Many StarCraft II fans are upset over Blizzard’s decision to exclude a local area network (LAN) game mode.

    Yesterday we reported that Blizzard has confirmed “no LAN mode” in StarCraft II, and the news spread quickly over the net. In just a day over 2,500 (update 01/07/2008: over 21.000 signed; 27/05/2009: over 250.000) have signed a petition asking Blizzard to consider including network multiplayer in addition to Battle.net in the game, with the number growing by the minute.

    Blizzard stated the decision to exclude LAN play “is because of the planned technology to be incorporated into Battle.net,” a topic it will reveal more about at a later date. The company apparently want players to come together in one single place.  For most fans it will not change the issue of not being able to connect without an internet connection, however.

    IncGamers contacted Christian Sørensen, the apparent creator of the petition, who revealed he isn’t the original author. It’s a collective effort from a small group of fans on the StarCraft community site StarcraftWire.net.

    However, some StarCraft fans oppose the petition, citing concerns about piracy.”I don’t see a reason why it’ll decrease or increase it,” Sørensen said, “Pirates will always be there. [Excluding LAN mode] will only punish the people who are legit buyers.”

    Michael Frost, one of the fans signing the petition, said “no LAN will encourge B.net emulation, not stop it.”

    Services like ICCUP emulate Battle.net, and provide alternatives to Blizzard’s own. Rob Pardo of Blizzard called it a pirate server, and it’s something the company will likely deal with after the launch of StarCraft II.

    Sørensen and many others argue LAN is great for users with a poor internet connection and players who don’t want to connect to the internet at all. Salie Hendricks, another fan signing the petition, gave an example: “Africans only have LAN. You will lose out to piracy.”

    The company has been beseeched by fans before. Last year, 50,000 Diablo III fans implored Blizzard to change the colour scheme of their favourite game to be more dark and bloody and, in November, StarCraft fans requested that Blizzard keep the original voice actors for the sequel. Both of these requests have since been partially addressed by Blizzard.

    We will continue to report on the petition. Stay tuned for more info.250686

    Paul Younger
    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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