Starcraft 2 DLC Coming Soon… Diablo 3 Afterwards?

Site reader Patonis directs our attention to an interesting exchange between a Starcraft 2 developer and a Bliz PR guy during a group interview at Gamescom. The writeup is in German on a site called, (Google translation here) and it records a presentation by SC2 developer Jonny Ebbert.

During the conversation with some media, he talked about upcoming SC2 features including a marketplace where they’ll be selling (for real $) all sorts of stuff, including downloadable content. Here’s the Google translation quote, augmented by what Patonis said in his email:

We wanted to know if there will be new things in the Starcraft 2 marketplace. Ebbert said that the great thing is the new, that one is not forced to wait for an add or update the system must be great to incorporate such a change. It may be that the marketplace is coming before the expansion – or just after. Blizzard did with the marketplace “big plans” and thus wanted the map creators, mod-makers and players have a platform.

He also announced (no surprise, but now officially confirmed) that Blizzard will also provide plenty of content for the marketplace, thus offering piecemeal content (DLC) for the game. But before he can go into detail the annoyed PR representative, Bob Colayco, interrupts harshly saying, “We’ll talk about that later.”

The announcement that Blizzard will be selling their own custom maps for cash, was probably intended for the Blizzard in-house exhibition Blizzcon …

The language barrier makes this slightly opaque, but apparently Blizzard is upgrading the SC2 marketplace, and while they may begin selling other DLC stuff, they’re definitely going to be selling their own custom maps, to players willing to spend real money on them. There’s no way they’ll add anything to SC2 breaks the game balance — you won’t get a “pay to win” sort of scenario in a balanced PvP game like SC2 — but clearly Activision/Blizzard is out to find every possible way to enhance their digital revenue. (As Bobby Kotick makes clear with five minutes of praise for the profits generated by CoD’s DLC maps packs in every quarterly conference call.)

Jay Wilson touched on this from Gamescom as well, mentioning that they had no current plans to sell D3 items through the RMAH, but making it sound pretty likely that we’ll see D3 versions of WoW’s SparklePonies before too long. Nothing to break the game balance — just shiny-looking stuff that some of us will be willing to drop real money on. The future is coming. The future is now.

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    • Or rather, bastard.

      • Welcome to the age of Money

        • Age of getting more content for games you really enjoy.  You think that shit is made for free? 

          • Do you consider sparkleponies “content”?

          • No, I don’t consider it content, but I also don’t have to buy it.  Then again, I guess you can choose not to buy it but complain about it anyway.

          • sparkleponies are content if you brush them nicely and feed them a few carrots.

          • Is pointing out it isn’t content (changing it from “dlc” to “vanity” downloads) enough without it being a “complaint”? Where did I complain anywhere about the sparkleponies?

            Perhaps pull out a box of kleenex and midol, maybe chill out for a bit.

          • Everything is a content. Don’t want – don’t buy no one’s forcing you to do it, it doesn’t affect gameplay. You, lazy bastards, don’t like when someone doesn’t pay for your work, do you?

    • It isn’t what you think it is. The SC2 marketplace has been known to be coming for a long time. It isn’t Blizzard selling us avatars or something, it is a market for players to sell their maps/mods.

      • Yes, it has been so far and it’s not successful. Hence the coming changes, as the bliz guys talked about in the quotes above. Did you actually read the OP?

        • Flux… SC2 marketplace isn’t coming out until Heart of the Swarm. Kinda hard to say whenever it is successful or not if it never been released.

          You are mixing up the Marketplace concept with the problems of the current custom games interface.

        • What do you mean it isn’t successful? The SC2 marketplace isn’t out yet… The “coming changes” have been known to the SC2 community since beta.

        • Such a fail, Flux. Read carefully next time.

  1. They’ll probably make new unit models available for some SC2 units, like they did with the Thor in the collectors edition.

    I’d expect many of the larger units could have unique models quite easily; Queen, Battlecruiser, Brood Lord, Mothership, mabye Carrier, Ultralisk, Collosus.

  2. “card creators” => Gotta love Google translations. xD
    I don’t know much German, but I’m pretty sure they use the same word for map and card : karte. So the article is of course talking about map creators. ^^

    Edit: The Thor doesn’t have a special model in the CE, it’s a WoW pet in the shape of a Thor (and it flies for some reason).

  3. haha flux, you really tried very hard not to get sucked in by sarcasm this time, huh :p? well done, good news^^
    btw, the actual translation of the interview:
    “We wanted to know if there’s any news concerning the Starcraft 2 Marketplace. Ebbert explains that it’s one of the great things about the new to be able to implement such changes without depending on an addon or major system updates. So it’s possible that the marketplace is coming before the expension – or afterwards. Blizzard has big plans for the marketplace, wanting to give map-creators, mod-developers and players a great platform. Aside from that, he announces (no surprise, but now official) that Blizzard will be offering lots of content like DLCs on the marketplace as well. Before he could get into detail about that though, he’s interrupted by Colayco harshly: “We’ll talk about that later”. The announcement that Blizzard will be offering their own maps and custom maps for real cash was probably supposed to be saved up for their in-house exhibition Blizzcon.”

  4. Charging for custom maps is lame. They help to prolong the game’s life and also attract players that normally don’t like the original game, increasing their revenue. Just look at Warcraft 3, I would never buy such game because I don’t like RTS but because of DotA I bought W3 and its expansion. I’m sure millions of players also did that because of DotA.
    There will be a portion of players that will actually pay for maps but I doubt there will be many.

    • well, they sell their own maps, but the sold custom maps will surely benefit the creator, not blizzard (maybe blizzard will charge a small fee – see d3 auction house). that’s why they are going to make such a big announcement of it. because this marketplace will drastically prolong sc2’s lifespan and player’s will have additional incentive to actually create good maps/mods etc.

    • Conflicted much?

      “Charging for custom maps is lame… I would never buy [Warcraft 3] because I don’t like RTS but because of DotA [a custom map] I bought W3 and its expansion”.

      I mean, wow.

      You don’t like to pay for custom maps but you don’t mind buying a commercial game just to play a custom map? Would you rather have paid $5 for DotA custom map, or $50 for W3 + expansion?

    • LOL, millions of players downloaded a torrent because of DotA or bought a cheap copy from pirates. W3 was popular (and made money) thanks to campaign and multiplayer, and not cause of people playing on Garena or some free
      What’s wrong if a map creator receives some money from his map?

  5. They could always sell access to additional areas (with new quests, enemies and bosses) that they create after release.

  6. The only thing I liked about SC2 were the challenges and yes, the campaign mode. Multiplayer was alright for about a week, they mess with it so much that any strategy from launch is useless! Plus buy a custom SC2 map when an editor came with the game?

    • Lol, if you don’t want to adapt your strategy you don’t belong in an RTS multiplayer anyway!
      I would buy custom maps because I don’t have time to make better ones in the editor, duh.

  7. I’m actually expecting Blizzard DOTA to be in the map store.  It’ll be interesting to see what they plan on offering in the store.  Adding regular melee maps seems pointless since they won’t be included in the quick match brackets (for obvious reasons), but I wonder if they’ll add in new textures like is mentioned above.  I’m actually looking forward to what they have to offer.

    • Yeah good luck with that when Valve is making a superior version. :p

      Would kind of suck if they added in melee maps, because they’ve traditionally been free.

      • They have been adding a lot of new melee map and revamp of old melee map since launch, I doubt it is going to change since there needs to be ladder maps. There is a total of 60+ melee map and 3 custom map from Blizzard now. At launch it was like 20 maps(?).

        • Ah, very nice. I haven’t been playing SC2 at all since release. Good to know that they’re keeping up with the time-honored tradition.

      • Valve making a sequel to a game that is a custom map of a Blizzard game… that amuses me…

        I personally hope Blizzard put’s out their version for free like they did their other three maps, but considering all the custom models and such they were putting into it, I guess it makes sense for them to charge for it…

    • In Blizzcon they said it is going to be free but things might change.

      Also the Valve version is just DotA. Everything including hero, map will be the same down to the last tree and rock (according to developer’s blog). It is just a graphic update. Sigh, DotA used to be free for many years across many different developers, now Valve just bought it down and start charging us. I’m willing to bet DotA developer will stop updating the WC3 version of the map after Valve DotA launches. Yes, I know he said he will continue to  support DotA a long time ago, I some how just doubt it. Of course if I might be wrong.

  8. I hate, no wait, I absolutely despise the future.

  9. “There’s no way they’ll add anything to SC2 breaks the game balance — you won’t get a “pay to win” sort of scenario in a balanced PvP game like SC2 — but clearly Activision/Blizzard is out to find every possible way to enhance their digital revenue.”‘

    Give it time… eventually you’ll have to pay to compete – and that’s after you buy the game. They are only holding back for fear of a backlash, but eventually, people will get used to it and find themselves in a position where they have no choice but to buy the maps in order to keep playing the game.

    I wish kotick would fuck off.


  11. The future sucks.

  12. TL;DR Didn’t read all 37 comments, but just wanted to point out in case no one else did, the fact that Blizzard selling custom maps on the marketplace (as well as players doing their own) was announced when the marketplace was announced years past. This is very old news, nothing new.

  13. “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

  14. “we’ll see D3 versions of WoW’s SparklePonies before too long”
    If I see ANY of my friends riding SparklePonies in D3, they will get nutted (then deleted from list).

    • I don’t think we’ll see mounts in D3; the devs have said no to that in the past. But they’ve said they will probably sell some bonus stuff. And as games like League of Legends has made clear, players will pay for stuff that makes them look shinier.

      • “I don’t think we’ll see mounts in D3; the devs have said no to that in the past.”

        They also said there would be Single Player and that a 4th difficulty level was stupid. Look where we are now. 

        If mounts = $$, I’m sure they’ll change their tune.

  15. If I don’t see ANY of my friends riding SparklePonies in D3, they will get nutted (then deleted from list).

  16. @Lanthanide: You know what? I checked (I hadn’t played SC2 in a loooong time and had to download a buttload of patches ^^) and you’re right: it does have a few more doodads when you look at it up close, without it changing its silouhette in the normal view. Very smooth, Blizzard. Very smooth. 🙂

  17. More greed … Years ago we got mps for free and Bnet was free now the excuses keep coming to justify an marketplace and a RMAH. It makes me sick…..

  18. I hate sparkle ponies and anyone who buys them.  On the bright side, it leads to easy targets; riding a sparkle pony is like holding up a sign that says “I’m a tool.”  Oh, how I wish PK was still in the game…

  19. They could totally have a rainbow-farting unicorn pet or something on the store. xD

  20. Too much Greed.
    DLC are worst thing that could ever happen for customer, not only because you feel like they are cutted ( and often they are) from full game but they are very often heavy overpriced.
    Currently game market is very ruined thx to all this giants with theirs drm, dlc and many other things.
    Old times were so much better when developers were just a bunch of dudes making game because they like it not because they want as much money as possible.

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