One of the most ambitious announcement that Blizzard made at the 2009 edition of BlizzCon has been that it was planning to deliver a Battle.net based Marketplace which would allow modders to sell their content for actual currency in a secure way.
It's been more than one year and Starcraft II has been out for half a year, but Blizzard
is not yet talking about the Marketplace and recent comments suggest that it might never be launched.
Speaking in an Eurogamer interview
Dustin Browder, who is the design director working on the real-time strategy title Starcraft II, stated, “Struggling. We are moving forward. We are working on it actively now. As you can imagine there is an immense number of challenges for us to overcome. We're trying to deal with those issues. I don't know how we're going to solve some of the player rights issues.”
It seems that the main issues standing in the way of the Marketplace becoming a reality is linked to the pricing structure for user-created content and to the mechanics that Blizzard
will use to make sure that content is sold just a few times and then copied for free by other players.
Browder also attempted a justification of sorts, saying, “We've never, ultimately, built anything like this before. Some of our competitors have and more power to them. But we haven't done it yet. So there's going to be a bunch of work for us to figure out how to get this done”
Blizzard has a history of axing development projects even after it has publicly talked about them and after a significant amount of work has been put into them, like with Starcraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures.
At the moment, Blizzard is working on three important projects, Heart of the Swarm
, a new World of Warcraft expansion and Diablo III, and a new MMO, codenamed Titan is also in the project stage.