Reddit User Finds Starcraft Source Code, Gets Rewarded by Blizzard When He Returns It

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Reddit User Finds Starcraft Source Code, Gets Rewarded by Blizzard When He Returns It

starcraft-source-code-disc-325

It's not every day that you find the source code to a world-renowned game in a box you bought on eBay.

Have you ever bought a box of stuff at an auction or on eBay and found something super valuable in it? That's what happened to Reddit user Khemist49. He bought a "box of Blizzard stuff" on eBay, and when he received it, he found something unexpected: A gold CD that was labeled "StarCraft Gold Master Source Code."

Obviously excited, he posted about it on Reddit, and received mixed responses. Some folks wanted him to rip the contents of the CD and post them online. Some wanted to buy the CD from him, and others called him out for owning it.

Of course, Blizzard got wind of the post, and its legal team reached out to him, asking that the disc be returned. Blizzard said that the disc contained, "intellectual property and trade secrets." After consulting a lawyer himself, Khemist49 sent the disc off to Blizzard.

In return Blizzard gave him a copy of Overwatch and $250 in credit on the Blizzard Store. That's a pretty nice gesture, but Blizzard wasn't done. In a follow-up post to Reddit, Khemist49 said that Blizzard employee had reached out to him, offering him an all-expenses paid trip to BlizzCon, and an invite to go out for drinks with some folks from Blizzard. He also received a package in the mail that contained the items below.

Blizzard has confirmed to the story to Kotaku, and offered this explanation: "[Blizzard] wanted to show an appropriate level of appreciation to the player for doing the right thing, not just from Blizzard, but on behalf of the large and active community of players who still enjoy StarCraft today."

blizzard-gift-package-650

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Wow Blizzard really under valued that disk man the things people could have done with that source code so many good things would have come from having the source code to be archived online.

See? Look what happens to honest/nice people ;) Ethics is a good thing, despite what the Kardashians say....

ffronw:
and others called him out for owning it.

What does this even mean? I have no idea what "calling someone out" for owning a cd of source code entails.

After talking to their legal team huh. Ok

I may have grown out of playing Blizzard games now, but they're still a good company and stuff like this shows it.

Jadak:

ffronw:
and others called him out for owning it.

What does this even mean? I have no idea what "calling someone out" for owning a cd of source code entails.

I'm guessing people suspected he'd acquired it by dubious means. How do you just get hold of something like that, anyway?

He got some really nice loot for it. Say whatever you want about Blizzard, but we all know that certain companies would have threatened to sue him instead.

Killerologist:
See? Look what happens to honest/nice people ;) Ethics is a good thing, despite what the Kardashians say....

You get shortchanged with a pile of crap they had leftover in storage, an oversized coupon and get to waste a couple of days on a mediocre event? Doesn't feel like he got paid what he was worth at all.

Least they could've given him was a high end rig he could use, or a sizeable amount amount of cash in real money, not Blizzard bucks. Jesus Christ, they gave the poor guy 250 in currency he can only use on Blzzard's digital store! They literally loaned him money! Guess he should be glad it didn't come with interest...

Also, I'm not seeing the ethical part in this, what with Blizzard playing legalese first thing with the poor guy. He was probably shitting bricks at the thought of getting sued by the poor billion dollar company who wouldn't hesitate to ruin his life if he dared to release the source code of their 20 year old game. Thank god the 'moral' solution favoured the will of a soulless megacompany and their desire to shove that disk in a box that won't get sold on ebay this time.

Jadak:

ffronw:
and others called him out for owning it.

What does this even mean? I have no idea what "calling someone out" for owning a cd of source code entails.

Most likely "you stole that". Because shoot first and ask questions later.

Thaluikhain:

Jadak:

ffronw:
and others called him out for owning it.

What does this even mean? I have no idea what "calling someone out" for owning a cd of source code entails.

I'm guessing people suspected he'd acquired it by dubious means. How do you just get hold of something like that, anyway?

Honestly, I'm way more interested in the story of how it got to him than anything else. How did it get out of Blizzard's possession in the first place? Disgruntled employee? Corporate espionage? Did someone leave it on a bus? What did the person who had it before do with it? And why put it in some grab bag of Blizzard stuff they sold on eBay?

MC1980:

Killerologist:
See? Look what happens to honest/nice people ;) Ethics is a good thing, despite what the Kardashians say....

You get shortchanged with a pile of crap they had leftover in storage, an oversized coupon and get to waste a couple of days on a mediocre event? Doesn't feel like he got paid what he was worth at all.

Strictly speaking, no. This is an odd case where the actual value of the disk is hard to define in any objective sense. There's no par value or sales price for it, and while aficionados might have paid a very pretty penny for it, let's be honest aficionados are almost defined by the fact that they're willing to pay well over fair price for things related to the subject they're passionate about. Consequentially we're limited to the near platitude that the fair price of the disk is what the seller is willing to part with it for and the buyer is willing to pay for it.

In this particular case, the person in question is evidently a Blizzard aficionado, having purchased what amounted to Blizzard memorabilia. What he got in return for returning a disk to a company he is apparently very fond of is a free copy of Overwatch, $250 store credit, tickets and an all expense paid trip to Blizzcon, hanging out with undisclosed members of the Blizzard team, and a box containing the items in the OP's image. Doing a little legwork, we can identify these as: two out of circulation plushies (2016 SDCC Red Primal Winston Plush, SDCC 2014 Blizzard Exclusive Diablo Whimsyshire Treasure Goblin Plush), an Overwatch Goliathus Speed pad (keyboard and mouse), an Overwatch Razer ManO?War Tournament Edition analog gaming headset, an Overwatch Razer DeathAdder Chroma ergonomic mouse, a Diablo III Bottle Opener, an Overwatch Razer Blackwidow Chroma Keyboard, and a Diablo III Deluxe Hardcover Sketchbook.

Now, is the disk more valuable to Blizzard than that? Almost certainly. Is it more valuable to the seller than that? Probably not, actually.

Saltyk:

Thaluikhain:

Jadak:

What does this even mean? I have no idea what "calling someone out" for owning a cd of source code entails.

I'm guessing people suspected he'd acquired it by dubious means. How do you just get hold of something like that, anyway?

Honestly, I'm way more interested in the story of how it got to him than anything else. How did it get out of Blizzard's possession in the first place? Disgruntled employee? Corporate espionage? Did someone leave it on a bus? What did the person who had it before do with it? And why put it in some grab bag of Blizzard stuff they sold on eBay?

Moving offices most likely. It would've went something like this:

- employee prints/has a print of the master for work
- at some point, no longer has use for it, puts it in a box in the office storage room with all the other work related crap he no longer needs/cares for (remember, this is '98 Bliz)
- completely forgets about it/maybe even leaves the company, who cares really
- company grows, decides to move to a bigger office
- staff starts cleaning the place out, everyone packs their stuff, and a bunch of crap is still left in storage nobody took and the company doesn't need(it's not like they'd put important stuff there, doh, oh also still '98)
- so staff starts sorting through it, everyone, from devs to cleaners, call dibs on whatever's found and take what they fancy, the leftovers go into the garbage
- as a result, some guy picked up a box of tat that happens to contain the disk, probably not even a dev, unbeknownst to him, he gets the disk
- he shoves that box of stuff into his attic, where it stays for a number of years
- for whatever reason, after a pretty long time, he starts going through it to see if he can get rid of it for some scratch on ebay, puts the whole box up for grabs
- the hero of our tale buys this box of mouldy crap because he likes Blizzard, and while sorting through it, finds the source disk

boom, he got it by complete accident, and no one was the wiser

Now you might think that that sequence of events is farfetched. You'd be right somewhat, but that doesn't change the fact that similar sequence of events have happened several times already. Most famously, the discovery of the Nintendo Playstation prototype, which a guy got alongside a box of porcelain plates he took from his office that was closing down. There's quite the precedent for such happenstance.

Would that disc be worth a lot on the black market? like to hackers and what not or rival game companies......he kinda had no choice other than give it back because he posted it on reddit....buuuuut, if he had known the value of said disc, he might just have been able to sell that for enough cold hard cash to sort him out for the rest of his life.......maybe....i dunno.

Asita:
snip

Preeeetty sure 4k in $ would've done more for the guy. Pocket change for Blizz, and the guy would've been able to buy everything they gave him and have enough beer money leftover to intoxicate an elephant. That's a price he would've been able to hit quite easily if he decided to resell.

As it stands, they really just seem to have mailed him an assortment of tat laying in the corner of their office collecting dust. Plus some cash he can only spend on them. Heaven forbid he buy a pair of sneakers with his reward money.

I'm sure he's happy about the con invitation though. Should be a fun memory for the guy, even if it doesn't translate well to price. (Despite Blizzcon being like the most expensive con.

Asita:
Strictly speaking, no. This is an odd case where the actual value of the disk is hard to define in any objective sense. There's no par value or sales price for it, and while aficionados might have paid a very pretty penny for it, let's be honest aficionados are almost defined by the fact that they're willing to pay well over fair price for things related to the subject they're passionate about.

For a single item, aficionados define the fair market price for an item. The one who is willing to pay the most is the one who gets it: that's fair.

MC1980:

Now you might think that that sequence of events is farfetched. You'd be right somewhat, but that doesn't change the fact that similar sequence of events have happened several times already. Most famously, the discovery of the Nintendo Playstation prototype, which a guy got alongside a box of porcelain plates he took from his office that was closing down. There's quite the precedent for such happenstance.

I would say too that late 90s Blizzard more than likely didn't keep track of IP material nearly as well or as vehemently as today's Blizz. Probably because it was a different industry. So stuff like this showing up in a totally innocent nature is highly likely, even if said company is still in existence.

Seanchaidh:

Asita:
Strictly speaking, no. This is an odd case where the actual value of the disk is hard to define in any objective sense. There's no par value or sales price for it, and while aficionados might have paid a very pretty penny for it, let's be honest aficionados are almost defined by the fact that they're willing to pay well over fair price for things related to the subject they're passionate about.

For a single item, aficionados define the fair market price for an item. The one who is willing to pay the most is the one who gets it: that's fair.

I suppose that is accurate to the extent that it follows the aforementioned rule. My intended point was that by non-aficionado standards, aficionados are wont to overpay. It's more or less auction philosophy. Highest bid technically sets the fair value, but the price they set is usually above what most others would be willing to pay for it.

MC1980:
You get shortchanged with a pile of crap they had leftover in storage, an oversized coupon and get to waste a couple of days on a mediocre event? Doesn't feel like he got paid what he was worth at all.

Worth is a relative term.

Since Gold Source discs aren't sold, the CD left Blizzard's possession either by accident or by theft (I would assume accident), either way it still belonged to Blizzard. If he'd sold the disc on, put an image of it online or demanded cash for it's return Blizzard would have been well within their rights to go to the police and/or sue him. I'm not sure a CD of a twenty year old game is worth attracting the ire of a billion dollar company.

By the same token Blizzard didn't have to do anything once he returned it, they could have just gone 'thank you citizen,' and carried on as if nothing happened. It was good of them to take the time to send him free stuff. I bet plenty of the other publishers wouldn't have bothered.

I really wonder what's on it in terms of unseen content. Probably nothing much, since it's the gold version, but still. But what could have been done with that? People could have learned from that, even though I expect the code to be pretty antiquated. I'd be more excited if Blizzard released it themselves. What actual value for Blizzard is on the CD? SC II, I guess, has pretty much nothing to do anymore with SC I.

Is there any source code out there from a successful RTS?

... What successful RTS are there, anyway? Age of Empires, StarCraft, AOE II, Command & Conquer, ... and?

Asita:

Seanchaidh:

Asita:
Strictly speaking, no. This is an odd case where the actual value of the disk is hard to define in any objective sense. There's no par value or sales price for it, and while aficionados might have paid a very pretty penny for it, let's be honest aficionados are almost defined by the fact that they're willing to pay well over fair price for things related to the subject they're passionate about.

For a single item, aficionados define the fair market price for an item. The one who is willing to pay the most is the one who gets it: that's fair.

I suppose that is accurate to the extent that it follows the aforementioned rule. My intended point was that by non-aficionado standards, aficionados are wont to overpay. It's more or less auction philosophy. Highest bid technically sets the fair value, but the price they set is usually above what most others would be willing to pay for it.

Even things as mundane as unskilled labor satisfy that condition, though. Most people aren't willing to pay even minimum wage most of the time: the buying side of the labor market is dominated by a relatively small portion of the population. Only the things that literally almost everyone buys have a fair market value which correspond to what most people would pay.

That being said, I don't want anyone to mistake me for saying that this model of pricing is a moral imperative that I endorse. It's an established convention and little more.

Naldan:

... What successful RTS are there, anyway? Age of Empires, StarCraft, AOE II, Command & Conquer, ... and?

Dune, Company of Heroes, Homeworld, Warcraft, Supreme Commander, Dawn of War, etc.

Not sure how you define "success," but the RTS genre isn't one of flops bar the exceptions.

Paragon Fury:
I may have grown out of playing Blizzard games now, but they're still a good company and stuff like this shows it.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh I wouldn't go that far. This was certainly a nice gesture on their behalf for someone doing the right thing and returning the source code. But a "good company"? Lets not start deifying them just yet. The plethora of micro transactions throughout all their games knocks them down a peg or three...especially since said micro transactions in Overwatch - and now Heroes of the Storm as well - equate to gambling for cosmetics.

Trade Secrets, really? What sort of amazing piece of code could -possibly- be sitting in a nearly 20-year-old game that would have any relevance in the market today beyond just being neat to look at/having nifty historical value?

I'd have been far happier if he'd just leaked it, especially given that other industry giants' source codes (such as Doom) were released, officially even, WELL before their two-decade marks.

RJ 17:
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh I wouldn't go that far. This was certainly a nice gesture on their behalf for someone doing the right thing and returning the source code. But a "good company"? Lets not start deifying them just yet. The plethora of micro transactions throughout all their games knocks them down a peg or three...especially since said micro transactions in Overwatch - and now Heroes of the Storm as well - equate to gambling for cosmetics.

Microtransactions are bad because...reasons.

Not that I play Overwatch, but as I understand, you pay for the base game, then get free new heroes, free events, free maps, etc., with the microtransactions only being cosmetic. HotS is F2P, so you need to purchase new heroes as well as cosmetics, but you can get every hero you want in the game without spending a dime if you want. Potentially skins as well if you grind long enough.

I could look at their other games as well, but Blizzard's been quite generous across the spectrum. And don't start with that gambling nonsense, if people want to gamble, it's their choice - I have no sympathy for people who claim to be the victim when they lose their money, virtual or otherwise, when gambling. It's called personal responsibility.

Hawki:

Microtransactions are bad because...reasons.

Not that I play Overwatch, but as I understand, you pay for the base game, then get free new heroes, free events, free maps, etc., with the microtransactions only being cosmetic. HotS is F2P, so you need to purchase new heroes as well as cosmetics, but you can get every hero you want in the game without spending a dime if you want. Potentially skins as well if you grind long enough.

I could look at their other games as well, but Blizzard's been quite generous across the spectrum. And don't start with that gambling nonsense, if people want to gamble, it's their choice - I have no sympathy for people who claim to be the victim when they lose their money, virtual or otherwise, when gambling. It's called personal responsibility.

I won't bash all microtransactions, charging for cosmetic stuff is generally OK in my book, but loot crates are pretty undeniably more anti-consumer than just about any other paid content implementation. Requiring the user to pay in increments of $1 or whatever the price of a box is for a <1% chance to get a particular item is ridiculous compared to just charging $5 or even $10 for specific skins and etcs. The fact that Blizz is perfectly okay with using a system known for how it exploits people lacking in self control speaks a lot about their character as a company.

Also, don't go around generalizing a group that includes people who -are- the victims of severe gambling addictions and/or other mental health issues. Saying "well hurr it was your personal responsibility to not lose your cash gambling!" is tantamount to telling a war veteran it was their responsibility to not suffer from a PTSD episode.

Xorph:

I won't bash all microtransactions, charging for cosmetic stuff is generally OK in my book, but loot crates are pretty undeniably more anti-consumer than just about any other paid content implementation. Requiring the user to pay in increments of $1 or whatever the price of a box is for a <1% chance to get a particular item is ridiculous compared to just charging $5 or even $10 for specific skins and etcs. The fact that Blizz is perfectly okay with using a system known for how it exploits people lacking in self control speaks a lot about their character as a company.

Also, don't go around generalizing a group that includes people who -are- the victims of severe gambling addictions and/or other mental health issues. Saying "well hurr it was your personal responsibility to not lose your cash gambling!" is tantamount to telling a war veteran it was their responsibility to not suffer from a PTSD episode.

In an ideal world, both systems would exist, but I still prefer the current HotS system - there was no way I was going to spend $25 on a unicorn mount for instance. The freebies I can get through the loot chest system is preferable because it costs no money, and if I do want to spend money, I can use virtual currency, which can be used to buy individual skins/mounts/whatever.

That said, Blizzard or otherwise, the idea of exploiting those who lack self-control...okay, fine, but I'll deal with the mental health analogy first. PTSD isn't comparable to gambling addiction, because PTSD is a condition that comes as a result from an action, said action being done in service of the state. Gambling addiction is a more intrinsic medical condition, and a form of addiction. I'm not downplaying it, nor am I saying that people shouldn't be afforded support, but I do disagree with the idea that it's the responsibility of the provider of the good/service to deal with it. Mental health support is more the purview of family/the state/charity.

To use a more common example when this comes up in conversation, I don't smoke, because I know it's putting poison in my body. I don't eat from McDonalds, because I know that the food is bereft of nutritional value. But not doing so is my choice. If a person chooses to consume these products, and gets cancer, or becomes obese, then they get some sympathy (especially if these actions were undertaken before the health hazards were more apparent), but I'm against the idea of the provider of the good/service being held culpable, since consumption is on the part of the consumer.

fix-the-spade:
[quote="MC1980" post="7.949989.23964873"]

By the same token Blizzard didn't have to do anything once he returned it, they could have just gone 'thank you citizen,' and carried on as if nothing happened. It was good of them to take the time to send him free stuff. I bet plenty of the other publishers wouldn't have bothered.

Let's be real, most other companies probably would've sent the police after him first, threatened a huge lawsuit, and done everything in their power to preemptively ruin the guys life. Blizzard evidently did not do that because there would've been a story about it.

Not being a shitter doesn't make Blizzard a better company, but not being a shitter and being pretty cool about it does.

MC1980:

Saltyk:

Thaluikhain:

I'm guessing people suspected he'd acquired it by dubious means. How do you just get hold of something like that, anyway?

Honestly, I'm way more interested in the story of how it got to him than anything else. How did it get out of Blizzard's possession in the first place? Disgruntled employee? Corporate espionage? Did someone leave it on a bus? What did the person who had it before do with it? And why put it in some grab bag of Blizzard stuff they sold on eBay?

Moving offices most likely. It would've went something like this:

- employee prints/has a print of the master for work
- at some point, no longer has use for it, puts it in a box in the office storage room with all the other work related crap he no longer needs/cares for (remember, this is '98 Bliz)
- completely forgets about it/maybe even leaves the company, who cares really
- company grows, decides to move to a bigger office
- staff starts cleaning the place out, everyone packs their stuff, and a bunch of crap is still left in storage nobody took and the company doesn't need(it's not like they'd put important stuff there, doh, oh also still '98)
- so staff starts sorting through it, everyone, from devs to cleaners, call dibs on whatever's found and take what they fancy, the leftovers go into the garbage
- as a result, some guy picked up a box of tat that happens to contain the disk, probably not even a dev, unbeknownst to him, he gets the disk
- he shoves that box of stuff into his attic, where it stays for a number of years
- for whatever reason, after a pretty long time, he starts going through it to see if he can get rid of it for some scratch on ebay, puts the whole box up for grabs
- the hero of our tale buys this box of mouldy crap because he likes Blizzard, and while sorting through it, finds the source disk

boom, he got it by complete accident, and no one was the wiser

Now you might think that that sequence of events is farfetched. You'd be right somewhat, but that doesn't change the fact that similar sequence of events have happened several times already. Most famously, the discovery of the Nintendo Playstation prototype, which a guy got alongside a box of porcelain plates he took from his office that was closing down. There's quite the precedent for such happenstance.

Doesn't sound farfetched to me at all. I can totally see something like that happening. As you pointed out, things have played out like that in the past. It still seems odd that someone would accidentally sell something like this. It's like if you bought a old dresser and found an original copy of Steamboat Willie.

Hawki:

In an ideal world, both systems would exist, but I still prefer the current HotS system - there was no way I was going to spend $25 on a unicorn mount for instance. The freebies I can get through the loot chest system is preferable because it costs no money, and if I do want to spend money, I can use virtual currency, which can be used to buy individual skins/mounts/whatever.

That said, Blizzard or otherwise, the idea of exploiting those who lack self-control...okay, fine, but I'll deal with the mental health analogy first. PTSD isn't comparable to gambling addiction, because PTSD is a condition that comes as a result from an action, said action being done in service of the state. Gambling addiction is a more intrinsic medical condition, and a form of addiction. I'm not downplaying it, nor am I saying that people shouldn't be afforded support, but I do disagree with the idea that it's the responsibility of the provider of the good/service to deal with it. Mental health support is more the purview of family/the state/charity.

To use a more common example when this comes up in conversation, I don't smoke, because I know it's putting poison in my body. I don't eat from McDonalds, because I know that the food is bereft of nutritional value. But not doing so is my choice. If a person chooses to consume these products, and gets cancer, or becomes obese, then they get some sympathy (especially if these actions were undertaken before the health hazards were more apparent), but I'm against the idea of the provider of the good/service being held culpable, since consumption is on the part of the consumer.

My bad, I didn't mean to imply that Blizz or other companies were meant to be held accountable for the problems resulting from overusing their products, I moreso meant to point out that the moral integrity of the company is suspect on account of the fact they're providing a service well known for harming those who partake in it (eg cigarette companies are basically Satan because they know full well they're selling cancer sticks, Blizz are assholes because they willingly chose an anti-consumer MT model, etc).

PTSD was a bad example on my part, I was pressed for time and just went with the first potential analogy that came to mind.

And yeah, for me the seemingly most optimal solution would be to keep the level-up loot boxes/dupe credits, but remove the buyable ones and replace that with directly buying specific items.

I have zero trouble flipping my cynicism switch to "Off" in this case.

I like.

This is a feel good story for me.

MC1980:

Killerologist:
See? Look what happens to honest/nice people ;) Ethics is a good thing, despite what the Kardashians say....

You get shortchanged with a pile of crap they had leftover in storage, an oversized coupon and get to waste a couple of days on a mediocre event? Doesn't feel like he got paid what he was worth at all.

I mean it says he talked to a lawyer first before sending it so it sounds like he didn't have a legal leg to keep it or he would have had.

I mean think about it. if you had such a thing, would you just give it back unless you really had to? Of course not... the fact that he's getting any compensation at all is a kind gesture, but I do agree it's rather weak compared to what he could of done with it.

I don't see how throwing a guy some merch, some Overwatch crates, a cocktail, and an invitation to come buy stuff from them makes Blizz a good company.

I also don't know how whoring out microtransactions makes them a bad company. Almost never are microtransactions pay-to-win. People losing hundreds of dollars trying to gamble for the sexiest skin on Widowmaker cause their own problems, not Blizzard. They'd probably spend all that money on booze or actual casinos anyway, so at least they're losing money in a way that doesn't involve being drunk and angry on the Vegas Strip. I like microtransactions because they're like getting stupid people to pay for games for me.

Not suing the balls off him right off the bat is probably an indicator of something though.

But what do I think? Well, Blizzard ruined Alterac Valley. People don't understand that AV used to be like DOTA with 80 players. So to me, Blizzard would be the equivalent of the manger doctor that aborted baby Jesus. People might be upset if they knew, but it didn't get to grow up to be the messiah, so they don't.

MHR:
I don't see how throwing a guy some merch, some Overwatch crates, a cocktail, and an invitation to come buy stuff from them makes Blizz a good company.

I also don't know how whoring out microtransactions makes them a bad company. Almost never are microtransactions pay-to-win. People losing hundreds of dollars trying to gamble for the sexiest skin on Widowmaker cause their own problems, not Blizzard. They'd probably spend all that money on booze or actual casinos anyway, so at least they're losing money in a way that doesn't involve being drunk and angry on the Vegas Strip. I like microtransactions because they're like getting stupid people to pay for games for me.

Not suing the balls off him right off the bat is probably an indicator of something though.

But what do I think? Well, Blizzard ruined Alterac Valley. People don't understand that AV used to be like DOTA with 80 players. So to me, Blizzard would be the equivalent of the manger doctor that aborted baby Jesus. People might be upset if they knew, but it didn't get to grow up to be the messiah, so they don't.

Because they didn't have to do that? The guy committed a good deed and was rewarded for it. Some people feel that the reward wasn't good enough but that's entirely subjective.

I mean, the all expense paid BlizzCon trip could potentially be valued at more than a thousand dollars depending on where this person lives.

Hawki:

RJ 17:
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh I wouldn't go that far. This was certainly a nice gesture on their behalf for someone doing the right thing and returning the source code. But a "good company"? Lets not start deifying them just yet. The plethora of micro transactions throughout all their games knocks them down a peg or three...especially since said micro transactions in Overwatch - and now Heroes of the Storm as well - equate to gambling for cosmetics.

Microtransactions are bad because...reasons.

Not that I play Overwatch, but as I understand, you pay for the base game, then get free new heroes, free events, free maps, etc., with the microtransactions only being cosmetic. HotS is F2P, so you need to purchase new heroes as well as cosmetics, but you can get every hero you want in the game without spending a dime if you want. Potentially skins as well if you grind long enough.

I could look at their other games as well, but Blizzard's been quite generous across the spectrum. And don't start with that gambling nonsense, if people want to gamble, it's their choice - I have no sympathy for people who claim to be the victim when they lose their money, virtual or otherwise, when gambling. It's called personal responsibility.

I've no issue with microtransactions in general, however these specifically are pretty shitty. HotS' old system was a good way to handle microtransactions. You see the skin you want, you buy it. Simple as that.

However microtransactions based on gambling - and it is gambling considering the randomized outcome - are an entirely different thing. I don't have an issue with gambling either. As you said, you should be responsible for yourself. The issue comes from the fact that OW is rated Teen...meaning teens make up a significant portion of the playerbase. I don't know about you, but I don't know very many 13, 14, and 15 year olds that have their own self-sufficient, stable income. So whose money are they gambling away when they want that new Widowmaker skin so they buy $50 worth of loot boxes, don't get it, and decide to buy some more? It's very easy to throw personal responsibility out the window when you're gambling with other people's money.

Gambling marketed to adults who have their own money and are capable of deciding what to do with it is one thing. Gambling marketed to impulsive teenagers who - chances are - are using their parent's money is another story all together.

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