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 Battle.net 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 Battle.net 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?