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Could StarCraft II go free-to-play?

Blizzard have been considering making StarCraft II free-to-play but is unsure how to monetise it.

StarCraft II's lead designer Dustin Browder has revealed that develop and publisher Blizzard Entertainment has been considering making the video game free-to-play as an option moving forward.

The free version of the hit real-time strategy game would be limited to the title's multiplayer mode, Browder explained during a panel session at the Valencia eSports Congress, adding that the primary concern is how the structure of the game would have to be adapted if the change were to be made.

It would require Blizzard to find other ways to generate money and this could threaten the balance of the title the developer spent a very long time fine-tuning.

"We don’t know how we would monetise it," he said.

"While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them."

Moving towards the free-to-play model would boost the number of StarCraft II players and put it in direct competition with other real-time strategy games using the model, namely League of Legends and Dota 2. However, if the firm were to make the title free-to-play, it could put pressure on taking a similar stance with World of Warcraft, which is one of the remaining bastions of the monthly subscription models.

It is unlikely that any change will be experienced soon, as Blizzard is currently hard at work on the first StarCraft II expansion Heart of the Swarm, which entered beta earlier this month.

The title is to include a campaign focused on the Zerg species and will last for approximately 20 missions. Although a playable version of the game is ready, Blizzard has not yet announced a release date.

Once Heart of the Swarm has hit shop shelves, Blizzard will commence work on the third part of the StarCraft II trilogy entitled Legacy of the Void.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801455213-ADNFCR