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StarCraft II LAN Dropped Thanks to Piracy

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 131 comments
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More information has surfaced in regards to LAN support-- or a lack thereof--in StarCraft II.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Blizzard's long-awaited RTS game StarCraft II would not offer LAN support when the first installment eventually goes retail.  In fact, Blizzard's VP of game design Rob Pardo confirmed the company's lack of support during a recent interview with IncGamers, making a firm statement that Blizzard has no plans for LAN support whatsoever. To add insult to injury, Pardo didn't--nor anyone else over at Blizzard--bother to explain the reasons behind the non-existent LAN support decision.

The news caused a negative ripple effect across the gaming community, with many heated fans vowing to boycott StarCraft II and condemning the company, and even lit up the local Tom's comments system. A petition soon found its way online, asking Blizzard to insert LAN support within StarCraft II rather than forcing gamers to rely on Battle.net alone for multiplayer action. The petition has a current total of 16,398 signatures, and even lists five reasons why Blizzard should reconsider LAN support.

However, yesterday Bob Colayco from Blizzard's PR department further explained the company's reason. According to his statement to Joystiq, Blizzard is focusing primarily on Battle.net as the multiplayer gaming destination for all Blizzard titles. 'While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with StarCraft II and safeguard against piracy,' he said.

Colayco went on to provide minimal details regarding Battle.net and StarCraft II, saying that advanced communication options, achievements, stat-tracking and additional features require the player to be connected to the service. 'We're encouraging everyone to use Battle.net as much as possible to get the most out of StarCraft II,' he added. 'We're looking forward to sharing more details about Battle.net and online functionality for StarCraft II in the near future.'

StarCraft II fans will get their first taste of the multiplayer portion sometime this summer with the release of a public multiplayer beta. This first installment of the StarCraft II trilogy, Terrans: Wings of Liberty, is expected to ship by the end of the year, with Zerg: Heart of the Swarm and Protoss: Legacy of the Void to follow thereafter.

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  • 31 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 1, 2009 5:36 PM
    Well that is just ridiculous. What happens when Blizzard no longer runs compatible Battle.net servers? Or if Blizzard goes under.

    I won't buy this just like any MMORPG.

    If I buy a game I enjoy. I expect to be able to play it any time in the future. Assuming I can find and want to assemble still functioning compatible equipment 20+ years from now.

    Mostly I play single player games. However, the few games I enjoy multiplayer on need to allow LAN play. Such as Age of Empires.
  • 17 Hide
    icepick314 , July 1, 2009 5:31 PM
    geez...and i was looking so forward to this game...

    guess it's a pass for me....
  • 16 Hide
    turboflame , July 1, 2009 5:42 PM
    "StarCraft II LAN Dropped Thanks to Piracy"

    Moar liek "StarCraft II LAN Dropped Thanks to a Company That Doesn't Care About its Customers and Uses Pirates as a Scapegoat" amirite?
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    icepick314 , July 1, 2009 5:31 PM
    geez...and i was looking so forward to this game...

    guess it's a pass for me....
  • 15 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 1, 2009 5:31 PM
    i think this is a worthy reason to boycott a game rather than bullshit about some other recently announced game

    *cough**cough**L4d2**cough*
  • 31 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 1, 2009 5:36 PM
    Well that is just ridiculous. What happens when Blizzard no longer runs compatible Battle.net servers? Or if Blizzard goes under.

    I won't buy this just like any MMORPG.

    If I buy a game I enjoy. I expect to be able to play it any time in the future. Assuming I can find and want to assemble still functioning compatible equipment 20+ years from now.

    Mostly I play single player games. However, the few games I enjoy multiplayer on need to allow LAN play. Such as Age of Empires.
  • 9 Hide
    sstym , July 1, 2009 5:37 PM
    Correction: Instead of "LAN dropped thanks to piracy", you should have titled this article "LAN dropped thanks to Blizzard's ineptitude".
    Asserting that Piracy is the direct cause to LAN being dropped is about the same as saying Time Warner Cable's decision to not upgrade its network is a direct consequence of the uproar caused by the introduction of its tiered service. It is neither a logical nor an appropriate response.
    There are many ways Blizzard can prevent their games for being pirated, and this is a rather silly one.
    What is going to happen is someone is going to create a pirate patch to implement LAN whether Blizzard is ok with that or not, and then Blizzard will scramble to implement LAN in an official patch.
    Pitiful.
  • 16 Hide
    turboflame , July 1, 2009 5:42 PM
    "StarCraft II LAN Dropped Thanks to Piracy"

    Moar liek "StarCraft II LAN Dropped Thanks to a Company That Doesn't Care About its Customers and Uses Pirates as a Scapegoat" amirite?
  • 14 Hide
    JeanLuc , July 1, 2009 5:42 PM
    I'll admit, I'm not really into all this 'LAN Gaming' deal so the fact Starcraft II lacks LAN support doesn't really bother me however I do recognise LAN gaming and LAN parties has been an integral aspect of PC gaming for over a decade now and this really is a sad to see.

    Also by not supporting it you will only encourage other publishers to follow suit and this will risk killing a whole micro industry that generates money and employment.

    As for piracy................some how I don't think the directors of Blizzard are to concerned about piracy when they go and collect their wages in wheelbarrows from the mountain of cash they earn every month from World of Warcraft subscriptions.
  • 11 Hide
    baov , July 1, 2009 5:43 PM
    Yeah well Starcraft II dropped due to lack of LAN! Fuck you blizzard.
  • 11 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , July 1, 2009 5:49 PM
    Called It. The issue is and will be piracy. Blizzard is the new EA. Rather than provide those customers who did pay for Starcraft with a quality product that they can use long after Battle.net servers go offline, Blizzard decided to make it slightly more difficult for those who wouldve stolen the game anyway to get their own servers. Its not like people who pirate games can crack activation and set up their own servers that mimic Battle.net. *cough* WoW *cough*

    All this does is make it less enjoyable for actual customers.
  • 6 Hide
    Grims , July 1, 2009 5:51 PM
    Look at the newer age games. None of them work on a LAN and their servers are going down all the time. That always pisses me off. What happens when it is no longer cost effective to keep the servers going because the game doesnt sell anymore?
  • 12 Hide
    IronRyan21 , July 1, 2009 5:53 PM
    Lack of LAN due to Piracy? This only hurts us that actually will pay 50 dollars for every game in this trilogy. So not only will I pay $150 Dollars, but lets subtract LAN option as well. Damn smart move blizzard, you dumbasses!
  • 11 Hide
    zodiacfml , July 1, 2009 5:59 PM
    this is uncharacteristic of blizzard....probably the decision came from high rank executives knowing the potential revenue from asian countries.
    yet, i am sure someone will and can create software that will enable it.
  • 2 Hide
    Platypus , July 1, 2009 6:04 PM
    Well, it's a little shocking because I think the community would consider the term "RTS" to go hand-in-hand with the term "LAN", but I can't say this would affect me personally as I am not much of a LAN gamer.

    As for the folks citing the questionable future of Battle.Net, are you honestly concerned that Blizzard might just up and disconnect it? They've had these servers up and running since Starcraft launched many years ago. Forcing everyone to use Battle.Net might make Battle.Net itself much more entertaining. After all, what fun is a multiplayer game if there aren't too many people playing it?

    Still, I do offer my condolences to those who thrive on LAN-gaming. You would pretty much expect something like this from any company but Blizzard. I will anxiously await to see the effects this has. They are usually pretty smart with how they go about things. Maybe they've got something else in mind other than what they are sharing with the community.
  • 14 Hide
    dechy , July 1, 2009 6:08 PM
    I wonder how much of a hand Activision had in this decision... the most lucrative gaming company name in the industry pulling the "piracy" card is lame.

    They've just shot themselves in the foot... with the amount of backlash from this, they just increased by a HUGE margin the number of people that'll just straight torrent it, play the campaign and delete it.

    Pull that shit on D3 as well and watch your bottom line take a hit, more than you will expect.
  • 14 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 1, 2009 6:13 PM
    Yeah, that's gonna stop people from pirating that game. Right.

    Anyway, running games like that on a lan is cool for lan parties and stuff so I can see why that would turn away potential customers. I seriously don't think that preventing piracy is a good excuse since hackers/crackers will find a way.
  • 13 Hide
    ddelrio , July 1, 2009 6:19 PM
    In other news:

    Starcraft II pirated due to lack of LAN!
  • -7 Hide
    rooket , July 1, 2009 6:24 PM
    I was going to buy it anyways, so I don't really see how this harms me at all lol. My friends always buy these types of games too for the online play. Just hoping the price won't be real high on the game is all. If it is $29.99 that'd be fine.
  • 3 Hide
    v1ze , July 1, 2009 6:30 PM
    This will also force people to buy 2 copies if they want to play with a friend. The original Starcraft had a 'Spawn' copy you could install for multiplayer only. I guess I won't be playing Starcraft II with my kids. )=
  • 0 Hide
    deathsycthehe11 , July 1, 2009 6:32 PM
    I have a feeling there will be another way to get LAN through a program or something even if Blizzard don't implement it. >.
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