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View Full Version : so starcraft 2 uses battle.net for mods and maps too...


The_Biz
08-23-2009, 03:24 PM
and they have a store type thing going on where people can make money for their stuff

what will DoF have

Darvin
08-23-2009, 03:46 PM
Blizzard has the immense clout to get away with stuff like this; I doubt DoF could successfully pull this off.

The thing is, it's all about the userbase. Most people are very unlikely to pay money for a multiplayer map (particularly when maps are traditionally provided by fans on a no-charge basis), which means very few people will be playing them online, which in turn will generate little demand. Unless you have an absolutely huge userbase (as Blizzard does) it seems silly to suggest you could actually get a pay-for-maps system off the ground.

I'm sure this is aimed squarely at DotA and it's inevitable successors. However, if DotA had tried a pay-for-download scheme it likely would have never risen to its massive level of success. It took several years, about 2 or 3, after the release of Frozen Throne because it actually had a clout at which I think it could have sold to the masses. Remember the early days of Frozen Throne? DotA was a relic of the Vanilla game and its competitor, Tides of Blood, appeared to be well positioned as a successor. After about a year, however, the Tides of Blood creators abandoned their project. A lack of updates drove the vast majority of the ToB crowd into DotA and after about a year DotA's rise was inevitable. The point is, until ToB was dead, these two were competing with each other. If either had attempted to move towards a pay-for-download scheme, the free one would have had a marvellous competitive advantage and would likely kill the other. As a result, it would not have been feasible to move towards a pay-for-download scheme until one was dead.

So, frankly, I think they may only have 1 or 2 things that will actually get sales in the triple-digits, and even then it make take years before a title is popular enough to actually move towards a pay-for-download scheme without driving away its fans to free alternatives. The free catalogue will get all the hits for the first few years, and frankly I think it will be unlikely that we will see more than 1 or 2 titles ever see commercial success in this fashion.

Darathor
08-23-2009, 04:59 PM
Long well-thought out post, Darvin. :) You pretty much hit the nail on the head. No one will want to buy maps if they can get the nearly the same thing for free. So unless a map is totally awesome and has no imitators there will be very few who would pay for it.

Aametherar
08-23-2009, 05:24 PM
4 words "Cold day in hell".

Jean=A=Luc
08-23-2009, 06:15 PM
Blizzard has the immense clout to get away with stuff like this; I doubt DoF could successfully pull this off.

I don't believe they're "getting away" with anything. Blizz simply gave map makers the option to charge for their maps. I doubt many (if any) will do so.

In the end it won't make much of a difference. Possibly some people will make whole new campaigns which will be worth a dollar or two or some other worthwhile content.

In the best case scenario it will being about a new level of quality and dedication when it comes to map making/"modding", in the worst case it will become an ignored and unused feature.

In any case I don't see any controversy here.

what will DoF have

Sound, graphics and gameplay.

Darvin
08-23-2009, 10:16 PM
Blizz simply gave map makers the option to charge for their maps
Do you really think Blizzard won't get a cut of map sales? Obviously they take a portion of any proceeds. I thought that much was obvious. In a sense Blizzard is trying to commercialize modding and mapping, which have traditionally been non-commercial in nature.

Konstantin Fomenko
08-23-2009, 11:02 PM
This is a really thin ice, so I`ll just throw couple of ideas floating around without commenting on Blizzards move.

I think a good alternative approach would be for the company to select the best community works (prior to public release if creator so chooses) - like a new campaign for example, and offer the creator to make it an official campaign.

Company invest lets say $15k for voice acting, proper QA, perhaps some new units, and then release it as a download official campaign with a price of 4$-5$, with proceeds shared between company and campaign creator (after company recoups)
This would only be possible if there is a player base of over 60,000 players. (as usually not more than 8% would be purchasing such content.)
This way community gets a properly QAed campaign with voice acting and professional feel to it. Developer reaches wider audience and more publicity, and perhaps even get a paycheck or two.

And while we are on this topic, I wanted to remind that our team plans to release quite a bit of pay to download content - along the lines of new campaign, quests and unit packs. Thinking about it - its pretty similar to the above idea - a good way for us to keep our scenario designers busy while we lay down ground work for the next project.

Konstantin Fomenko
08-23-2009, 11:09 PM
Couldn't help but throw my response as well on the Blizzard move.

If it works out OK we can expect to see really complex and impressive campaign projects in the future, perhaps even developed by local start-up game studios.

SC 2 will have a player base of at least 300,000. If someone makes a great campaign that will be priced at 2$ for a download, and can reach realistic audience of even 2% of the total player body (15,000 buyers), this can recoup at 30,000$.

So if fan developers are happy to spend a year working on a free campaign, imagine the motivation with a possible 30k pay cheque behind it.

And if Blizzard would charge some $0.25 fee for each download - I think its quite justifiable and will pay for the cost of this service. But overall, this cant be considered a source of revenue especially for a giant like Blizzard. What is $0.25 from even 1 million transaction (if this really takes off), if Blizzards milks over a million of WoW subscribers for at least 50$ a person. Thats 250k (- 100k or so for the cost of service) VS 50mil made on WoW :p)

So I believe Blizzard goal is simply to raise the quality of fan made projects - and this just might work.

Darvin
08-23-2009, 11:18 PM
Certainly there's a difference between a product with professional voice-acting as you describe and the usual amateur projects that modders put out. In fact, it's not unheard of for companies to actually do exactly what you describe and license/publish the work of some of their fans.

However, a wide-scale system just to distribute and charge for fan-made material (which is presently free) is entirely another matter. This was my interpretation of the system.


I've already expressed my reservations about unit packs in an earlier thread, so I won't repeat myself. However, I do think there's nothing wrong with publishing small campaigns at a small price and it could work out nicely. The only catch is that it may need to be a re-release of a popular established fan creation (as people won't pay for an unknown author's unknown work) or a new creation by a established author (requiring many well respected prior creations). Either way any new commercial (not free) content in the first year is likely to be Reverie-created.


As for your math, Konstantin, it's hard to say. I don't know whether 2% is optimistic or pessimistic. It will likely depend on supply and demand. The large player-base is as much a blessing as it is a curse, because there is also a larger modding community creating even more free content, which competes with the priced content. Without help from Blizzard in the form of promotion, the risk that you'd be sandwiched between unforseen releases of free content and buried before you even start making a few hundred sales is quite real.

The issue I see here is that the content creator takes all the risk, while Blizzard takes none. If you succeed or fail, it's no sweat off their back. The distribution is a service for users and worthwhile even without the commercial benefits. From the creator's perspective, the possibility of their work becoming a lost work or a cult success (that is to say a failure) is very real.

I'd say less than 20% of the userbase will ever buy any content. Of that, may be 5-10% will frequently buy content. So I think 2% of the total population buying a specific piece of content may be overly optimistic. On the other hand it may not be.



And if Blizzard would charge some $0.25 fee for each download - I think its quite justifiable and will pay for the cost of this service
I'd suspect them to charge between a 20-50% cut. I'm sure they have people arguing over where to put that number even as we speak. Remember that the EULA will forbid any commercialization of maps or mods without Blizzard's consent, so you have to agree to their terms whatever they may be. Our way or the highway, so to speak. So long as they don't put their rates so high that people take the highway, they can do whatever they want.

The_Biz
08-24-2009, 12:32 AM
there used to be a time when people charged for mods for early quake games and stuff. then they prohibited that through the user license agreement things.

i like the idea of letting people charge for their content because it lets people create whole games with no initial investment. right now they usually have to get an engine license and be sure not to use any of the original game's assets due to copyright if they want to make money for their work.

i don't know how much control blizzard will have over the store, but i don't think it will reach levels where people can just release a completely new game unrelated to starcraft on there.

so i guess you won't create a "store" for user-made content, but are you going to have some sort of portal for it or will you just let it go via heavengames or something?

Aametherar
08-24-2009, 04:14 PM
I too already voiced my feelings on the issue elsewhere darvin...I guess I kinda re-iterated them here already <.< but I can see a few major mods making a lot of $$$. There have been prety extreme gaming mods in the past that companies attempted to pick up on. I believe some of the expansions for C&C were fan made then marketed by the company, also some xel'naga mod for SC I think it was that was marketed by blizzard (not positive on that one). Those are extreme mod/expansions though.

Pay per map is terrible imo and really cuts the creative artwork and makes a more show me the money mentality to mod/mapmaking, and paying for a lot of micro content/expansions in rts's is a real genre killer for me. I'm really sick of companies charging for advantages rather than honest enhanced gameplay just to make a couple extra bucks.

Darathor
08-24-2009, 04:24 PM
Paying for a map isn't that good a thing and too many maps would be entered into that just so the creator could try and make a few dollars. If they individually test the maps like how they said it implies, then there will be too many maps entered into that for them to accurately test them all.
However, there are some incredibly exceptional campaigns and mods that are made that might be worth paying a minor fee to download.

Aametherar
08-24-2009, 04:25 PM
Well at least I can say I was around before the downfall of the genre.

Darathor
08-24-2009, 05:06 PM
I don't see how this new feature for Starcraft 2 will affect the genre that much, and I doubt that many other, if any, companies will use that system too. Neither do I think that Starcraft 2 will be a bad game.
If your talking about how DoF will be a bad game, well, I can just stare at the screen and hate you.:p

Aametherar
08-24-2009, 05:09 PM
I don't see how this new feature for Starcraft 2 will affect the genre that much, and I doubt that many other, if any, companies will use that system too. Neither do I think that Starcraft 2 will be a bad game.
If your talking about how DoF will be a bad game, well, I can just stare at the screen and hate you.:p

wooowwwahhh I didn't say dof would be a bad game! But I was refering to the micro transaction trend in general that appears to be poping up in several rts's.

Darathor
08-24-2009, 05:10 PM
If the micro-transactions are only for small things like, different colors for units and "flavor" units that aren't really better but have a unique roll or are just plain cool, then I don't see a problem with it.

Aametherar
08-24-2009, 05:12 PM
If the micro-transactions are only for small things like, different colors for units and "flavor" units that aren't really better but have a unique roll or are just plain cool, then I don't see a problem with it.

I agree, it's when it affects gameplay that bothers me, and in 90% of the cases i've seen so far it does, a LOT of rts's are going this route lately.

szebus
08-25-2009, 01:01 AM
Even if micro-transaction affects outcome of the mmo part, but a little, I don't mind. Somehow better micro-transaction the monthly fee.

I personally want to buy the game, but not to pay monthly fee. It is more practical to me to use micro-transaction when i consider those necessary. What is better, is to pay for downloadable content as expansions new units and buildings, or even quests after those standards are finished. For that I would pay.