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Blizzard: "We're not milking StarCraft 2"

Blizzard: "We're not milking StarCraft 2"

Blizzard still claims that they didn't split StarCraft 2 into three campaigns in an effort to milk the franchise.

Ever since the announcement was made that StarCraft 2 will be split into three separate, full priced games Blizzard has been facing the accusation that it is trying to milk the franchise for as much money as it can, but according to COO Paul Sams that just isn't true.

Instead, he claims that Blizzard made the move to divide the single game into a trilogy as it would be a much better experience for gamers.

"The fact of the matter is, it's absolutely, positively untrue about us trying to stretch it out and milk it, said Paul Sams in an interview with Videogamer.

"People think that it was a monetary driven decision. I can absolutely, positively tell you, with 100 per cent certainty, that that was not part of the conversation. I guarantee it. I give my word. There was never, ever a conversation where we said, 'let's do this because we're going to make more money'. I guarantee it."

"As a matter of fact the sole reason we did it was because we thought it was going to be a better experience. Anybody that says otherwise is not correct. It is absolutely not what we did it for."

Hm. We're not entirely sure we believe him, but what do you think? Is it a bad thing that the game is being split into three? Let us know in the forums.

50 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Yemerich 13th November 2008, 10:08 Quote
Very hard to believe.

I dunno how they can sustain the saying "this would be a better gaming experience" as the player will have to wait at least 2 years to se the conclusion of the game. They could say anything but this IMO.

If they aren't aiming to milk the game, let's see if the first episode will only cost a third of an actual game.
Aterius Gmork 13th November 2008, 10:08 Quote
Where exactly does the change of a disc just to play a different campaign (or a different race in multiplayer maybe) further my gaming experience?

About the money, it's not too bad for me. These are three single games, not one game plus two expansions, right? If you can play every race with every version it's fine. I'll just get two friends to buy the other two games, so we can swap. We would still be able to play the multiplayer together. :P

All bullsh*t, they are milking every single franchise. Just look at WoW, or the upcoming Diablo. There will be subscription fees to play it online (and probably no way to play it via LAN), just wait.
WILD9 13th November 2008, 10:11 Quote
If it was just old fashioned Blizzard I would trust what they say but with Activisions influence and their current franchise milking attitude, who knows.
nukeman8 13th November 2008, 10:17 Quote
Gotta stick up for blizzard here as its the only game company left that i got faith in.

They most likely came up with a few problems and rather rush the game out or push the release date back they are spilting it up into 3 to get it release and then spend more time making the other 2 even more awesome.

I can see them either releasing the games at expansion pack price or making each game into a full size game.

Maybe im just blinded by blizzard fanboyness but after westwood got eaten by EA i lost faith it just about all game companies
CardJoe 13th November 2008, 10:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork

About the money, it's not too bad for me. These are three single games, not one game plus two expansions, right? If you can play every race with every version it's fine. .

My understanding is that it doesn't work this way. Each game has a single singleplayer campaign focusing on one race. In multiplayer you can play as the other sides - but each new game that comes out will include new maps, modes, units and so on that you can't use unless you have the latest game.
Aterius Gmork 13th November 2008, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
My understanding is that it doesn't work this way. Each game has a single singleplayer campaign focusing on one race. In multiplayer you can play as the other sides - but each new game that comes out will include new maps, modes, units and so on that you can't use unless you have the latest game.

O.o Now that's even worse. - It means you cannot play the game properly until all units are out. Now we'll have to wait even longer... I've always hated expansions for strategy games.
perplekks45 13th November 2008, 10:47 Quote
@ Joe: So, let's say I get Episode 1 and two friends get the other two. We then install install them all but just keep our original disc. I know that'd be close to pirating but I know that's what loads of people will do and Blizzard have to take that into account when they start weighing the money they'll earn (as counting is no option when you have tons of it). Do you think that'd work? Cause I don't think they can expect you to put the correct disc in if you want to play with either race or to have all 3 discs in while playing SC2 MP v3...

Anyways... If he says "I guarantee!" or "I give my word!" 1 more time ... How could you believe somebody saying "PROMISE!!!!!" that often? :|
Gunsmith 13th November 2008, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeman8
Gotta stick up for blizzard here as its the only game company left that i got faith in.

what about Valve?
CardJoe 13th November 2008, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by aon`aTv.gsus666
@ Joe: So, let's say I get Episode 1 and two friends get the other two. We then install install them all but just keep our original disc. I know that'd be close to pirating but I know that's what loads of people will do and Blizzard have to take that into account when they start weighing the money they'll earn (as counting is no option when you have tons of it). Do you think that'd work? Cause I don't think they can expect you to put the correct disc in if you want to play with either race or to have all 3 discs in while playing SC2 MP v3...

Anyways... If he says "I guarantee!" or "I give my word!" 1 more time ... How could you believe somebody saying "PROMISE!!!!!" that often? :|

Not sure - but with BattleNet authetication I wouldn't count on it being as easy as that. Blizzard have a fair bit of experience in online security now, y'know.

As for compatibility, the way I understand it is that Ep1 will have mode X and Y number of units and maps. Ep 2 will have Z modes and Y2 units and maps and so on. So, if you just have Ep 3 then you can play against Ep 1 - but you can only use the stuff that was already in Ep 1.

I think that if you're just after multiplayer then Ep 3 is the way to go, though I'm not sure, as it will logically have to include all previous content, plus the latest. If you want the singleplayer campaigns too (or just want it sooner) though then you'll need Ep 1 and 2.
Dr. Strangelove 13th November 2008, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
There was never, ever a conversation where we said, 'let's do this because we're going to make more money'. I guarantee it.

Ofc there wasn't a conversation like that.. it's soo glaringly obvious that no one had to say it..they all thought it though ;)
antiHero 13th November 2008, 11:18 Quote
Am I the only one who sees that splitting the game into three disks will mean longer and better campaign modes?
All RTS I play have way to short campaigns and I really like the whole storytelling part of it. If I have to pay for 100h of campaign rather then 30h I am willing todo that
Sathy 13th November 2008, 11:22 Quote
Being more of a solo player and having reasonable respect for Blizzard in their decisions over the years, even though some have been disappointing (such as abandoning some very interesting game ideas), the overall quality of what they have been releasing seriously outweighs any "oh they're just milking it" thoughts for me.

Sure the business side of it all will be happy with the solution, more of a steady income from sales only, but I can't help thinking we can't really know for sure the exact reasons for the three part release plan. It's not like it's something common among RTS games, granted it seems to be a trend in general currently. With that I have to say they must have thought about how it might turn against them in terms of feedback, so seeing they still decided to do it could just be that they honestly think it will work out better for not just them, but for the gamers they make the games for.

If it turns out an enjoyable and well polished game, as I would imagine is to be expected, I sure as hell won't go crying over having several proper campaigns while still having access to battle.net.
Nictron 13th November 2008, 11:25 Quote
Saying that monetary influence was not present to me is unfortunately not stating it correctly because it had a influence no matter how you look at it.

If they planned the initial release with all 3 campaigns it would of taken longer to develop which in turn would reduce their profits, they could not justify, lets say 70 missions with full movie sequences and an amazing story for $50, so they decided to split it in three separate games.

Do I disagree with their decision? Absolutely not! If they give me 70 quality missions with an amazing story and ground breaking FMV sequences I would gladly for out the money for all three games.

So people stop complaining and hope that they do a great job like the beloved Blizzard we know.
Nictron 13th November 2008, 11:31 Quote
I would also like to add to my statement above that this trend is normal in Video games and we will see it more and more.

Developing games has always had one major negative, and it's CASH FLOW. for any business to retain some level of certainty you must maintain a steady cash flow in your business, that is why MMO's and Episodic gaming is becoming more popular, out of a business standpoint you can maintain that very important cash flow and react to complaints quicker and develop your game more.

Financing has always been one of the problems for game developers and this type of scenario will become more relevant to maintain cash flow in the business.

In the end I think it means higher quality games for us as gamers ans the developers can risk a little less and listen to us more, because if they don't we will just abandon their project.
Grasshopper 13th November 2008, 12:02 Quote
Knowing Blizzard and how they do things and treat they customers I think everything will turn out good. They said it already: every game will include one full campaign (for a single race) and full multiplayer. IMO they the new MP features from the later games will be release as updates for the earlier ones as they split the game because of the SP experience and the will want the MP to be same trough all 3 games.
Veles 13th November 2008, 12:37 Quote
A little too many '100%'s, 'guaranteed's, etc in that quote to make it sound believable :p
amacieli 13th November 2008, 12:43 Quote
There's only one important thing: "Carrier has arrived."
docodine 13th November 2008, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amacieli
There's only one important thing: "Carrier has arrived."

Or maybe... "Carrier will soon arrive, with purchase of expansion set"
dyzophoria 13th November 2008, 13:06 Quote
I doubt they are milking it, knowing blizzard's reputation in the past, there something more to the trilogy decision than meets the eye :)
Paradigm Shifter 13th November 2008, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
A little too many '100%'s, 'guaranteed's, etc in that quote to make it sound believable :p

Aye. When a politician is that adamant about something, it pretty much guarantees that they're lying. :) Seems that game devs and publishers are going to be going into the same classification. ;)

...

I'm still enthusiastic about Starcraft 2, though, even with it being split in three. Provided there is no nasty DRM on it, I'll be buying it for sure. If there is... well, then I just won't be playing it.
naokaji 13th November 2008, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
Knowing Blizzard and how they do things and treat they customers I think everything will turn out good.

Ahem, you forgot who the Publisher is, Activison and those guys just recently admitted that they will stop at nothing to increase the amount of money they get from you.

Blizzard + Activision is just as bad as Westwood and EA.
UrbanMarine 13th November 2008, 13:29 Quote
What if there is a break through in gaming technology? By the time they release the final game it might be outdated by 2 generations of RTS design. I think longer campaigns will be nice but for me it's not my cup of tea. I prefer just playing multiplayer because I get a much greater challenge from playing people. I think their master plan will hurt both types of players.
perplekks45 13th November 2008, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
I doubt they are milking it, knowing blizzard's reputation in the past, there something more to the trilogy decision than meets the eye :)
Yep, Santa Claus will come with Elvis and deliver it right to your door, right? :|

Do you really think there's more than money to it? Or pressure by Activision to make more money?
Bluephoenix 13th November 2008, 14:15 Quote
smells like the way Dawn of War went, where you had to have all the game releases to have all the unit and race options for multiplayer.

blows.
mrb_no1 13th November 2008, 14:21 Quote
isnt this going to be a yearly release too, so 3 years later these graphics that look good now, are gunna look shite so this had better be a great game otherwise me and the boys will be playing the original at lans for some time more.

peace
naokaji 13th November 2008, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrb_no1
isnt this going to be a yearly release too, so 3 years later these graphics that look good now, are gunna look shite so this had better be a great game otherwise me and the boys will be playing the original at lans for some time more.

peace

No definite Timeframe known atm, below quote is from original bit-tech article about the split:
Quote:
Terrans: Wings of Liberty will be the first game in the series to be released, with Blizzard saying that it could be a year or more between each title. Bear in mind that that's in Blizzard Time however - in normal time that could translate into decades.
13eightyfour 13th November 2008, 15:32 Quote
Seeing as there a business, and as a business they have to make money id be very surprised that NOBODY suggested splitting the game to make more money. i would have thought it would be a logical idea for a business to put on the table? I cant say that i agree thats its going to be better for the gamer. It would be better if they just came out and explained EXACTLY what each ep will contain and whether you need all 3!
Project_Nightmare 13th November 2008, 15:50 Quote
I say they are milking it until they release their prices for the game. If it is in $20-30 range then they aren't. If it is around $50 per game, then I hate Blizzard.
Redbeaver 13th November 2008, 17:51 Quote
i dont believe him.

its either he's lying or he's a lousy businessman.

nobody gonna mention it but im sure at the decision-maker meeting evrybody silently understands. its common business sense.
kosch 13th November 2008, 17:53 Quote
I'd rather have 3 long starcraft 2 storyline campaign modes than 3 short storyline campaign modes even if there is a gap in between their releases. The thing that sells a game to me is the immersion in the universe and the story line if it isnt there then I cant be bothered with it.
pendragon 13th November 2008, 17:54 Quote
I think I'll wait till I actually play the game before I pronounce my judgement on whether the episodes are overpriced
HourBeforeDawn 13th November 2008, 18:11 Quote
Blizzard is turning into one of my least liked game companies, they are becoming really money greedy and they dont treat their customers with respect, I think Diablo 3 will probably be one of the last games I buy from them ~_~
seveneleven 13th November 2008, 18:44 Quote
It's what they're suppose to say.That's what I would do if I didn't want to hurt my sales.
perplekks45 13th November 2008, 19:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrb_no1
isnt this going to be a yearly release too, so 3 years later these graphics that look good now, are gunna look shite so this had better be a great game otherwise me and the boys will be playing the original at lans for some time more.

peace
On that note:
Isn't that exactly what happened to the original SC? The graphics are more than lame by nowaday's standard but there are still enough people playing it. Maybe some people at Blizzard think it might go the same route with SC2...
Diosjenin 13th November 2008, 22:02 Quote
I can believe they split the game into three as a design decision. It would be ridiculous to believe that they're full-priced based on that same design decision.

Their case would be a lot more solid if they weren't making billions of dollars off of WoW.
ZERO <ibis> 14th November 2008, 05:30 Quote
We require more vespene gas, and $60
NaThRo 14th November 2008, 06:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
As for compatibility, the way I understand it is that Ep1 will have mode X and Y number of units and maps. Ep 2 will have Z modes and Y2 units and maps and so on. So, if you just have Ep 3 then you can play against Ep 1 - but you can only use the stuff that was already in Ep 1.

My guess would be that each Ep would come with a basic set of units (Y) and then a few unique ones depending on your purchase (1=Y+T, 2=Y+Z, 3=Y+P). And you only have access to T, Z or P if you've got that Ep installed/purchased.

Or is what Joe said exactly what's happening?


I don't think they should be pricing each episode as a full priced game... maybe 2/3 or 3/4.
Gh0stDrag0n 14th November 2008, 08:20 Quote
$30....$50.... milk.....3 games....promise....bla.....bla.....bla....

WTF is wrong with everyone?

Build a $1200+ "Gaming PC and B*tch about the cost of countless of hours of gaming on it.
Starcraft 2 will be great, on and offline. Get over it and flip a few more burgers if you can't come up with the money.
Ninja_182 14th November 2008, 17:56 Quote
No company in their right mind would not mention the financial benefit in the meeting :p

Episodes are just an extention of 'expansion packs' nobody I know has problems with them.
Noob4ever 14th November 2008, 19:58 Quote
Now I myself dont really like the way this is sounding, simply because episodic gaming is one thing, its a new chapter in the game, but only a chapter, and ends on that note, but it has some completion. Now, taking into account a game like SC2 will be, should be, whatever, We're taking three intertwining story lines and breaking them up into one a year segments, all ive got to say is WTF, I'm sorry but wasn't part of the uberness of SC1 the way all three race campaigns intertwined so you could see the various thought processes going on behind the scenes and get a fuller picture, now basically your going to play the first game, then wait a year, play it again to refresh on the story and then start the second, and rinse and repeat........... what a crock, and you cannot honestly tell me that cash flow issues apply to blizzard at this point in time.........

I mean give me a break people, SC1 was uber for the gameplay, which is what made it so great, but I really doubt any RTS game has such great gameplay that I'm going to pay 50 bucks for a third of the story, much less 150 over 3 years time for all of it............ its simply that they want to make more money.........

I'm dissapointed in blizzard, used to be the one company that I could care less that they decided to extend a game development time another year or two, cause they had great gameplay and a damn good story to go with it.......... but this is simply a for profit deal........

especially when considering the fact that if theyve built a world builder anything like sc1 had that now that theyve got the code written and down, additional campaigns are not that difficult to plan out and execute in terms of gameplay, its simply story and movies and voice overs needing to be done.

IE

MONAY MONAY MONAY
DXR_13KE 14th November 2008, 22:10 Quote
StarCraft 2 says Mmmooooooo!!!!
itazura 14th November 2008, 22:28 Quote
i'd have more respect for them if they just admitted it.
C0nKer 15th November 2008, 09:44 Quote
I'm puzzled by the idea of splitting the game by means of factions.

The first game only about Terrans? WTF!!!. If they split the game, while retaining stories of all factions in each game, that'd be alright. The same way the storyline in the first StarCraft went.
Corz 15th November 2008, 15:53 Quote
I agree with C0nKer, I've been waiting for this game for so long and find terran the least interesting faction to play. At the very least they should include the first few maps of the other factions campaigns.
Fozzy 15th November 2008, 20:39 Quote
I can absolutely, positively garuntee that I will only buy one of these games and if I want to play the other two I can absolutely positively garuntee that I will torrent them....
RawrBQ 17th November 2008, 05:59 Quote
The extreme level of defensiveness would suggest that not only are they milking it for as much as possible, but that it might not satisfy as much as it originally could have.

Don't know if I'm going to get it now, unless it really is worth the price of 3 full games. Just getting one would be silly.
Bungle 17th November 2008, 12:21 Quote
LOL at some of the comments on here.

Milking a franchise is;police academy 7,The simpsons season 21, Friends season 11 etc ...we are only now getting Starcraft 2 after what 9 years or more.

Milking the franchise

Made my day that.
impar 4th December 2008, 23:28 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Ads come to Battle.Net as Activision monetizes free service

Activision Blizzard has a very easy-to-understand business plan: monetize everything it can, as quickly as it can, across as many platforms as it can. The result is a strong slash-and-burn mentality when it comes to the games industry, and a new deal with Massive Inc. to sell ads in its games shouldn't come as a surprise; in-game advertising isn't a new idea. What's frightening is the announcement that those ads are coming to Battle.Net. Don't worry, it sounds like there are even more plans to turn Battle.net into a cash cow.
nukeman8 8th December 2008, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle
LOL at some of the comments on here.

Milking a franchise is;police academy 7,The simpsons season 21, Friends season 11 etc ...we are only now getting Starcraft 2 after what 9 years or more.

Milking the franchise

Made my day that.

QFT, Blizzard are not EA.

need i say more
perplekks45 8th December 2008, 14:08 Quote
But they might turn into EA2... another franchise started here? :|
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