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Blizzard Not Worried About StarCraft 2 Piracy

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 81 comments

Battle.net and a loyal community seem to be keeping piracy at bay.

Michael Ryder, vice president and executive managing director for Blizzard’s international operations, seems to indicate that Blizzard isn't too worried about piracy. In fact, the company believes there's enough incentives in the just-released StarCraft II for would-be thieves to actually shell out cash for the new PC game.

But Ryder also gives credit to the Blizzard community, saying that the loyal fans have helped "starve off" the threat of piracy. Thanks to localized versions of Battle.net, the company has reached out to fourteen different territories, building a massive, world-wide community that actually wants to purchase their products.

Of course, Blizzard's new version of Battle.net helps fend of piracy too.

"The Battle.net solution provides several things," he said in an interview. "It provides better continuity for the players and it gives them a stronger way to participate in an overall Blizzard community. But what also goes hand-in-hand with the Battle.net solution is that we work really hard to offer a tailored, regional business model, so it reduces the incentives to go to a pirated solution."

Another security blanket for Blizzard could be World of Warcraft--currently the MMORPG has enslaved 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. Blizzard also generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2009 alone--a large chunk apparently stemming from WoW--without releasing a new game or expansion pack.

"For World of Warcraft we have been able to work well around the piracy issue and we think we’ll be able to do the same with StarCraft II," he said.

Outside the piracy issue, Ryder discusses Blizzard's relationship with Activision, the company's (obvious) support for retail sales, and possibly resuming development for consoles. To read the full interview, head here.

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  • 33 Hide
    cbrownx88 , August 10, 2010 8:00 PM
    I'm going to invent the dumbest most addicting game ever.

    World of Farmville
  • 30 Hide
    pbrigido , August 10, 2010 7:38 PM
    "World of Warcraft--currently the MMORPG has enslaved 11.5 million subscribers worldwide"

    An interesting phrase...but very true.
  • 30 Hide
    jerreece , August 10, 2010 7:51 PM
    Blizzard: "LOL Seriously? We've sold so many copies already, even if it does get pirated, we've already made a fortune!"
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    pbrigido , August 10, 2010 7:38 PM
    "World of Warcraft--currently the MMORPG has enslaved 11.5 million subscribers worldwide"

    An interesting phrase...but very true.
  • 22 Hide
    Darkerson , August 10, 2010 7:42 PM
    I would say the lack of LAN play probably helps too...at least until someone comes out with something similar to what AlterIW is in regards to MW2, and then, it will probably go through the roof...
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2010 7:44 PM
    11.5 million at its peak, that number is no longer that high.
  • -5 Hide
    cryogenic , August 10, 2010 7:44 PM
    StarCraft 2 without battle.net is like a shooter game without guns or weapons. I know lots of folks played LAN games using orignal Starcraft, (me included) hundreds times with their friends, but I've always loved battle.net (and this is since original Diablo).

    I simply can't envision Starcraft without battle.net, it's hard to explain, its something like Valve without Steam, incomplete and non functional.
  • 10 Hide
    jonpaul37 , August 10, 2010 7:44 PM
    Now if they can just keep the hackers away...
  • 1 Hide
    kaska52 , August 10, 2010 7:47 PM
    A few friends of mine tried to pirate SC2 just to see what the community had done in 48 hours after the release and the most they could get was the campaign mode and a LAN system for multiplayer that didn't work at all. We all ended up buying the game and play it for hours at our LAN parties. We haven't paid for a game we play at LAN's for years until now because it's such a solid game and online system. SC2 for us, is worth every cent.

    There's nothing like the rush of a good SC2 game and it only gets better with friends playing alongside you.
  • 27 Hide
    Darkerson , August 10, 2010 7:48 PM
    stingstangLAN isn't that important anymore. It used to be when internet connections were either hard to come by, or just slow. Now it's just as good to connect to the world servers and play games from them.

    Tell that to everyone that likes to play in tournaments and LAN parties...Im sure they will beg to differ...its one thing to coordinate and communicate over teamspeak or ventrilo, but to me, nothing beats having all your buddies in the same house for some good old fashioned local multiplayer!
  • 30 Hide
    jerreece , August 10, 2010 7:51 PM
    Blizzard: "LOL Seriously? We've sold so many copies already, even if it does get pirated, we've already made a fortune!"
  • 24 Hide
    PTR , August 10, 2010 7:56 PM
    Merge. The. servers. NOW.

    I'm sick of being confined in the South East Asian territory. We have friends in NA and EU ffs! And don't give us that separate download crap to connect to the US/EU servers too.
  • -7 Hide
    Phosters , August 10, 2010 7:59 PM
    There is LAN versions available, you just have to be a progamer.
  • -7 Hide
    willgart , August 10, 2010 7:59 PM
    Quote:
    Blizzard also generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2009 alone--a large chunk apparently stemming from WoW--without releasing a new game or expansion pack.

    So they make money without doing anything!!!
    and there is 11 millions person paying for this. Really cool, I'll create my own company based on this model :) 
  • 33 Hide
    cbrownx88 , August 10, 2010 8:00 PM
    I'm going to invent the dumbest most addicting game ever.

    World of Farmville
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2010 8:07 PM
    lol @ people still complaining about so-called "LAN" play. Guys, you can still play with your friends at a LAN party. You just connect through battle.net first for authentication. Starcraft does not run on game servers like counter strike or team fortress does. It runs in P2P mode with all players chained together forming a pseudo server for that game instance. Once you auth via battle.net, all in game routing between players is exchanged locally through your LAN.

    I have a feeling the only way computer newbs are going to accept this is after they try reluctantly playing on "LAN" assuming it will be laggy, then are pleasantly surprised and word spreads that the game runs just fine via "battle.net".
  • 0 Hide
    schmich , August 10, 2010 8:12 PM
    Those into the game would probably be so into it that pirating wouldn't cross their mind.
    "solid ... online system"
    So my friend with a robust Swiss connection who said he got dropped multiple times a _day_ from online matches was lying?

    One thing is for sure, they lose a lot of sales by not being on Steam.
  • -6 Hide
    pollom , August 10, 2010 8:19 PM
    should be worried about LAG at Latin America Servers :@
  • -3 Hide
    one-shot , August 10, 2010 8:30 PM
    cbrownx88I'm going to invent the dumbest most addicting game ever.World of Farmville


    With 3D models of people working on the farm. I bet people would play it.
  • 0 Hide
    gmarsack , August 10, 2010 8:32 PM
    darkersonTell that to everyone that likes to play in tournaments and LAN parties...Im sure they will beg to differ...its one thing to coordinate and communicate over teamspek or ventrilo, but to me, nothing beats having all your buddies in the same house for some good old fashioned local multiplayer!

    Couldn't of said it better. Wish there was a +100 button for comments like this. :) 
  • -5 Hide
    fenixkane , August 10, 2010 8:48 PM
    Huh. Thats funny. I was once one of those loyal Blizzard games fans. Unfortunately with Starcraft II I lost all interest in buying the game.
    12 years dangit. I waited 12 years. Had my money ready, the game played just how I wanted it to and what do they pull! No LAN play, limits on map making, region locked, no opengl mode, online activation, real id, thats what!
    Blizzard dashed my confidence in them and I wont buy their games anymore because of this crap.
    When the pirates finish releasing a working version of your game (which you seem to be unable to do) I might grab that. Unlike most piracy this WAS a lost sale!
  • 14 Hide
    halls , August 10, 2010 8:57 PM
    It'll be a "Worldwide community" as soon as I can play with my friend in Argentina.
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