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Post by trog @ 10:04am 09/05/10 | 42 Comments
GamesIndustry are reporting that StarCraft 2 is going to be sold under a subscription plan in South America:
The Latin American versions of the game will include six months of access to the StarCraft II single-player campaign and multiplayer online modes via Battle.net.

To play beyond that time users will have to pay for either a 30 or 60 day subscription, although specific pricing for these has not yet been announced. A one-time unlimited access version of the game, priced similarly to the standard $59.99 U.S. release, will also be made available.
Apparently certain other territories like Asia and Russia will also have this pricing model, though details are sketchy at this point. From the Blizzard Q1 2010 earnings conference call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime:
In the West, the standard game will include unlimited play in keeping with the market standard in North America and Europe. In regions like Russia, Asia and Latin America, we will have additional options for players using time-based access models to make the game affordable to a wider audience while also creating a source of recurring revenue. We'll discuss these options in more detail by market as we draw closer to launch.



starcraft 2blizzard





Latest Comments
Python
Posted 10:30am 09/5/10
BOYCOTT BOYCOTT!
Josh
Posted 10:31am 09/5/10
This is pathetic
Pirroh
Posted 10:38am 09/5/10
So they have to pay the subsciption even to play the single-player after the first six months? Wow.
unclebobsticle
Posted 10:44am 09/5/10
Next installment Diablo 3, Pay via first born or even kidneys.

last edited by unclebobsticle at 10:44:27 09/May/10
ViscoS
Posted 10:49am 09/5/10
I wonder if we get to be included in the wonderfully vaguely defined 'west'.
unclebobsticle
Posted 10:52am 09/5/10
Doubt it, were usually "Asia".
trog
Posted 10:54am 09/5/10
I wonder if we get to be included in the wonderfully vaguely defined 'west'.
pricing for .au has been announced and subscriptions weren't mentioned - the rationale for this move is to make it more affordable to 'developing countries' so we should be fine.
MoSFXx
Posted 11:01am 09/5/10
I hope this can be clarified through an official press report soon because if this true I'll be canceling my Pre-Order, I didn't mind paying to WoW because it's an MMORPG I certainly wont pay to play Starcraft II when I'll be paying $100 to purchase the game already.

Just read the transcript praise the lord it wont apply to us, also interesting to read in there they talked about a new pricing structure for WoW?!
gumbiddy
Posted 10:58am 09/5/10
A one-time unlimited access version of the game, priced similarly to the standard $59.99 U.S. release, will also be made available.


some of you newbs need to RTFA

it's a pricing structure aimed at helping those in poor countries (where USD$59.99 = a bajillion local pesos) play the game

you can afford ~$59.99? then this s*** won't concern you
Bertis
Posted 10:59am 09/5/10
They make it clear that paying for the game on a subscription basis or buying it outright are two different options. I don't see the big deal.
Hogfather
Posted 11:05am 09/5/10
I'm not that fussed about it.

We're not included. Our retail boxes are the full deal. You can take that to the bank.

The sub-based box is massively discounted in local currency, and includes 6 months of multiplayer with an unnannouced sub after that.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind if we had the option as well. I know a few people who would get value out of it - I expect to be playing SCII online at least six months from launch, but surely for lots of people would be an even bet or better that they wouldn't, and no doubt the expansions "extra volumes" would include a recharge anyway?

I know I've paid full retail for MMOs and then a month or two sub and THEN dropped it ... hi Aion ><

This looks like a good deal for the included countries? They can always pay full dollar for the box we get, after all.
Tetsuo
Posted 11:26am 09/5/10
I was discussing this with my dad less then a week ago about how awesome it would be if single payer games / the big block buster games had a subscription option for people "Less" fortunate then i am. It really does bring a larger market into the equation as Gumbiddy pointed out, not every country is as good as the west and needs assistance in order to play the s*** we hold o so dear.

As for us, if it comes here well id laugh my arse off at how poor the world thinks we are :P
Trauma
Posted 11:47am 09/5/10
This is kinda gay, I wonder how cheap it will be... but I don't see a reason to limit the single player via a sub, that's bulls***. Maybe it's just my bias for Blizzard but this has Kotik written all over it.
FaceMan
Posted 11:52am 09/5/10
Is it April Fools day ?
stuff this Im not buying the game if this is going to happen.

They are 'testing the waters' to see if they can do it all over the world.
Im not gonna stick a drip in my bank account to play a game.
Hogfather
Posted 11:59am 09/5/10
Is it April Fools day ?
stuff this Im not buying the game if this is going to happen.

They are 'testing the waters' to see if they can do it all over the world.
Im not gonna stick a drip in my bank account to play a game.

heh, you'll buy it.
This is kinda gay, I wonder how cheap it will be... but I don't see a reason to limit the single player via a sub, that's bulls***. Maybe it's just my bias for Blizzard but this has Kotik written all over it.

Didn't notice the single player as well. That's a bit lame - imo a s***k*** country account should collapse to single-player only once the sub ends.
well id laugh my arse off at how poor the world thinks we are :P

We have the opposite problem. See Civ5 thread ><
Fuzzy
Posted 02:00pm 09/5/10
Hmm... would anyone happen to know if this includes Japan? I might be moving over there to work at the end of the year, and one of my big worries have been being able to play my online games, such as WoW and such while I'm over there.

I really don't want to have to change bnet accounts and pay extra just because I'm overseas for a year
trog
Posted 02:03pm 09/5/10
Is single player that big a deal after the first few months?

I guess for mods maybe. Except for Doom and GTA I can't even remember many other games I've played through the single player experience more than once. Definitely no RTS games.
Hogfather
Posted 02:20pm 09/5/10
Hmm... would anyone happen to know if this includes Japan? I might be moving over there to work at the end of the year, and one of my big worries have been being able to play my online games, such as WoW and such while I'm over there.I really don't want to have to change bnet accounts and pay extra just because I'm overseas for a year

I would doubt it. Japan has coin.
Is single player that big a deal after the first few months?

I guess for mods maybe. Except for Doom and GTA I can't even remember many other games I've played through the single player experience more than once. Definitely no RTS games.

I think its more to have it than anything, maybe someone else would want a crack or something.

If you pay for a SP game you should be able to play it "offline" whenever you want, vs AI skirmish mode etc. For that matter they should have LAN support too >< SP / offline isn't just about the story mode.
`ViPER`
Posted 02:59pm 09/5/10
Anyone that thinks everone wont be paying eventualy for all online games is kidding themselves.

Games will get shorter and shorter, which is already happening, and you will eventually pay to buy the game, which will probably only include the first month or something of gameplay, single player or multiplayer, it wont matter because it will all be online via stuff like battle.net.

Then you will have to pay a monthly subscription to keep playing the game, single player or multiplayer. Then when they decide they dont want you to play the old game anymore, they will just take it away, so you have to buy the new version. I can see games lasting only 6 months to 1 year before they take them away from you you have to buy the new version.

Within ten years I reckon.
kirkoswald
Posted 03:02pm 09/5/10
If a game is amazing and is constantly being updated and looked after, i dont mind paying a small monthly fee.
It beats games that are full of bugs , never work , and have constant problems.
alandalf
Posted 03:11pm 09/5/10
Jesus, quickly losing respect for the intelligence levels of ausgamers community. Are half you tards actually reading the full post before complaining?

There is no negative side about this to be b****ing about. The areas that are getting the subscription option, can also buy the game outright like everyone else.
But they are also given the option of paying a a fraction of the full-game cost to play on a time-based access model, as alot of the people in those areas don't have enough expendable income to purchase the game outright.

f***.
Khel
Posted 04:24pm 09/5/10
Yeah, I don't know why theres such a huge outcry, do people these days just see "subscription" and immediately get up in arms without understanding whats going on? It sounds kind of like the equivalent to a phone plan for me, and serves the same sort of purpose. You can afford to buy it outright? Then sure, go ahead, enjoy! You can't afford to buy it outright but still want it? Well you can pay as you go. Hows that a bad thing?

Seems a few people are trying new things with the subscription based model these days. I was just reading an article yesterday about that APB game which is going to have the option to buy hours like you would on a prepaid mobile. So you could just get a regular monthly subscription for $10 a month, or you could buy 20 hours for like $6 and use them when you want. Pretty good idea for someone who's just playing it casually for an hour here or there.
Hogfather
Posted 05:39pm 09/5/10
Anyone that thinks everone wont be paying eventualy for all online games is kidding themselves.

... snip ...

Within ten years I reckon.

I don't doubt that companies are trying to secure and monetise the PC as a gaming platform via the internet and subscriptions.

But this will be market driven though. If the consumer thinks they are getting a raw deal / bad value then the games won't be bought and the subscription model will fail.

Just how many failed MMOs are there? For every monolithic StarCraft II Battle.Net there will be an upstart HoN looking to find market space and niche.
trog
Posted 10:07pm 09/5/10
Then sure, go ahead, enjoy! You can't afford to buy it outright but still want it? Well you can pay as you go. Hows that a bad thing?
That's OK if you get the option - but I don't think they're getting the option.

Also, I think people aren't getting annoyed about the specifics - it's that it's happening /at all/ because it's such a massive huge departure from the status quo - especially for Blizzard games. If you bought StarCraft back in the day, you're eligible to play it for ever (well, as long as they keep Battle.net up, anyway). If you bought Quake back in the day, you can play it forever. etcetc.

The real scary thing is the precedent that this might set for other games, not just in these 'developing' nations but in western nations when they decide that this is the next way they want you to play video games.

But why wouldn't they? WoW and MMOs have taught developers/publishers that people are happy to pay monthly for good games as long as they're getting value out of them. S***, they could do it for 12 months for SC2, make double their money, and THEN say "ok it's free for ever now"!
Scooter
Posted 10:28pm 09/5/10
I think the title is a little misleading, should read;

StarCraft 2 To Have Subscription Model option in Some Regions
trog
Posted 10:28pm 09/5/10
Trog, you can still buy the game outright, the subscription will most likely be very cheap, and it seems, from the little you posted, that they're just doing this so more people can play.

Stop reading too far into it.
Yes, I know all that. And, it's only some territories anyway, not Australia, or the US, or Europe.

But, as I said above, that's not why I think it's interesting / newsworthy / relevant. It's about the precedent it sets, whereby a brand that was once something you paid for ONCE and then got to play forEVER for FREE after that, has changed - even in a small way - to one where that is no longer the case.

I blame everyone that bought DLC personally
trog
Posted 10:45pm 09/5/10
a) it's not affecting Australians, so you don't get to pay less

b) it's not clear yet, to me anyway, that you get a second option. The Blizzard CEO made it sound like its an option in his speech, but the Latin American pricing seems to imply they only get ONE option - to buy the game cheap up front with a six month subscription and then if you want to pay after that, you have to pay more.
`ViPER`
Posted 10:47pm 09/5/10
But this will be market driven though


But the market isnt very smart, or just wont realise they are being screwed because it will happen slowly.

Imagine going back a few years and telling all the people playing COD4, the next COD wont have dedicated servers, wont have a console, wont allow user created maps and will cost $15 for new maps, and will also be the most highly profitable PC game ever.

No one would have believed you.

I blame everyone that bought DLC personally


Yep, and by extention, console gamers, they accepted this pay to play online model, with xbox live and DLC etc.


Phar4oh
Posted 12:07pm 10/5/10
I think this is a great idea. I'll be buying the game outright, but most games I only play for a couple months anyway so If I could pay $10 or something for a 3 month license, then kick it to the wall that would be awesome. That way I don't have to fork out $50-$80 everytime I want to play online.

Also, does anyone have the comprehensive list of reasons why "faceman" will not be buying the game....but will probably buy it anyway?
grug09
Posted 01:39pm 10/5/10
I think this sounds like an interesting way to make games more available to people that can not afford the upfront cost (its obviously going to cost Aussies $90-100 in store) so if for instance someone is paying $6- $10 for 2-3 months access, then the model works to make the game enjoyable to more people.

Its an interesting way to move, and i think its worth a try.
FaceMan
Posted 01:48pm 10/5/10
Then the game should be a free download if it is Pay2Play.
Becomes a bit like paying for a demo though doesnt it ?

I dont understand people paying for WoW every month.
Im going to guess its what $10 a month ?
2 years of gaming you've payed $240 for the game + Initial outlay.
I can see its rewarding for the Developers but its tough on the Punters.

What if you play 2/3/4 games like that ?

Suddenly your paying +$50 a month for gaming ? + hardware costs + Internet access.

Phar4oh
Posted 01:54pm 10/5/10
Might have to be extra careful about buying "cheap" online serial keys as well....it might work fine...for the last week of it's subscription :P
Hogfather
Posted 02:07pm 10/5/10
Then the game should be a free download if it is Pay2Play.

OK I'll give you a go FaceMan. Lets see if you can come up with a response that doesn't get you put back in the Do Not Reply box.

The game is worth whatever the market says the publisher can charge for it. They are investigating a combination of retail and subscription for emerging markets. Blizzard are very good at monetising PC gaming and they are looking at ways to increase revenue in markets where western boxes do not perform.

I paid $150 for the CE of starcraft 2 at EBGames because I wanted to know that I had it squared away, it wasn't a pre-order with a company I couldn't deal with face to face if need be. I reckon I've thrown away up to fifty bucks vs online purchases.

But its a price I was happy to pay (and EBGames sold out of their CEs at this price) which means that it was appropriately priced. If the value in the CE (and the experience of pre-ordering via EBGames, for example I miss out because they f*** somethign up) is unsatisfactory then I will not use the service again, and I will relate my experience to others which will further damage their ability to charge high prices for CEs.

A similar is happening with civ5 AU pricing. They are experimenting if they can blatantly just f*** us in the arse, and I expect that their Steam sales will plummet as a result of consumer reaction. The bean counters will know if it was worth it.

Free markets.
glynd
Posted 02:13pm 10/5/10
Then the game should be a free download if it is Pay2Play.
Becomes a bit like paying for a demo though doesnt it ?

I dont understand people paying for WoW every month.
Im going to guess its what $10 a month ?
2 years of gaming you've payed $240 for the game + Initial outlay.
I can see its rewarding for the Developers but its tough on the Punters.

What if you play 2/3/4 games like that ?

Suddenly your paying +$50 a month for gaming ? + hardware costs + Internet access.


you buy a game for $50 and get 2-3 weeks of gameplay out of it (minus the few games that actually give you more). or you could pay $50 worth of subscription and get 4-5 months worth of gameplay.
FaceMan
Posted 02:17pm 10/5/10
Then a better method might be to buy a subscription to play All Blizzard games.
Not just one.
glynd
Posted 02:49pm 10/5/10
Then a better method might be to buy a subscription to play All Blizzard games.
Not just one.


I was just mainly pointing out how people can pay for a subscription for wow ... starcraft subscription wouldn't work as it's mainly player base keeping the game going rather than blizzard churning out map packs each month.

but the subscription isn't going to happen in australia or any well off countries. not enough details have been released but from the sounds of it, my guess is the game will be offered at an relatively cheap price so those in not so well off countries could afford it.
greazy
Posted 05:45pm 10/5/10
Why is this a surprise to anyone? This is how asia likes to play their games. Their WoW model is bizarre, you pay per hour rather than on a monthly basis.
Crizane Tribal
Posted 06:23pm 10/5/10
Russia, Asia and Latin America

This just strikes me as a prettied up version of 'always on' DRM with the added bonus of doing something nice (i.e. letting people in poor countries play legitimately). These regions have the highest rates of piracy in the world. By making the game require a subscription service that requires a net connection for single player gameplay, they are making the game harder to pirate.
CSIRAC
Posted 06:35pm 10/5/10
you do not need a net connection to play single player
grug09
Posted 11:59pm 10/5/10
I imagine the whole idea came from the rating SCII was given in Korea.

Starcraft was a huge hit there, but most people do not own the game, as its too expensive to own/have a PC to run it. They have huge gaming dungeons that most people pay to use per hour. The idea behind this is to make the game more accessible in these places, this model won't even be available to Australians.

The idea is to get more cash in their own pockets, instead of these mass gaming dungeons in countries where games like this are too expensive. good on them i say, why should someone else make cash from their hard work (cough cough Aussie market price gouge)
Hogfather
Posted 12:06am 11/5/10

But the market isnt very smart, or just wont realise they are being screwed because it will happen slowly.

Imagine going back a few years and telling all the people playing COD4, the next COD wont have dedicated servers, wont have a console, wont allow user created maps and will cost $15 for new maps, and will also be the most highly profitable PC game ever.

Then people playing (and buying) the game don't care about those things, or are dissatisfied enough with the result that they won't go back.

If people (stupid or not, most people are stupid people imo) knowingly & wilingly part with their money for the gimped product then who is to blame?
CSIRAC
Posted 12:13am 11/5/10
Starcraft was a huge hit there, but most people do not own the game, as its too expensive to own/have a PC to run it. They have huge gaming dungeons that most people pay to use per hour. The idea behind this is to make the game more accessible in these places, this model won't even be available to Australians.


What? South koreans cant afford $20 for a game or computers to run the game? What do you think south korea is, some 3rd world country? lol.

last edited by CSIRAC at 00:13:17 11/May/10
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