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Old Aug 14, 2008, 01:34 AM
dotabutcher dotabutcher is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default "Starcraft Online " confirmed ?

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What we heard: What we know: Blizzard is working on a new massively multiplayer online game that doesn't involve the words "world" or "Warcraft." The problem, then, lies in which of the exceedingly popular properties the soon-to-be merged developer will be giving the MMOG treatment--or whether the game will even be a supersized version of an established IP at all. With Starcraft II definitely in the works, and Blizzard brass saying neither the Starcraft nor the Diablo franchises have been forgotten, speculation abounds that one--or both--IPs will be the basis for their next effort.

However, with Blizzard remaining mum on the issue, the studio's devout followers have been keen to latch onto even the slightest tidbit that may confirm which universe the new MMOG will take place. The latest kick to the hive comes from an online report out of Beijing found on financial news service Trading Markets. Citing Caijing Magazine, the report states that online game operators is on track to gaining a license to operate overseas-developed games, and that "industry insiders" say Blizzard's "Starcraft Online" may be the first of its offerings.

So what is Starcraft Online, and what does NetEase have to do with it? The second part of the question is easy. As it does with World of Warcraft, Blizzard often outsources localization and server hosting duties to companies already established in the region it is expanding into. For instance, in 2004, Blizzard awarded Chinese ISP The 9 the license to distribute and localize World of Warcraft in China.

The Trading Markets report notes that no official contract has been signed between Blizzard and NetEase, so neither company is in a position to be forthcoming with specifics of the deal. Even still, it seems far more likely that Starcraft Online is a translation-garbled reference to distribution of the online component of the original Starcraft or its upcoming sequel, Starcraft II. Though the original Starcraft was released 10 years ago, its popularity remains widespread in many Asian nations, so much so that Blizzard unveiled Starcraft II in Seoul, South Korea last year.

The official story: These sentiments are bolstered by Blizzard's official word on the matter. "Our focus right now is on continuing development of Starcraft II and working our way toward beta," a Blizzard rep told GameSpot. "We haven't announced plans for anything called Starcraft Online, and we prefer not to address rumors or speculate on business operations that haven't been determined yet."

Bogus or not bogus?: GameSpot has learned that it is bogus that this report has anything to do with an unannounced Starcraft MMOG.

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by Tony
Old Aug 14, 2008, 08:04 PM
dotabutcher dotabutcher is offline
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