Blizzard's Battle.net platform will integrate with Facebook, letting players of all its games on the service use their friends lists on the social network to populate their Battle.net friends lists.
The integration will roll out starting with StarCraft II
, and will be tested alongside that game's ongoing beta. As to whether the Battle.net integration will use Facebook in other ways -- as do games that let players post scores and activity updates to their profiles -- Blizzard says that other features will be announced at a later date.
"We're pleased to be working with Facebook to integrate their platform with Battle.net to enhance the social-entertainment experience for our players," says Blizzard COO Paul Sams.
Blizzard's broad ambitions for Battle.net were part of why StarCraft II
, just dated for July 27, will be hitting later than initially forecast last year
. The company has said the new Battle.net is intended to be "integrated with StarCraft II
more tightly than any previous Blizzard game."
Analysts widely expect StarCraft II
to be a hit; most recently, Cowen's Doug Creutz predicted 5 million units
in the game's first year.
Blizzard plans to extend Facebook integration to its other titles, says Sams: "This new functionality will make it easier than ever to connect with friends on Battle.net and play StarCraft II
and future Blizzard Entertainment games together."