Posted on October 13, 2008,

Blizzard's Rob Pardo Explains How Battle.net Could be Monetized

Gaming Today

This past Friday, an innocent question from a fan at one of Blizzcon’s Diablo 3 panels asking if Battle.net would remain free led to an unexpected — or, at least, unwanted — answer from the game‘s lead designer, Jay Wilson: “We are looking to monetize Battle.net so that we get to keep making these games and updating features.”

Battle.net, for those who don’t know, is the online gaming platform used by many of Blizzard’s games, including StarCraft, Diablo, Diablo 2, and both Warcraft 2 and 3. Since its release alongside the original Diablo, Battle.net has always been completely free, which is what made Wilson’s answer so jarring.

Blizzard executive VP of game design, Rob Pardo, cleared up the comments while speaking with Joystiq. He made it clear that there’s no plan to do anything akin to Hellgate: London and Blizzard is absolutely not trying to turn Diablo into a subscription-based game.

With Battle.net we’re definitely looking at possible different features that we might be able to do for additional money. We’re not talking about Hellgate or anything like that. We’re not going to tack things on. I think World of Warcraft is a great example to look at. We charge people if they want to switch servers or if they want name changes, things that aren’t core to the game experience, they’re really just optional things that some people want. It takes us some development work to do it, so it makes sense to charge for it. We would never do something like say to get the full game experience, you’ll have to pay extra.

Is that enough reassurance for you? As a diehard Diablo fan, I could easily imagine being suckered into paying for optional things that I really don’t need — hopefully Blizzard will be gentle.

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6 Comments on Blizzard's Rob Pardo Explains How Battle.net Could be Monetized

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On October 13, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Ever since WoW blizzard has become nothing but a bunch of money grubbing, greedy whores. They seem to only be getting worse… They are making a killing off WoW alone, and will not hesitate to exploit those of you who will continue to throw money at them

Buddy Love

On October 13, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Your name is based on a ty kid’s show. You’re a moron.

Commander Bubble

On October 14, 2008 at 2:24 am

F Off blizzard. monetize b-net and people will start local versions and privatised servers so we don’t have to pay.

It’s great the way it is.

It’s not broken, so don’t try to fix it.

Not an idiot

On October 14, 2008 at 9:38 am

Did you even read the article? Bnet stays free. Bonuses on Bnet may (will) cost money, things like moving servers, changing names etc. Just like in in WoW, there is the normal 15 dollar a month fee (which won’t be there on bnet) then extras you can pay for.

Jesus Christ people, they offer more benefits for bnet that are completely optional and new and decide they may charge and you freak out like they are some business or something.

Star Buddy

On October 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Still though, B-net would be going from completely free to not completely free. Seriously, like they aren’t making enough money with WoW. I say that B-net should remain how it is, completely free. ESPECIALLY, since they just split Starcraft 2 into 3 games. The least they could do is not mess with B-net.

Woogie

On October 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Oh dear god. What, Blizz? Making $100 million or so a MONTH off of WOW isn’t enough for you?

I am so ing sick of this industry. This is why indie gaming is so great. It’s not all about the money. And seriously, I ever meet someone in the real world who dares to use the word “monetize” in front of me, I will kill them where they stand.

I’m done with Blizz. My WOW account is cancelled. I’m not buying SC2 or Diablo II. Anyone who thinks they aren’t going to leverage all three SC2 releases with exclusive multiplayer maps and other desirable content is deluding themselves.