Blizzard May License Battle.Net In The Future

Blizzard May License Battle.Net In The Future

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Rob Pardo from Blizzard said that the team has been improving the matchmaking in Battle.net and they've thought about licensing the service to third parties.

Last week, fellow games editor John Funk and I were arguing about whether Blizzard was ever going to try to sell its Battle.net service to other developers or keep it proprietary. I didn't think that was Blizzard's modus operandi, they are usually only out for themselves, but Funk brought up a good point: Why not? At a panel at GDC 2010 on the future connectivity of games, I was able to ask Blizzard executive, Rob Pardo, about licensing Battle.net and settle the argument with Funk once and for all.

"It's something that we've definitely always talked about," Pardo said. "The problem for us is that it takes a lot of work from our other teams. Every time we have the discussion, we try to figure out what's going to happen if let's say a Blizzard game was coming out and a third party game was coming out at the same time. Could we be agnostic in that way? Could we offer the same level of support that we offer our games to third parties? We just never know. It just seems like a big job for us."

Pardo did mention that they are in essence testing a system out with the StarCraft 2 Map Marketplace. "I think that will be a really good test-bed for us to see how much support we have to give to mapmakers and how well we can do something like that."

So there you go. Both Funk and I were right really. Blizzard is, in fact, looking out for Numero Uno, but they are at least considering the possibility of licensing Battle.net to other parties in the future.

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Do you realize that what you did here was more or less the gaming equivalent of arguing with your friend over whether Thor or The Hulk would win in a fight, then asking Stan Lee in person what his opinion is?

My jealousy cannot properly be expressed in words and if it could, I'm pretty sure it would get me permabanned.

commasplice:
Do you realize that what you did here was more or less the gaming equivalent of arguing with your friend over whether Thor or The Hulk would win in a fight, then asking Stan Lee in person what his opinion is?

My jealousy cannot properly be expressed in words and if it could, I'm pretty sure it would get me permabanned.

Thor has the support of the people, he'll win. (No, seriously, he was the most liked god among the Viking common folk.)

Anyway, what worries me is the "Map Marketplace." Will it still be possible to distribute your maps amongst your friends for free? It would suck if they released such an awesome map editor and made you pay for the maps that were made in it.

I just hope the 3rd party doesnt mess around with it too much

Enigmers:

Anyway, what worries me is the "Map Marketplace." Will it still be possible to distribute your maps amongst your friends for free? It would suck if they released such an awesome map editor and made you pay for the maps that were made in it.

You can share your map files with your friend you wont be able to do it through the marketplace if you wanted to sell it. Blizzard will probably be the god over the sales/purchase portion of things. Though if map making gets much bigger we are going to have to figure out a way for map makers to do proper customer service, sales, etc.

kaizoman:

Enigmers:

Anyway, what worries me is the "Map Marketplace." Will it still be possible to distribute your maps amongst your friends for free? It would suck if they released such an awesome map editor and made you pay for the maps that were made in it.

You can share your map files with your friend you wont be able to do it through the marketplace if you wanted to sell it. Blizzard will probably be the god over the sales/purchase portion of things. Though if map making gets much bigger we are going to have to figure out a way for map makers to do proper customer service, sales, etc.

Well, how I think it works is by attaching map licenses to your Battle.net 2.0 account so you can only play a licensed version on Battle.net 2.0.

Basically your suggestion won't work unless you create your own Battle.net service.

99% of maps will be free on b-net, it'll work just like normal b-net except a select few maps who meet blizzards standards and the developers choose to will be on the marketplace.

This always had to be coming. No matter how much Blizzard may cater firstly to themselves, at some point Activision are going to get unhappy about that cut that Valve takes and want to start selling their other games on Battle.net. That's why I was immensly suprised when MW2 shipped with Steamworks last year. And once other Activision games start shipping on there, it can only be a matter of time before more publishers and indies follow.

Halfthought:
99% of maps will be free on b-net, it'll work just like normal b-net except a select few maps who meet blizzards standards and the developers choose to will be on the marketplace.

I'm almost positive this is how it actually works. The idea is that ANYBODY can make their own custom maps for anybody to play for free. BUT~ if you think your mapmaking is a cut above, then you try and get it on the marketplace. I seem to remember saying that monetizing your maps was something you could do by your own discretion. I don't know why so many people think Blizz has completely lost their mind.

Think it'll be big enough to compete against Steam?

 

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