Blizzard Considering Free-to-Play Options for Starcraft II Multiplayer
Blizzard thinking of how to make SC2 free to play
According to Dustin Browder, Lead Designer on Starcraft II, Blizzard is "looking at free-to-play as an option for the [Starcraft II] multiplayer”. Browder's answer came at a panel at Valencia eSports Congress, an eSports convention in Europe. The answer was in response to a specific question about Starcraft II going free-to-play.
The key word to note here is "looking at" but behemoth developer Blizzard even considering anything as free to play could be a very big milestone for free-to-play games.
Free-to-play games are already beginning to take over the MMO space, with paid MMOs possibly going extinct in the near future. All one needs is to look at Blizzard's World of Warcraft losing millions of subscribers in the last year, or at Star Wars: The Old Republic being likely forced to adapt a free to play model. And as far as eSports goes, Starcraft II is the only fully priced game out there right now.
But is it plausible for Blizzard? Browder says he doesn't know.
“We don’t know how we would monetize it. 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.”
Browder is of course referring to if you were a free-to-play player playing against a paid player. With the way Starcraft II plays, one can see how it might be difficult.
How about you? Do you have any ideas on ways Blizzard could monetize its Starcraft games?