Recently Blizzard revealed that StarCraft II will not offer LAN support when the first installment hits the market by the end of the year. Although the company cited piracy and security problems, Blizzard's overall plan is to make Battle.net the multiplayer destination for all of its games. With that said, the news that Diablo III may not offer LAN support should not be quite as shocking. In fact, gamers should count on Blizzard not supporting LAN from now on.
Strangely enough, the comments made by Blizzard Community Manager "Bashiok" in regards to LAN support were deleted from the Blizzard forums. However, this website managed to grab the discussion before mysterious forces magically eradicated the topic. His response was actually sparked by one commenter complaining that removing LAN support only hurts legitimate buyers. After all, pirates will take the time to reverse engineer the game and enable LAN support anyway. Bashiok didn't seem to agree.
"More so than overbearing/invasive anti-piracy measures that would affect everyone who buys the game regardless of how they're going to play it instead of just those that may want a LAN feature?" Bashiok responded. "I would doubt it. I don't know a lot about it, Diablo III isn't really facing the brunt of the Battle.net 2.0 features just yet, but I think that removing LAN in an attempt to avoid more severe anti-piracy measures is pretty cool. We're saying 'Hey, we're pretty sure you're going to love our game. The multiplayer is really the best part though. In order to get in on that that we'd just like to make sure you bought the game. Cool?'"
While LAN is highly unlikely, Activision Blizzard made it perfectly clear that consumers who purchase StarCraft II (and more than likely Diablo III) will have the ability to play on Battle.net with no additional fee. Although Diablo and Diablo II offered LAN support, consumers who purchased either title could play multiplayer games online via Battle.net free without an additional fee.