Blizzard supremo Frank Pearce has told VideoGamer.com, “We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology.”
It accompanies the announcement that StarCraft II’s single-player mode will not require constant online connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net. Describing DRM as “a losing battle”, Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.
To play SCII’s single player game will require a registered Battle.net account, and a one-off online activation. But after that it can be played without needing to be connected. However, Blizzard hope that players will find that being online and connected to the Battle.net servers, while not essential for playing the game, will be attractive enough that would-be pirates will feel they are missing out.
“If we’ve done our job right and implemented Battle.net in a great way people will want to be connected while they’re playing the single player campaign so they can stay connected to their friends on Battle.net and earn the achievements on Battle.net.”
You can read the rest of his comments on the matter in VideoGamer’s article.
It’s refreshing to see this approach – one where those who pay are celebrated, rather than punished. With other publishers like Ubisoft going to extraordinary lengths to make their single player games as poor an experience as possible for legitimate customers, it’s a relief to see Blizzard (normally somewhat protected by the always-online nature of WoW) not becoming paranoid as they step outside of that for the first time in years. It’s not all completely sensible, however, with the news that the game will not support LAN gaming, because, er, of fears of piracy. Um.
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty (which still sounds like a sanitary product advertising slogan to me) is out on 27th July.