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Pearce: Micro-transactions "don't make sense" for StarCraft II

Wed 26 May 2010 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT
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Blizzard executive VP cool on Celestial Steed equivalents as game is rated 12+ in Korea

While World of Warcraft has demonstrated the power of micro-transactions - even in subscription-based titles - Blizzard currently has no plans to implement similar ideas into its forthcoming RTS title StarCraft II.

That's according to the developer's executive VP, Frank Pearce, who has told GamesIndustry.biz that he didn't currently consider such a move worthwhile.

"Not right now - no plans," he said when asked if - following the success of WoW's Celestial Steed - the RTS game might follow suit.

"But if you look at the micro-transactions for World of Warcraft as an example, as much as possible, we're not trying to do anything that impacts the gameplay experience, or affects the integrity of the game world at all.

"I think micro-transactions probably don't make sense for a game like StarCraft II. Unless we decide to do something much more extensive with player profiles, then maybe we'll evaluate it.

"But for me personally what I think is most exciting and what I want to see implemented and executed on well, is the StarCraft II marketplace - we talked about it at Blizzcon, where the community makes its own maps, and has the mechanism to distribute those maps to the rest of the community. Historically, with a game like Warcraft III there's no easy way to get your map into the hands of the community," he added.

Meanwhile he confirmed that the game had now received a 12-plus rating in Korea after the company submitted a revised build in a bid to overturn the original 18-plus ruling.

"Well the biggest factor is that if you have an 18-plus rating, it's really hard to get the game into game rooms for people to play - and that's where a lot of people play games," he explained. "So we want to make sure that we can get the game into as many people's hands as possible.

However, he wasn't able to shed any light on what the Korean authorities took exception to specifically: "You know what?" he replied. "We submitted a build with changes, and they didn't really tell us what the big difference-maker was. We're just happy to get the rating."

The full interview with Frank Pearce is available now.

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