Blizzard considering free-to-play model for Starcraft 2 multiplayer
Just unsure how to monetise it
With the gaming industry slowly realising there may be more money in free-to-play business models than traditional boxed retail, Starcraft 2 lead designer Dustin Browder was asked if Blizzard would consider the model for Starcraft 2.
Browder responded that they were “looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer.”
The biggest challenge, according to Browder, is how exactly they would monetise it. While successful f2p games such as League of Legends allow you to pay to unlock more characters and skins, this is something that would be difficult to implement in the Starcraft universe.
“We don’t know how we would monetise it,” Browder said. “While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them.”
With no subscriptions fees and a once-off payment for the boxed product, it’s certainly possible Blizzard could be making a lot more money through micro-transactions. It’s also one of only a handful of competitive “eSports” games to use a traditional, full-price retail model.
Of course this is Blizzard we’re talking about, and they have plenty of other things to worry about with the Heart of the Swarm beta underway and the Protoss expansion, Leagacy of the Void to think about after that. The company isn’t exactly lauded for its punctual delivery of its titles, so if there is a free-to-play model on the horizon, it’s most likely a few years away.