StarCraft 2 to lack LAN support, no chance of a console release

By Justin Mann on June 29, 2009, 4:11 PM
Take a look at any recent Blizzard title and try to come up with the single most influential feature they have in common. It's not hard to realize the impact multiplayer functionality has had on their games, all the way back to the original Diablo. The three major Blizzard franchises all pretty much depend on multiplayer support now. Thus, it was somewhat surprising to learn that the company apparently will not be including support for local LAN plan in the upcoming StarCraft II.

In an interview with IncGamers, Rob Pardo of Blizzard specifically mentioned that they have no plans to include local multiplayer support for the game. Instead, all multiplayer features will only be available for users. This will remain a free service, so you won't find any complaints there, but the lack of support for LAN play has the potential to be a controversial move. Not everyone would have access to at all times, and some people might just want to bring friends over to play.

In the same interview, it was also revealed that there is a “zero percent” chance that StarCraft II will appear on any modern console, with Blizzard dead set on the PC as the only supported platform. I'm still looking forward to the future release of StarCraft, but it does seem possible that Blizzard may end up alienating players as a result of these decisions. What's your opinion, is Blizzard making a mistake?

User Comments: 38

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

One small win for PC gamers. Now we know for sure we're not going to be playing some crappy port of a made-for-console game.

The lack of LAN capability is surprising though...

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'm sure someone will come up with a LAN crack/hack/patch. If enough complain Bizzard will add it in.

purity999 said:

No LAN support sucks. Being in Military if they send you to say, Iraq, your SOL as you don't have internet access. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

MrAnderson said:

The lack of LAN support is a major disappointment. I can think of only one reason, pirated copies over a LAN. I think they may loose few diehard fans for it. I'm not one, so they probably would loose me. I have enjoyed playing with friends via LAN parties or college campus matches. They could still maintain security for BattleNet. Valve has been successful regarding keeping the online aspect of their games locked down. The resources that Blizzard now has should be able to at least match that.

I can, however, understand not having it produced for the console. It could take a good deal of development effort to make playing the same game on a console fun and intuitive. This is still an area in which PCs have an advantage. There is still small inroads into RTS games that are equally engaging experience from PC to consoles. Changes in interface can affect balance and an assortment of other things we may not consider at first.

snowchick7669 snowchick7669 said:

Apparently Diablo 3 isn't going to have LAN support either. Not fun

Guest said:

Yea cause no one has cheated in CS... ever

Guest said:

I am just happy they continue to support MAC - not just PC - with every release :)

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Apparently Diablo 3 isn't going to have LAN support either.
I don't appreciate Blizzard forcing me to use when we know good and well they delete your characters and account within 45 days of inactivity.

Maybe I want to take a break for a few months and come back. I don't want to have to worry about characters I've been playing for years to disappear.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Very poor decision by Blizzard. One of the best things about Starcraft was lanning with your mates.

Considering once the blizzard server check is done and the game is found, the battlenet servers aren't needed anymore so it wouldn't be impossible to remove the middleman anyway. Hacks away!

Guest said:

well there goes at least 1/3 of starcraft 2's potential userbase, lan party players. most informal lan parties i go to purposely disable internet access to keep people from overwhelming the network with torrents and the like.

snowchick7669 snowchick7669 said:

Don't understand why Blizzard would want to cut LAN, unless we are going to have to pay for something like Battlenet on Diablo/something similar for Starcraft.


So much LAN parties now = Internet parties?

tengeta tengeta said:

Blizzard has made endless bad decisions with the StarCraft franchise...

Go back to making your WoW more addictive so you assholes can make more money.

At this point, I feel like I want nothing to do with Blizzards new games.

snowchick7669 snowchick7669 said:

It's kind of sad, especially the people coming from Diablo 2 and Starcraft and having rather high expectations. Although LAN capability isn't that high?

Hopefully they have a revelation and change their mind *fingers crossed*

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I think LAN makes sense, I can say i've seen MANY MANY "illegal" LAN parties from only a single copy of starcraft, and of course, there are the many illegal versions of starcraft which only support LAN, along with bnet emulators. I'm sure blizzard will provide better bnet support and include latency options, or at least expect MasterOfChaos and his friends to port chaos loader into sc2, so bnet should be just the same as LAN. If you're in the minuscule group of people who would buy valid copies and have LAN but no internet, i'm very sorry, you will suffer under anti-piracy.

snowchick7669 snowchick7669 said:

Was wondering when HK would pop in

Hopefully blizzard improve their bnet then.

Plus I'm sure people will figure out a way around it in due time, however legal or illegal it may be. Never ceases to suprise me

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wow this is a huge disappointed imo, while I still will be getting the game I have to say this is one bone headed decision. I just don't see how the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation personally. While the PC only decision and no consoles is great, no LAN is really shocking .

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

unless we are going to have to pay for something like Battlenet on Diablo/something similar for Starcraft.

Blizzard has stated recently that will remain free.

Guest said:


Don't kill one of the important factors that made the game a hit! Being able to play LAN games with Warcraft 2 and Starcraft made me and my mates get so into the games because we could simply connect our computers up with each other to play! It totally rocked! Who needs a crappy console? When you can get the best from the PC game experience!

LAN is even better now! As we all have laptops which makes it even more accessible to pay against and with each other. Blizzard have always had great AI and piping me and my mates against 4 computers was so much fun! People seem to forget that? It's not just about the ability to be able to play against other people over but to play with your mates at home as well, either against each other or allied against the computer.

I'm sure its not a lot of work to make it possible blizzard... you have plenty of time to make it available. Not making a function, that so many people luv, on Starcraft 2 would be a 'HUGE' mistake!

Your taking your time to make it right for the fans arn't you? So don't make it wrong by cutting one of the most important functions of the game. Its better for it to be available for people to use rather than not available for people when they wld like to use it!

*********I HOPE YOU READ WHAT THE FANS WANT BLIZZARD.... NOT ONE FAN WILL SUPPORT THE MOVE FOR 'NO LAN' CAPABILITY! NOT ONE!********************************************************

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

*********I HOPE YOU READ WHAT THE FANS WANT BLIZZARD.... NOT ONE FAN WILL SUPPORT THE MOVE FOR 'NO LAN' CAPABILITY! NOT ONE!********************************************************

I support it.

EDIT: I'm glad snowchick7669 was waiting for me to respond...

Rick, didn't I play with you on starcraft one sometime last year?

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

No LAN support? Well thank goodness, lord knows I HATED that feature. /sarcasm

With these types of decisions, and modern consoles shifting to more one player per box games and encouraging internet only for multiplayer, I am really starting to think gaming is on a decline for me. Oh well, more time to build pcs I guess...

Amigosdefox said:

Here's a petition

snowchick7669 snowchick7669 said:


I must say that I have grown a liking to your opinions, however nonconforming they may be.

They are always a good read

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

, post: 769306"]Rick, didn't I play with you on starcraft one sometime last year?

Yes, I actually think you did.

Protoss carriers FTW!

complexxL9 complexxL9 said:

It is only logical. Best anti piracy method. If you want to have a value of multiplayer, you have to buy the game. I support this move by Blizzard as this is better then any other DRM out there.

Notorio said:

Oh dang

what a bad move IMO, LAN is what made their games fun and famous, and now they take that away sayin that it's not relevant since the 90's? They surely don't understand their own games.

Now we gotha rely on the internet, their server, the ISP, to be able to play games even when everyone is in the same room, what an inconveniences. What would they lose by including a simple LAN capability anyway? what ever the case, you are deducting value to your product.

Lets see how many pirate this game

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

It is only logical. Best anti piracy method. If you want to have a value of multiplayer, you have to buy the game. I support this move by Blizzard as this is better then any other DRM out there.

No, it isn't and it is very sad that anyone would support having their options arbitrarily limited.

The better way to do this is to require a logon before you can play a LAN game. Blizzard gets the exact same anti-piracy protection by verifying your product key and bnet account, but also maintains the freedom for its customers to play local games with their friends. There is no clear reason to completely remove LAN gameplay, except out of sheer laziness or contempt for customers.

What makes this a step backward is that yes -- legitimate owners get multi-player via -- but they get fewer multi-player options. Blizzard is actually taking away a common multi-player feature. In a sense, they are punishing paying customers by limiting your options. Nearly everyone expects to be able to play LAN games and its a shame Blizzard has chosen the 'easy' way out, by not programming the game with LAN support.

Guest said:

That's 2x .357 magnum shots, one in each foot... ouch! But it may turn out to be just a publicity stunt.

shossofe shossofe said:

oh my effin console?????????????? Why no effin console release??!?!! Halo Wars was a perfect example on how good RTS is for console! Why not this game?!

anywho, not a big shocker. Blizzard already tried their Starcraft console port to the N64 back in the day. Funny thing is that I never heard about that Starcraft 64 when I was actually playing with my N64. Blizzard failed at that game so I guess they learned their lesson and will stay away from console. (and the fact that they make games for PC mainly).

But what the hell, Blizzard. No LAN support? Why no LAN? Are their exploits in your other games that take advantage of LAN (i dunno, are there?)? There is no reason to not have LAN support. That totally kills the fun from a LAN party. uhhhhhh, oh crap. Just remembered this as I type. Actually, having no LAN can actually prevent some piracy for the game.

*goes into story mode*

Once upon a time, I went over to and found out that Left 4 Dead came out. Excited for the game but still skeptical, I went over to *censored* the game. Since it is a *censored* version of the game, there is no internet/multi-player capabilities. But there is LAN capabilities for Left 4 Dead. I then went ahead and downloaded *censored* (a program which makes users around the world connect to each other like a LAN server via the program) I then played the game happily for a month with these people around the world even though it is a *censored* version of the game.%%%

LAN does has it's good perks. But Blizzard probably knows about this and wants no LAN option because of this growing concern over piracy.

%%% I ended up buying the game so don't bother me about how I'm such a bad person.

(search me up on steamcommunity if you like)

hmmmm, on a totally different topic. These companies are all #itchin' about piracy and what not. Yet, the most effective so far would be the pathetic DRM thing that EA used to used. Games get cracked before they are even released, that's how much the security sucks for these games. Let's see.......USA - bad game security, Europe - bad game security, Asia - Japan can't do crap.

Let's see here, games get cracked before they are even released made by the U.S./Europe/Japan/etc. but suprisingly, a KOREAN company, yes, a KOREAN company made the BEST anti piracy to date. this KOREAN company has made several hit PSP games (in korea) which had trouble being cracked (those games were cracked one week after they were released) Now, they made PC port and so has been a whole YEAR and it still isn't cracked. Secret to this is a USB dongle. The game requires you to plug in a special USB that requires it to play.Sad to say that the Koreans didn't #itch about piracy but actually did something about it.

sorry.......It's 3 am and I am bored and tired..........

Guest said:

Imagine, for a moment, turning on your Xbox/Ps3 to play Madden at a party with friends, only to find out that you can't play with the friends next to you unless you log into the internet.

I refuse to buy this game without LAN support. Period.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

oh my effin console?????????????? Why no effin console release??!?!! Halo Wars was a perfect example on how good RTS is for console! Why not this game?!

Just like starcraft64, at least I know how greatly successful and amazingly easy to play that was I think blizzard wants starcraft2 to stay a highly competitive game, which means consoles are simple to play it on XD.

Please, everybody must realize LAN IS THE SAME THING AS MULTIPLAYER, instead of clicking on LAN and setting up a game and yelling at people next to you to join (screen cheat ftw?), you will have to click on a different icon saying BNET and set up a PASSWORDED game, then yell at everyone next to you to join. BNet is complicated, yes?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All Blizzard are doing is guarenteeing the creation of a pirate copy of the game with the lan feature built in. In the same way that you cant play the single player story without buying 3 copies of the game - again guarenteeing the creation of a pirate copy with all the story included.

What the heck are they thinking?

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I think mr. unnamed guest has a very valid point, I didn't finish reading but it sounds very good.

I think you rather missed the point, when asking about why not STEAM or something similar... The LAN party fans are upset because they don't want to (or in many cases can't) connect through the internet for the party. So seriously, what good would an online authentication system do in a LAN party situation? If you already have the internet access, you don't necessarily NEED the LAN support. By definition, the 2 formats are basically mutually exclusive in this situation.

I can see why Blizzard went the way they went, because I've seen a few LAN parties myself where lots of "mysterious unlabeled CD" copies were passed around so everyone could play. If you force the connection to be through the internet, I'm guessing through an authentication check of some sort, at least you are making the piracy to play by LAN harder. After all, a cracked version that had LAN support could be played anytime anywhere. I can foresee official LAN support coming sometime after the initial launch, probably as a patch, once the initial sales rush has died down, and piracy is not as big an issue to Blizzard. It's that first huge rush that publishers worry about piracy affecting the most anyhow... After that period, they tend to do things like loosen up (or remove) DRM, etc.

from -

Guest said:

I bet they still make money. And I bet the game will be so fun that no one will ditch it just because of no lan support. As for so called pirating, come on guys. You made a game in 1997 and people are still hacking it today. What else is wrong? Your diamond shoes are a little slippery in the rain? Your supermodel wife not giving you enough sleep?

Guest said: emulator. Remove the 45-day inactivity character deletion. Bam. LAN BNet server. Play with friends. Choose whatever you want.

Guest said:

I guess blizzard doesn't realize that all anti-piracy measures fail within a few hours to a few weeks of the game coming out, so really their ******. And so is all the other company's that try these stupid things to prevent piracy, it doesn't work. And forcing you to use Bnet is basically like saying "your renting the game from us, at any time we can take it away" And **** these who were at the AE lan this year know how much use Lan is... We had no internet for 3 days

Guest said:

I really doubt this will stop piracy at all. The people who won't buy it because of no LAN support will probably just download a hacked version anyway just to play the campaign.

Guest said:

As much as i agree with the reasoning, I am certain there would be better ways of doing it, such as monthly authentication etc, and i couldn't possibly support such a move. I still play starcraft to this day, (had a game this morning) and i play on GGC, which for those who don't know is a lan based gaming client. The same is true for when i play WC3. I wouldn't play either of those games anymore if it wasn't for the LAN function. I suppose, this isn't exactly a problem for blizzard, because they did sell the game both times to me, and now they have their money they don't care anymore. I have always supported blizzard for keeping the public's experience over money making, and i believe this is partly true with WoW, despitesubscription, as it keeps the game constantly updated. Another example is their continuation of Mac support as a top priority, even though the vast majority do not use Mac (myself included). I will still by SC2 when it comes out, but if i stop playing within a year, i will be very disappointed in blizzard.


Guest said:

I'm so glad that Blizzard didn't give in and release a console version, it's one thing I hate bethesda for, I have to install 20+ addons before oblivion or fallout 3 are playable, because it's made for consoles.

long live PC gaming.

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