An replace for StarCraft 2, Blizzard’s real-time technique sport, launched this week provides gamers the choice to obtain “premium,” community-made maps. StarCraft 2 Arcade maps are extra like self-contained sport mods than simple battlegrounds.
But not like different fan-developed maps for StarCraft 2’s Arcade mode, that are free, the sport’s new Premium Arcade maps will value cash, a portion of which is able to go to every map’s creator.
Blizzard added the Arcade part to StarCraft 2 in 2012 as a repository for customized maps, nevertheless it wasn’t till this week that StarCraft 2 lastly received paid, fan-made content material in the type of two Premium Arcade maps.
The first is named ARK Star. It was developed by content material creator Daniel “Pirate” Altman, who received Blizzard’s Rock the Cabinet mapmaking contest in 2015. ARK Star is a tactical, turn-based role-playing sport that includes the Protoss.
The different debut Premium Arcade map is Direct Strike. Longtime community creator “Tya” made it in addition to the map’s predecessor, Desert Strike HotS, one in every of StarCraft 2’s hottest Arcade maps. Direct Strike is a sport of tactical tug of battle, and the new model of the map is extra of a paid improve with new options than one thing completely new.
Tim Morten, manufacturing director for StarCraft 2, advised Polygon that the new Premium Arcade maps program “is a means for us to reward prime content material creators who’re offering distinctive worth to gamers.” The break up in income on Premium Arcade maps favors content material creators, he mentioned.
Morten mentioned that selling community-created content material is at present in its “pilot program” stage. Blizzard remains to be evaluating how a lot work it’ll take internally to roll out paid community-made content material to a wider pool of creators.
“We wish to proceed advancing our assist for these content material creators,” Morten mentioned, calling the long-awaited arrival of Premium Arcade maps “a step” in that course of.
It’s an concept that’s been round for near a decade. Blizzard floated the idea of letting third-party content material creators promote their StarCraft 2 maps and mods at BlizzCon 2009, earlier than StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty was launched.
Blizzard additionally has an extended historical past of community-created content material in its video games, like Warcraft three and the unique StarCraft, Morten famous. The StarCraft 2 crew particularly has introduced on community creators like Ryan Schutter, who developed the GameHeart spectator software, and Kevin “Monk” Dong of Team Liquid, who’s heading up growth for brand new co-op commanders.
So far, response to paid Premium Arcade maps coming to StarCraft 2 appears to be largely constructive — definitely higher than related bulletins that generated overwhelming negativity. Morten mentioned that the StarCraft crew will probably be sharing its expertise with different groups at Blizzard, however downplayed the concept that Premium Arcade maps are indicative of the firm’s plans for paid mods for different Blizzard titles.