Think back. Way back. Way, way back. To 2009. An eternity in video game time. 2009’s BlizzCon was pretty eventful, featuring the reveal of “World of WarCraft: Cataclysm” and the Monk class for “Diablo 3.” Blizzard also took the opportunity to show of the next version of Battle.net, the one that would ship with “StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty.” While many of the features that were discussed ended up making it into the final release, some have not. For example, Blizzard mentioned that they were working on App Store-like functionality for Battle.net which would allow players to browse, download and even buy fan-created “StarCraft 2” maps and mods right through the interface.
Last week I sat down with Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce, two of the co-founders, to discuss the 20 year history of Blizzard. During the interview, Pearce mentioned the “StarCraft 2” marketplace is still coming.
“We had talked about, at BlizzCon a couple years ago, the concept of a ’StarCraft 2’ marketplace, and we haven’t launched that yet. And it’s something I know is important to me, I know it’s important to Mike. But it’s not necessarily something we have a specific timeline for, which is unfortunate because one of the things that we’ve found is, especially from our learnings from ’World of WarCraft,’ is that these audiences that play these games are very, very passionate and want to experience lots and lots of content. With the ’StarCraft 2’ client and the ’StarCraft 2’ map editor and the Battle.net platform, it creates an opportunity for the community to serve itself with content, if the mechanisms are there.”
According to the official “StarCraft 2” site, the marketplace would let players “browse, download, rate, comment on, and even buy mods if their creators choose to put a price tag on their work.” Based on Pearce’s statements, those goals haven’t changed and still remain a priority. It’ll be interesting to see just when the marketplace is implemented and whether it allows for community mods for future Blizzard works like “Diablo 3,” as well.