Mike Morhaime, the chief executive officer of developer Blizzard, says that there are no plans to take the multiplayer side of the strategy title Starcraft 2 free-to-play because there’s no way for the studio to make money and continue support and development on the title.
The executive tells PCGamesN that, “It’s a little frustrating the question keeps coming up because the math just isn’t there to support the assumptions behind that argument. StarCaft 2 has the most value of any entertainment property out there. I mean if you bought it during Black Friday, it was 50% off, 20 bucks. Compare that to the price of your so-called free-to-play games. Twenty dollars and you can play it practically forever.”
Blizzard has specialized in creating video game experiences like Starcraft 2, Diablo III and World of Warcraft, which offer enough mechanics and options to keep players entertained in the long term.
For its MMO, Blizzard has managed to keep subscription numbers up despite an overall move towards free-to-play, with the recent launch of the Mists of Pandaria expansion managing to push the number of subscribers over the 10 million mark once again.
The subscription model for the MMO market is now seen as obsolete and fans are expecting even high quality AAA experiences to be available for free.
Morhaime adds, “There are a lot of people who have purchased StarCraft and our other games, and they know what the value is.”
Previous comments from Blizzard suggested that Dustin Browder, the leading designer on Starcraft 2, had explored the free-to-play model earlier during 2012.
At the moment, the company is working on Heart of the Swarm, the expansion that will be launched during March 2013.
It will focus on Kerrigan and the Zerg and introduces a number of new units and feature changes to the multiplayer side of the game.