Blizzard's Battle.net Won't Allow LAN Play

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?

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Piracy
# Jun 30 2009 at 9:13 PM Rating: Default
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It’s pure anti-piracy method if Blizzard has complete control over multiplayer pirates can't play the game online which means that owners of pirate copy can’t get full benefit of the game not even in the LAN. This policy forces pirates buy the game if they like it and want to multiplayer it.

Forcing pirates play only single player version of the game turns piracy great and totally free advertisement campaign for multiplayer version of Blizzard games. Not everybody wants to play in multiplayer but it is likely that those same persons don’t want to play single player version either.
bleh
# Jun 30 2009 at 7:58 PM Rating: Good
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Oh well good enough reason for me not to buy it. They can shove it if they want to be that way about it.
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unfortunate
# Jun 30 2009 at 6:46 PM Rating: Default
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Blizzard is slowly going the way of the "big companies" more and more these days. A little step here and a little step there until soon you have **** policies. For instance, see "abandoned WoW content". However, comparing Bnet limitation to Steam is going too far in my opinion.

It used to be that you could look to Blizzard to be representative of a company that puts players first before profit, yet they still managed to make a **** of a lot of money. It worked simply because the players are the ones that buy the games, not marketing.

These days I feel the "players first" pedestal belongs to Stardock, with CCP being the runner-up.

On a final note, I hate to be a **** myself but plugging posts into Word beforehand gets rid of words like "signigicance". I'm not perfect either so that's what I do >=]
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Why not?
# Jun 30 2009 at 9:40 AM Rating: Decent
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Many players don't care how they are ranked with the world. My nephew and I used to play Quake Wars over the LAN because there was no internet available in his region. Despite the lack of internet, I preferred it over LAN with him because it did provide a much easier learning curve. We were into the cooperative aspect of the game, and had no interest in competition.

I see Blizzard doing this more as a profit making business, and less concerned about entertaining the players. Of course, they are free to do what they want to do with their software, it's up to us as consumers to decide if it will be worth the purchase. And we will buy it... like sheep.
No suprise
# Jun 30 2009 at 9:22 AM Rating: Decent
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I LAN with my husband, and often a good amount of our friends. I think this is a move that will start pushing the older playerbase out, and attempt to bring in the children and teenagers. Bad part is, it's the older playerbase that has the money to blow, so I really think that a couple months into this, they're going to be switching everything around, once again, because they're going to realize how much they are F%*#ing up.
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# Jun 30 2009 at 8:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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This moves ****** me off. I still have a bunch of friends that gather together for LAN play with Diablo 2, Starcraft, and Warcraft 3. They all still play on battlenet and all have full legal copies of the game. We were all looking forward to Starcraft 2 and this is really going to hinder our play.

I don't have a problem with things like Steam, but the future possibility that I can't play my games that I purchased legally bothers me. I still pull out old games from way back and load them up to play. I hope Steam and similar models eventually release really old games without having to connect to their servers, make downloads publicly available. I'm sure there are already hacks to get around current steam games but I'm weary of the potential viruses, etc, and the risks in going that route. Of course this is for a different discussion.

I'm disappointed in Blizzard in taking this move. Anyone who hasn't played at a LAN party I highly recommend it. It's a lot more fun then sitting in your dark corner at home staring at a glowing screen.
hmmm²
# Jun 30 2009 at 7:30 AM Rating: Good
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what are the chances that someone will make an inofficial patch to create a LAN-Party version?
hmmm²
# Jun 30 2009 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Considering the popularity of the game, pretty high.
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hmmm²
# Jul 01 2009 at 1:40 AM Rating: Decent
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And how much do you want to bet Blizzard with squash the project like a tiny, insignificant insect with the bootheel of it's monetary might?
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control freaks at their best
# Jun 30 2009 at 7:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Just another example of how freedom to enjoy something without some big corporation controlling a games every move is going bye bye. Personally any game that is shut out from being LAN capable because of this move on BLIZZARDS'S part is on my personal "do not buy" list! Just show how you feel and not buy any game that they put these restrictions on!
Its all about the benjamins
# Jun 30 2009 at 7:00 AM Rating: Good
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Seems like a very strategic move if you ask me. All tournament play for the sequel will have to go through Blizzard official servers now or at least done in coordination with the parent company in some way or another. They seem to want to cash in as much as possible.
As of now...
# Jun 30 2009 at 5:52 AM Rating: Good
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Does not look like a good move. I am not programmer but blocking LAN seems like it would be more work than just allowing it. LAN parties still exist and blizzard has some of the best LAN party games. To me, they are hindering themselves more so than the gaming community.

(I will still be buying both of them :) though)
Bad move, definitely
# Jun 30 2009 at 5:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Horrible move. There's a reason I raise my middle finger to steam. Anti-piracy, sure, but I'm not to keen on buying games from chauvinistic dictator pricks. I definitely hope they come back on this decision. I have always respected Blizzard for being an open-minded progressive games company who'se games where worth buying, but they're going exactly the same way Steam is now. I might even end up not buying Starcraft 2 because of this.
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# Jun 30 2009 at 5:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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I personally think this a bonehead move by blizz. Im in the military. When were on a long deployment, we enjoy playing starcraft and other simialar games over the lan to keep our minds off being away from home and our families
Bad Move
# Jun 30 2009 at 5:17 AM Rating: Excellent
12 posts
Yes, I do spend a great deal of time playing games from the comfort of my own home over cable modems but I also look forward to the local twice a month LAN parties. Its a very real social aspect of the hobby. There is something special about being able to get up and talk to someone on your team and not be tied to a Microphone to do it. That is why this move is really annoying to say the very least. How much fun will a 20 person LAN be if we are all trying to connect to Battle.net via the tiny pipeline of the guy hosting the game so that we can all play the same game at the same time and still have our social gathering? Just trying to download a patch while at a LAN when there are 20 people also surfing can be a crawl, god help us in a game where lag, or at least the lack there of it, is critical.

This is a bad move by Blizzard and will mean that Diablo III and Starcraft II will not be on the play lists and on the block for our local LAN contests... do the the log jam that will develop of all trying to connect to Battle.net.
Hmm
# Jun 30 2009 at 4:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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It feels like the times ARE changing, but I'm not sure that this is the smartest move by Blizzard. LAN parties and third party software for games like Starcraft or Diablo II made them fun to play with friends while not having to worry about disrupting the play on Battle.net (In regards to third party/homebrew software). Hopefully Blizz won't start cracking down on the mod community with the upcoming releases, I know both the Diablo and Starcraft franchises have had extensive 'adjustment' made to them by the players in the past.

At the moment I'm neutral, I'll shift my sails when the true winds start to blow.
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