to hurt paying customers, while pirates will easily circumvent this limitation. Remember, not everyone is fortunate enough to have broadband internet at all times but people also like to play single player games when they are traveling, their internet connection is down or for many other valid reasons. There's no reason in hell why a single player game should have to be always connected. End of rant.
If you want to read more about C&C4's controversial online requirement, Ars Technica has a couple of nice articles here (make sure to read the comments):
Forced to connect: C&C 4 requires always-on internet
Poll Technica: Online requirement for single-player games
Back to Blizzard's games, I've already decided that I wouldn't be buying StarCraft 2. And that's because of the 3-game split. Many people have assumed that each installment will cost around $50. And how right they were. EB Games already has a pre-order page for the game and guess what the price is? Yep, 50 bucks. Of course, this doesn't mean that it's the final price but I do believe it is an indication of where things are heading.
So how many of you are prepared to pay $150 for SC2? I'm sure lots of you. Blizzard will soften the blow by releasing each part at a year's distance. Smart move. As far as I'm aware, it's the first game that has pulled this off and it will most likely succeed beyond all expectations. I'm sure Blizzard will make more $$$ by splitting the game and selling to fewer customers than they would have made by selling a single game for $50 to more fans. In the end, there's always piracy for those who can't afford to spend $150 for a game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating piracy. I love to reward a gaming company that produces an outstanding game by purchasing it but there are those who won't afford it.
Now Diablo 3 is a different ballgame to me. It's the game that I've been dreaming about for years and had lost all hope that it would ever be produced. The Diablo series is the awesomest single-player RPG that I've ever played.
You can bet your sweet buns that D3 will follow the exact same model as SC2, meaning Battle.net-only multiplayer. Though it's a hard pill to swallow because I fondly remember the countless days spent playing D2 over a LAN with my friends, I will definitely, positively buy this game. At this point in my life LAN parties are a thing of the past and not because LAN play is a dead technology but due to the fact that I've moved away from where my friends live and there's simply no way to engage in that activity anymore.
The other question that I've been asking myself is this: will I play Diablo 3 in single-player only, or will I play it on Battle.net with groups of random people? From what I've heard, D2's Battle.net games were fraught with cheaters and such. Bnet 2.0 won't suffer from the same issues and furthermore, each person in a group will have their own loot drops that only they can pick up. The biggest advantage of playing in a group will obviously be the faster experience and more loot drops. On the other hand, single-player is more relaxing, you can go at your own pace and you can also continue playing a character on a laptop when traveling, for example. So I'm still on the fence about this. We shall see though.
At this point, it seems that Blizzard is unmoving regarding the LAN issue. It's worth seeing if they will stick to this decision to the very end or if they will relent and give the fans what they are asking for. At least, they are not requiring always-on internet for the single-player game like some other retarded company I know. That would be the last straw!
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago