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Necessary sacrifice or cash grab?

Shacknews reports that Blizzard has chosen to release the much anticipated Starcraft 2 as a trilogy of separate games with each release focusing on one of the 3 factions. The first game in the trilogy will consist of the Terran campaign, and will be called "Terrans: Wings of Liberty." The second campaign will focus on the Zerg and will be called "Zerg: Heart of the Swarm," The third campaign will be focused on the Protoss and will be called "Protoss: Legacy of the Void."

Blizzard’s Rob Pardo stated, "The second and third games will be like expansion packs, but we really want them to feel like standalone products." He also justified the decision mentioning it was necessary to maintain the quality of the product, the alternatives either being a long delay of the game, or a scaling back of the campaigns.

According to the Shacknews article, each of the campaigns will have different play styles with the Zerg campaign implementing RPG elements, the Protoss campaign will implement diplomacy elements, and the Terran campaign will implement a Protoss mini-campaign.

The very important multiplayer component will be unchanged despite the separation of the campaigns. Some units will be specific to the each campaign and will not be available in multiplayer.

It remains to be seen if the separation of the campaigns is a necessary sacrifice to provide the best possible gaming experience to the customer. Each game will now feature more in-game cinematics and story content. Whether the decision was an unnecessary cash grab or not will become clear after the game is released.

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RE: En Taro Adune
By Gank on 10/13/2008 10:19:06 AM , Rating: 4
Then everyone wonders why ppl don't pay for games and just download them...

RE: En Taro Adune
By ted61 on 10/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: En Taro Adune
By Flunk on 10/13/2008 11:38:14 AM , Rating: 5
I think disliking the price structure is the most common reason for pirating software. How many people do you know with legal copies of Adobe Photoshop?

RE: En Taro Adune
By Souka on 10/13/2008 11:42:22 AM , Rating: 2
I know of at least one. ;)

RE: En Taro Adune
By ET on 10/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: En Taro Adune
By Alexstarfire on 10/13/2008 8:30:19 PM , Rating: 5
Because they are harder to pirate, simple as that. And it has to do with the fact that it's closed hardware. Only way to pirate console games now is to have a mod chip, usually anyways, and that's too much effort for some people. Then there are those who don't know how, me being included sadly. I don't know how to solder, so I couldn't get one if I wanted it.

While I used to pirate games.... there isn't much point any more. Most of the games I play now are online.... and playing pirated games online is hard to do... if not downright impossible sometimes thanks to the good ole' cd-key.

Only reason I've seen to pirate now is because of crappy DRM. Thanks to those cracks being illegal there is no reason to spend $50 on a game if you're going to do something illegal to remove the DRM anyways. I, for one, will never buy a game with crappy DRM like Spore and BioShock. I really don't care if they say it only affect 1% of the people, or whatever arbitrarily small figure they gave, but I go through too many computer changes to be bothered by the off-chance that I may end up being forced to buy the game again.

RE: En Taro Adune
By Homerboy on 10/14/2008 9:32:57 AM , Rating: 2
No need to solder for either the Wii or the 360 :)

RE: En Taro Adune
By erikejw on 10/16/2008 9:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
"The second and third games will be like expansion packs, but we really want them to feel like standalone products."

That quote is probably wrong.

but we really like to price them like standaline products

RE: En Taro Adune
By tastyratz on 10/13/2008 12:13:54 PM , Rating: 5
Everyone has a different price point.
If Adobe Photoshop was 10 bux we would see a ton more licenses legally... but they would lose a ton of money. Like it or not it still cost them quite a bit to produce. They aren't in the business of charity.

Also, the people Photoshop really targets would be the business sector which generally doesn't risk running pirated software.

There are a large portion of people who would buy games/programs they normally steal if it was cheaper... less drm... etc. Lots of people steal windows just out of spite for dislike of Microsoft.

People don't like to pay the price they charge for games and complain they want too much money, but the reality is games are CHEAPER now adjusted for inflation. People have an even cheaper alternative now of free which makes that $50 sound much higher.
Think of this: Sega genesis released Phantasy star for $70 in 1988. Adjusted for cpi inflation that game would be $129.64 today.

interesting related link:

RE: En Taro Adune
By Mojo the Monkey on 10/13/2008 12:57:02 PM , Rating: 1
Also, the people Photoshop really targets would be the business sector which generally doesn't risk running pirated software.

I don't know about that... I've seen a lot go on in the name of keeping IT costs down.

RE: En Taro Adune
By kickwormjoe on 10/13/2008 4:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty foolish. All it takes is for one ignorant employee to call up Adobe Tech Support for help with a Photoshop issue and then the cease-and-desist letter arrives in the mail. This happened at a previous company I worked for, only with a CAD-related software.

There are THREE sure things in life:

Stupid People

RE: En Taro Adune
By ElBrujo on 10/15/2008 2:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't even take that. A pissed-off employee calls 888 NO PIRACY and can even get a reward!

RE: En Taro Adune
By kelmon on 10/13/2008 1:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Me. Does that help?

RE: En Taro Adune
By hadifa on 10/13/2008 6:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think disliking the price structure is the most common reason for pirating software.

The more common reason is ease of software pirating and little risk of getting caught.

RE: En Taro Adune
By kkwst2 on 10/14/2008 12:12:40 AM , Rating: 3
I think it is one reason. I think that most games are pirated by young people that can't afford them. Add to that how easily available they were via P2P, and I downloaded quite a few games during grad school. I also had quite a few ripped Dreamcast games back in the day.

Now that I make good money, I wouldn't really consider downloading a pirated game now. I certainly play fewer games now, but I probably buy either a 360 or PC game every 2-3 months on average.

In a way, I think the access to downloaded games made me a life-long customer. I use Steam a lot, because it's got the same instant gratification, since when I get the itch to get a game, I want it right away. Plus they run quite a few sales and such.

RE: En Taro Adune
By omnicronx on 10/14/2008 11:17:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think disliking the price structure is the most common reason for pirating software.
So I guess this makes it ok for me to go out and steal a BMW or Mercedes. I mean I really don't like their price structure, as you are really just paying for the name. This defense will hold up in court right?.. <cough cough>

RE: En Taro Adune
By atwood7fan on 10/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: En Taro Adune
By on 10/13/2008 8:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
you deserve a -1.. oh wait!

RE: En Taro Adune
By Ringold on 10/13/2008 9:28:39 PM , Rating: 4
Did I miss the joke on why there are a thousand Camaro clones?

RE: En Taro Adune
By kelmon on 10/13/2008 1:50:24 PM , Rating: 1
Entirely agree. I have a degree of sympathy for people who need access to certain software applications in order to make a living if that software is very expensive and circumstances prevents access to it. However, I have no sympathy for those who pirate games since they can never be considered a necessity. If the price is so much of an issue, don't buy it and eventually the price will come down.

RE: En Taro Adune
By therealnickdanger on 10/13/2008 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 4
You'll never convince people of that around here. Notice all the -1 ratings on people speaking the truth? Pirating software is stealing and everyone that does it rationalizes it in order to justify it. I'm not sure when exactly that line was crossed.

Do games cost too much? No, games today are a STEAL already at their pricing. Bioshock cost $60 when it came out. Zelda on NES cost $70. Compare the artwork, audio, development time, development staff, and coding of both games. Compare the budgets of both games....

Do anti-piracy measures suck? Yes, limiting installs, "calling home", etc. are all annoying features that I hope the industry shys away from. In this regard, I fully support cracking the games, but it still doesn't justify stealing the game on the whole. Buy the retail copy, apply patches, then crack it.

The problem doesn't lie with anti-piracy measures or costs, despite being often cited. The problem is that people have become used to getting things for nothing, and even worse, they advocate it. Just because it's "on the Internet" doesn't make it free, let alone legal. It's cool to "fight the man", but games are made by gamers! They don't work 80-hour weeks just to get laid off due to poor sales. The only reason they end up siding with "the man" is because of the attitude so many have adopted regarding stealing their products.

RE: En Taro Adune
By TSS on 10/13/2008 3:48:02 PM , Rating: 3
well it still isn't stealing. the murky part is this: when you walk into a store, find a chair a craftsman has taken time and effort to build costing him money for labor and materials, and take it. this would be stealing. walking into the same store, finding the same chair, then go "POOF" and there's a second chair exactly like the first one standing there, which you carry out of the store undetected. the store didn't lose a chair, but it did lose a customer. unless said chair was already above the pricepoint of said customer making it impossible for him to buy it, in which case the store never had any revenue to begin with.

it's honestly a mind**** of epic proportions. you spend millions and millions into making a product, which can then be copied and transported around for no money at all. so how much is it worth then?

RE: En Taro Adune
By rcc on 10/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: En Taro Adune
By inighthawki on 10/15/2008 9:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to get "technical" you can copy the chair a billion times if you like, as long as you don't sell it or use it for personal gain. Private use is protected under fair use.

Please don't argue with me on a specific side from this comment, I'm just pointing out factual information, not taking sides.

RE: En Taro Adune
By rcc on 10/16/2008 6:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
The "specifics" are not the point. The point is that it's easy, they want, so it's ok by them.

RE: En Taro Adune
By therealnickdanger on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: En Taro Adune
By kelmon on 10/14/2008 8:33:03 AM , Rating: 3
Technically, I believe the product is "worth" whatever your customer is prepared to pay for it. At its most basic level, that's the cost of the raw materials used in the product that the customer could sell to someone else. If the customer values the function of the product itself then its value increases accordingly. Additionally, more value can be placed on the product if the customer believes that they can sell it to someone else for a cost in excess of the raw materials cost.

Ultimately, I can never condone downloading unauthorised versions of anything, be it games, books, music, or whatever. It is not our place to decide how much we value something and then only pay that unless the owner has agreed to this (i.e. an auction or similar).

RE: En Taro Adune
By rudy on 10/14/2008 11:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
Millions and millions divided by the number of customers which is why you get it for a steal of 60$ rather then paying millions. I think you are wrong people have a right to ask what ever they want for their product and the free market will determine success or failure. Stealing is not part of the free market. If you do not like DRM DO NOT BUY IT. Comananies will very quickly get the hint when sales are dead even on a good product.

RE: En Taro Adune
By Totally on 10/13/2008 8:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
games a steal at current their pricing? are you that ignorant, you guys saying this fail to realize the landscape was very different from two decades ago. The markets were small video gaming was almost a checkbox under niche markets. You could compare budgets but go ahead and compare the returns. It would be criminal for then to charge more $60 for a game today.

RE: En Taro Adune
By therealnickdanger on 10/14/2008 12:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
Adjust for inflation and today's games should be almost double the price... so you still can't justify price being a factor. Prices are way down from where they should be, not up.

RE: En Taro Adune
By Totally on 10/15/2008 2:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
that's like saying after adjusting for inflation, i should be happy i don't have to take out a second on my home to buy a new pc.

RE: En Taro Adune
By inighthawki on 10/15/2008 9:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
Now account for the gains in technology, and the software that allows for far faster and superior quality of content, and tada, a difference.

You think the NES was as easy to develop for as the 360 or PC for example? Hell a lot of people can make the nes zelda in week, alone, because they were bored.

RE: En Taro Adune
By feelingshorter on 10/13/2008 12:43:15 PM , Rating: 5
The disadvantage of releasing it in packs like this is that they cost more. Traditionally, SC2 + expansion (50+50) would cost $100. Releasing three games means they can milk us out of (50+40+40) another $30 dollars. Is that $30 worth it to gamers? And is there greed around what they are doing?

Well, lets look at how the original SC turned out. Without going into much detail, SC is the most balanced RTS game out there. ( most balanced DOES NOT imply perfectly balanced as Korean progamers will tell you ). There are obviously a lot of updates that can be done to SC but the programmers cannot do it if the company management says they have to focus on other projects.

Its like asking why wasn't harry potter (or lord of the rings or bourne series) released as one movie instead of a trilogy? Because people WANT it long! I wish there were more quality fantasy movies like LOTR and action trilogy like Bourne (batman included) that gives you much more depth than what a single movie ever can.

You'd have to have been there when SC2 was released to understand. Most people who understand my position are probably in their early/late 20s. If your younger, you've probably grew up with command and conquer or company of heroes/world in conflict/world at war.

SC2 story line has so much more depth and thats why a lot of people love Blizzard games. They aren't like a traditional company. I wonder why the guy that says they are trying to meet a deadline got a 5 rating on his post when i know thats not true. During interviews the programmers said it themselves that "management doesn't really give us a deadline, they say ' just get it done right'" Meaning the programmers are the one in charge of deadlines and not so much as the management and thats why they have always said "its done when its done."

Despite what the press release and most news sites are reporting, the trilogy is just allowing the programmers to work more/longer on starcraft. The focus of SC2 is multiplayer(see the interviews with the programmers of SC, there is no argument here but fact).

Releasing it in a trilogy allows SC2 to have the team focus on balancing the game in the long run.

If anything, more games should be sold in a trilogy instead of just game + xpack. I often hate games that play well but have a piss poor story line. I need to feel like the universe is alive. I need the details. I need the depth. The voice acting. The cinematic. Characters with motivation and feelings. Conflict with no clear enemy as to whose absolutely right or wrong.

There is no question that blizzard's products are TOP quality. Period. I'd rather them release a trilogy, and have the game update in graphics, balancing, and gameplay over a period of perhaps 4-6 years than a mere 2 years traditionally. I want to be immersed in the SC world. That allows the game to age well over time, like a bottle of wine. More time = more balanced game play = better graphics = more depth = me more happy. Whats the difference of buying a $50 dollar game yearly instead of just buying 2 starcraft games every year? I'd rather have one great game that continue to improve than just 3 games from other companies that are half assed RTS with poor story lines.

RE: En Taro Adune
By CloudFire on 10/13/2008 2:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
i totally agree. the thing is that blizzard have stated each of the 3 trilogies will be as long as the normal starcraft game. so you should expect 3x as much content as the original SC. to me that is a sealed deal because i rather have 3 SC games, instead of 1 on one disc.

seemingly, everything that is epic these days seems to be released in trilogies.

i'm so buying all these games just because i want to support blizzard, they are undoubtedly one of the best game developers in the world. when was the last time you saw a blizzard game with DRM? ;) never, why? because they don't need to put on crap like that to restrict the user because they KNOW their games are quality that people would GLADLY buy aka me and so should everyone of you.

RE: En Taro Adune
By Alexstarfire on 10/13/2008 8:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
That might be great for those who enjoy playing single player a lot. While I'm sure I will play it... it's not my main focus. Multiplayer is my main focus. I see this being a problem. Many say that Brood War balanced the game out.... but it didn't seem that way from my perspective. I see it as a problem because it's going to do one of two things. Make an already balanced game more unbalanced... or make an unbalanced game more balanced. Either way it's a lose-lose. Well, maybe a win in the long run for the latter, but a certain loss for the early people. That's not something I want to run the risk of.

We've already waited a decade for SC2... what's another year if it means it'll be that much more perfect. The price is also a big deal, if you're looking at it from a multiplayer perspective. I'm not sure if the prices the OP posted are accurate. I hope someone can clear that up. But if it is then I mostly certainly won't be buying it until all 3 packs/games are out. That is far too expensive for the 2 other games. It's not that I don't love their work... but $40 is damn close to an entire new game, and we know that it's not going to be an entirely new game. Might have different units, different story, etc... but it's all from the same game. Same coding, least coding style, same engine, etc... it'll be MUCH MUCH quicker to produce the last two pieces that the first one because they aren't starting from scratch. $50 for the first part is totally acceptable to me, but $40 for the next two are WAY WAY overpriced. Should be $25-$30 tops.

You must know this comes from a person who owns EVERY Blizzard game and has paid for several more than 1 time.

RE: En Taro Adune
By CloudFire on 10/14/2008 4:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
very well said :)

i have been a vivid blizzard fan since the days of wc1.

i agree wholeheartedly with you that 50$ for the first game is acceptable and that the consequent expansions should only cost around 25-30$ as well.

RE: En Taro Adune
By just4U on 10/14/2008 3:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
Jury will be out for me until I see the game. If the campaigns are extremely long for each piece then yeah.. Ill go that was worth it. If they are short I'll be a bit ticked and think Blizzard is milking me, since the main attraction of SC2 for me will be the storyline. Been waiting a long time for Raynor and Kerrigan to return.

Ofcourse for those that don't mind waiting I am sure Blizzard will release the boxed trilogy for a fair price when all three have been out for a bit.

RE: En Taro Adune
By omnicronx on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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