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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"World of Warcraft--currently the MMORPG has enslaved 11.5 million subscribers worldwide"Reply
An interesting phrase...but very true.
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...Reply
11.5 million at its peak, that number is no longer that high.Reply
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).Reply
I simply can't envision Starcraft without battle.net, it's hard to explain, its something like Valve without Steam, incomplete and non functional.
Now if they can just keep the hackers away...Reply
LAN 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.Reply
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.Reply
There's nothing like the rush of a good SC2 game and it only gets better with friends playing alongside you.
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!Reply
Blizzard: "LOL Seriously? We've sold so many copies already, even if it does get pirated, we've already made a fortune!"Reply
Merge. The. servers. NOW.Reply
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.