In a recent interview published by IncGamers, StarCraft II lead producer Rob Pardo and lead designer Chris Sigaty broke the news that you won't be able to play the upcoming sequel on a LAN. The redesigned Battle.net is being used by Blizzard to compile it's library of games into a centralized hub, similar to the Steam client. The new Battle.net has been met with mixed reactions, both offering the pros and cons of its implementation. Presumably, the LAN-lockout will apply to all future Blizzard games.
When asked if StarCraft II would support LAN play, Pardo said, "We don't have any plans to support LAN [...] The only multiplayer available will be on Battle.net." After the interview, IncGamers asked Blizzard to comment on why it would not allow LAN play. The company responded, saying the reason "is because of the planned technology to be incorporated into Battle.net," which basically means that Blizzard wants complete control over any multiplayer activity within its games.
Younger gamers might not see the significance of this move, since LAN parties and the neccessity for LAN play has dropped steadily since broadband modem speeds began replacing dial-up. However, there is still a generation of PC gamers who enjoy LAN gaming and hold massive get-togethers to play various games (like the original StarCraft) for fun or sport. Beyond that, LAN usage is still sought after by many gamers who don't have access to an Internet connection, but still want to play with other people. What do you think? A sign of the times, or a snob move by Blizzard?