Korea’s FTC to investigate Blizzard’s StarCraft: Remastered hourly fees

    
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The Korean StarCraft community is up in arms this week over Blizzard’s rerelease of the game — more specifically, its plan to effectively double-dip into the pockets of the very internet cafe culture that’s kept StarCraft a household name into 2017.

The Korean Herald reports that South Korea’s PC bang association has petitioned Korea’s Fair Trade Commission to intervene, arguing that Blizzard is improperly double-charging an hourly fee for StarCraft: Remastered when they’ve already long since paid a flat fee for the StarCraft license.

The bangs point out that they’ve been forced to install the upgraded version because of stability issues; but for that, they say, the upgraded version contains no new content and isn’t worthy of new fees, alleging that Blizzard is “misappropriating its superior market status to push unfair measures to PC bang owners, most of which are small-sized business owners.”

Blizzard Korea, however, contends that Remastered is indeed a new game with new perks and “exclusive offerings” that “attract more players to PC bangs, therefore benefiting PC bang owners as well as legitimizing the fees that Blizzard can collect from them.”

Remastered went live worldwide earlier today, having been accessible in Korea’s PC bangs for the last couple of weeks already.

Source: Korean Herald via PCGN
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Ashfyn Ninegold

This is really sticking it to people who’ve been loyal to a Blizzard title. Wonder what approach they’ll use when they issue the remastered D2.

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Sally Bowls

Is it the “Korean StarCraft community” or just the “PC bang association” that is up in arms? All the new features make it seem like a new game to me. For $15, I bet I get it at some point.

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Gen'Challa ?

Saying there’s no new content is disingenuous, as well as the stability complaint.

First of all, Blizzard JUST released a stability patch for SC1/BW AND made those games free.

Remastered adds entirely new graphics, new comic-style cutscenes, new features for multiplayer and single-player, as well as bonuses for other games. Saying they should get Remastered for free because they bought SC1 almost twenty years ago is ridiculous.

miol
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miol

Saying they should get Remastered for free because they bought SC1 almost twenty years ago is ridiculous.

No, they are saying Blizzard didn’t give them a choice of staying with the initial purchased licence, as you’re forced to update to the Remastered version!

As Blizzard didn’t wanted to separate the stability update from the Remastered version (and then even forcing a different licensing model), which of course goes totally against anti-trust laws!

Licenses for internet cafés, so called “PC bangs”, never ever had an hourly fee, which is especially taxing to small business owners of said cafés!

Don’t mix up versions for private users with ones for PC bangs cafés!

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Gen'Challa ?

Wait, they were literally forced to update, or metaphorically “if we want the new features everyone is clamoring for, we’re forced to update.”

If they were forced to update their old license to the new one, with no option for just keeping on the way they had been, then I can see their complaint. But that’s not how I read it – I read it that they wanted the new features of SC:R but without having to pay the new fees associated with SC:R. If Blizzard is forcing original SC license holders to upgrade to SC:R with no option to simply keep original-flavor SC, then that’s news to me.

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Herro Mongorian

Everybody has to pay for SC:R regardless of whether or not they previously owned SC. Nobody is being forced to upgrade to SC:R.

The shitty move is Blizzard charging PC bangs the hourly fee on top of everything else. Basically, they get $$$ from the original SC release, $$$ from the remaster, and $$$$$$$$ from this hourly nonsense.

This is the scummiest of monetization schemes, but since they’re Activision-mother-fucking-Blizzard, they might even get away with it.

Edit: And Blizzard is trying to justify this move by saying fresh new graphics and sounds are gonna be the reason why a bunch of people will play this game and cover the additional fees. Because, you know, people stopped playing SC because of its graphics and sounds and not because they’re adults with responsibilities or anything.

miol
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miol

The bangs point out that they’ve been forced to install the upgraded version because of stability issues

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Herro Mongorian

The issue isn’t about getting the game for free; it’s about being charged an hourly fee for a game license you already own. It’s literally Blizzard charging a subscription fee for a game that never had a subscription for a patch that they alone decided everybody needed.

For perspective: WoW’s subscription fee is roughly $0.02/hour. Blizzard is demanding $0.20/hour for SC:R. That’s not just ridiculous; it’s a fat load of bullshit.

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Nathan Aldana

Yeah I’m with the bangs here that blizz trying to charge hourly for a fucking remaster is a bit shady, especially when you arent given an option to not upgrade