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Blizzard Reveals  StarCraft II  Subscription Option For Emerging Markets
Blizzard Reveals StarCraft II Subscription Option For Emerging Markets
May 6, 2010 | By Kris Graft

May 6, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Blizzard on Thursday revealed a StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty pricing model that it hopes will make the game more appealing to gamers in emerging markets such as Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

Blizzard is offering fully localized versions of the PC real-time strategy game for the South American countries for a suggested retail price of around $25-$30USD. That's about half of what it costs for the standard U.S. version, which Blizzard said would cost $59.99.

The catch is that gamers in emerging markets who pay for the cheaper version of the game can only play StarCraft II single and multiplayer for six months, through Blizzard's revamped online platform.

After that six months, players that opted for the cheaper version of the game will have the option to pay additional 30- or 60-day subscription fees to play the game. Blizzard said it will announce specifics on recurring fees at a later date.

Players in emerging markets will still have the option to buy an unlimited-play StarCraft II by buying and downloading the game directly from Blizzard for around the standard $59.99USD.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime explained that the subscription route is just another pricing option for gamers in emerging markets. "One of our design goals for StarCraft II was to make it accessible to a wide range of players, from beginners to veterans," he said.

"The same is true with regard to our pricing options -- we want to make sure players have the flexibility to experience the game according to their own preferences and play style," Morhaime added.

Russian-language reports also say that Russia will adopt the subscription pricing option.

Emerging markets are also known for high rates of piracy, and it's possible that Activision Blizzard took that into account when offering lower pricing options for StarCraft II.

The only announced pricing for StarCraft II in the U.S. is $59.99 for an unlimited standard version of the game, or $99.99 for the collector's edition.

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Patrick Brown
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Offering the game for half price is hardly a good deal for developing nations...

Maurício Gomes
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First, 30 USD, is still expensive (I know, it is Starcraft II, it deserves that price... I mean, 30 USD, not 60 USD, only maybe a square-enix style RPG with 200 hours is 60 USD...), and second: People here abhor the idea of paying to play monthly, this is the most stupid idea ever from Blizzard (even more stupid than removing LAN)

Anthony Charles
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piracy is not as big an issue with SCII because its value is in multiplayer. they are trying to get these markets exposed to

Leandro Rocha
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Here in Brazil, this difference is insane and was very well received, believe me, it will sell as hell here just because of this promo, but I'll probably get the standard version.

Great job Blizzard.

Kevin Speer
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Um....Why not charge $30 for the game, and then after the 6 months have them pay $30 or a little more to upgrade their membership to just play the game permanently.

Charging someone less, but then tacking on an ongoing subscription after the 6 months seems weird and unfair to me. That's one heck of a catch.

Xinyi Liu
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There will always be a piracy solution regardless of single player or multiplayer. Like GG platform for instance, I believe it have even more user than BN Europe. Though SC2 doesn't sopport LAN, I do believe paricy copy suportted multiplayer will be exist, just a matter of time.

Steve Ackerman GS
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Just maximizing the profit... Wait until Diablo III comes out and free Diablo II on bnet is dropped - the whining will be heard around the world!

big willy
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As a shareholder, this sort of news really makes me happy. I like the idea of activision blizzard maximizing profit worldwide. I see this as a step towards cutting pirates out of the equation allowing blizzard (and other companies) to turn it's focus back to competing with other companies instead of a pirate for profit.

Think of it this way,

Compete with other game companies = more features, better gameplay and lower price.

Compete with pirates = more security, customer hardship (dealing with security) and higher price (to make up for lost revenue).

I do miss the days of LAN play, I would play with my Dad and brother. It just takes a few pirates, then the hundreds of thousands of casual pirates to ruin it for everyone. I can only imagine how many great games would have came out if blizzard had all those funds or how inexpensive and feature rich the games now would be if blizzard focused on competing with other companies as opposed to competing with pirates.

Congrats blizzard.