Blizzard To Korean Video Game Sports Assocation: How Dare You Promote StarCraft Without Paying Us!

from the entitlement-culture dept

Once again, we get a story of entitlement culture, where a company gets pissed off that someone is promoting their products, without getting a direct cut (not realizing, of course, that they get payoffs in other ways). This one comes to us via Rob, who sends in the story about an ongoing battle in Korea over the broadcasting of professional StarCraft matches. StarCraft has been amazingly popular for quite a long time, and there are professional players in Korea. It's such a big deal that a ruling body called KeSPA was put together, and organized the broadcast of professional StarCraft games on two separate networks. This has, undoubtedly, driven massive sales of StarCraft for many years in Korea. However, with StarCraft II, Blizzard is upset that it doesn't get a cut of the TV revenue and is trying to route around KeSPA. Apparently, as the fight has escalated, KeSPA has asked the gov't for help, and apparently regulators are threatening to rule that StarCraft II is an "Adult" game, which would make it difficult to broadcast on TV in valuable time-slots. You shouldn't bite the hand that promotes you...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    yet....

    you think still that blizzard is decent and not overusing their entitlement (re: online downloads not killing first sale).

    Do you begin to see how blizzard is pretty much in the same boat as the RIAA/etc?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Activision, not Blizzard

    Intelligence has evaporated completely since the activision "merger".

    Blizzard is still good. but they need to rein in their corporate overlords at activision before they completely ruin the good name that is Blizzard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Paul Brinker, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Aggreed, Back in the old days we had cool stuff like Multiplayer spawns and CD keys (which you owned) so you could sell your game (key included) if you chose.

    Now we are geting 1 time purchases and locks on sales.

    Activision was a bad idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    American Flags, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    their game; their money

    I feel that the company who created the game should get a share of the tv revenue. It is their game isn't it..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: their game; their money

    And they do. From the copies of the games that were sold to the players and will be sold to people watching.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    American Flags, you realize that Blizzard PAYS to get promoted at E3, to buy advertisements and get paid by people buying the game. Usually sponsors have to pay BIG money to get their name associated with top athletes, celebrities or gamers. This is free advertising. They are making money by not having to spend it. It's a penny saved a penny earned. Where do you morons learn economics and marketing? Do you really not realize that bad publicity goes farther than good?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Boo Blizzard

    Even if Blizzard MAY put out an awesome Diablo 2 or Starcraft 2, I will NOT buy them if they continue to abuse copyright laws the way they have been recently.
    While I agree with their goal in some points and not some others, their methods and complete carp.
    Merging with Activision was the worst thing ever ...
    Activision and EA should go into a black hole together so they can stop ruining the gaming industry. Although, EA does seem to actually be opening their eyes recently. Starting to anyways. Still a ways to go. That still doesn't change the fact that they seem to ruin game series that they pick up. (Although that last point is pure opinion - mainly with regards to the C&C series)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Boo Blizzard

    "their methods and complete carp"

    I have no idea why, but everytime I read that line I begin to giggle uncontrollably...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Trerro, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    ""their methods and complete carp"

    I have no idea why, but everytime I read that line I begin to giggle uncontrollably..."

    *insert IRC troutslap joke here* :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Sergio, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    My hero is robbing a bank

    I really hurts me to see blizzard do this. Blizzard is one of the companies that got me into serious PC gaming (not just jumping around as a blue hedgehog, they got me actually using my brain). To see them do this and also not include LAN play in SC2, it's heart breaking!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Keven Sutton, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Boo Blizzard

    I have no idea why, but the thought of Dark Helmet giggling sends shivers down my spine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    BigFN-J (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Blizza'vision is making a lot of community rampages since the merger, and hurting your fan base... your most loyal ones at that, is never a good thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    trench0r (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    I hate to say this

    But I think blizzard has every right to sell their products how they choose, I think they are a bit misguided at times (as some said in other comments, probably activision's influence) but the core company has brought us great games in the past, and continue to run World of Warcraft, a ridiculously popular (and lucrative) offering, so if this country really is a free market, you can imagine they are quite confident they know what they are doing. IF this bites them in the ass, then perhaps they'll learn. (think spore/drm) otherwise some of you (in the comments) sound like parents trying to ban tv shows. Turn off your TV = Don't buy from Blizzard, if you don't like it, tough. You aren't entitled to have blizzard selling media in whatever format you think you deserve.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    worker (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    battle.net

    I thought the big reason they made SC2 only playable on battlenet (besides piracy)is so they could regulate the broadcasting of games. If they own battlenet, and every sc2 game has to be played on battlenet, can't they decide who gets to broadcast what games?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Fushta, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Broadcast Rights

    After reading the article, what Blizzard (or is Activision pulling the strings) it reminds me of pro sports leagues all over the world trying to control 100% of the aspects of "their" sport. I don't see why Blizzard/Activision holds the rights to broadcast the playing of their game on TV. Would the inventor of golf hold all broadcast rights to any and all golf shown on TV? [sorry for the weak analogy].

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Danny, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: their game; their money

    Does that mean that Micheal Jordan should have been paying money to Nike, Fruit of the Loom, etc... all these years instead of the other way around? All I'm asking is the Jordan/Nike relationship who really needed who more? Jordan would have still been a great ball player without Nike but how many kids would have bought Nike shoes if they weren't trying to be like Mike?

    Blizzard is trying to pull a music industry trick by demanding that they get paid revenue from those that advertise their stuff ON TOP OF what revenue they make in the way sales from that advertising. Who really needs who more? The Korean gaming scene can move on to another game to get their kicks (or hell some developer over there might make the next big hit) but how well would Blizzard hold up if the Korean gaming scene turned their back in Starcraft?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Miktch, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    bleh

    Michael Jordan is a spokeperson for Hanes NOT fruit of the loom...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    minijedimaster (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Re: battle.net

    Well unless a new feature of battle.net is a big hand that reaches out of the computer screen and covers the lens of the video camera pointed at it I don't see how battle.net can stop the recording of games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    DOTA will now be replaced by a game called HoN (Heros of Newerth or something similar). HoN is similar to DOTA but with so many improvements. One Blizzard game down, better pick their act up. Check out the HoN invitational match at Gamestah www.gamestah.com they are a online e-sports commentary place running that. Should be pretty sweet.

    Blizzard need the Koreans. Korea could make their own version of StarCraft, probably even better, so tread very carefully Blizzard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Fatduck (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: battle.net

    Starcraft 2 adopts the rock-paper-scissors method of balancing units, so obviously it includes the Big Hand as a counter to Analog Holes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Fatduck (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Broadcast Rights

    The (admittedly weak) argument sports leagues make is that the game is a "performance" by the players (who of course must cede their rights to the league governing body in order to play), and thus they have the right to prevent unauthorized reproduction of the performance.

    It would be difficult for Blizzard to make a similar argument, as the performers are clearly the game's players, and not Blizzard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Hammy, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Re: their game; their money

    its my ball I'm going home, just like a 5 year old.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    batch, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Activision, not Blizzard

    Indeed; everything Activision touches turns to shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Re: I hate to say this

    "You aren't entitled to have blizzard selling media in whatever format you think you deserve."

    No one is disputing this fact. But people are gonna call shit when they see shit, and there's nothing wrong with that. If people didn't complain, then nothing ever changes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    People fled the company in 2003 for a reason. When more money is being spent looking for ways to sue all your customers for minor reasons, you got a big problem.

    /Waiting for the EULA's

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: their game; their money

    I'm pretty sure most of the copies of StarCraft in Korea are pirated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Cdaragorn, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    Re: their game; their money

    The problem with this reasoning is a failure to understand who created the content being shown. Yes, Blizzard did create the game, but they had no part in creating the content in the video.

    The fact that I used a tool you created and own the copyright to does not give you any rights to anything I created with that tool.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Fsm, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: their game; their money

    That's an unverified claim.

    Have any proof?

    I could just as easily say that I'm pretty sure you were an accident.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: their game; their money

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Mommy always said daddy left because he loved me. T_T

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Blizzard...

    ...needs to learn their place. A Nascar driver doesn't pay cherrios for their sticker, its the other way around.

    And for the previous post, I agree completely. Thats like saying crayola gets $$ from successful child artists, doesnt make much sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    gantense, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 5:37pm

    just a few facts

    if anything blizzard should pay the league for the right to have their game be FEATURED

    blizzard doesn't deserve a dime...this is intellectual property and digital video distribution. NOT VIDEO GAME DEVELOPMENT or in any ways in direct competition with blizzard's income base or corporate directives.

    whoever decided to pursue this obviously doesn't understand contract law.

    there is no disclaimer that says anything about reproduction for competition.

    its a farce they are even entertaining a case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: just a few facts

    Wow.

    "if anything blizzard should pay the league for the right to have their game be FEATURED"

    Gotta ask you: How would the league run without the software? It would appear that the league are profiting greatly from all this (a fully functional business) playing on other people's brand name. Remove the brand name, remove the software, and they are playing what, tic-tac-toe?

    Let's just say the league needs Blizzard way more than the other way around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 12:23am

    Re: Re: just a few facts

    "Remove the brand name, remove the software, and they are playing what, tic-tac-toe?"

    ...or a game that competes directly with Blizzard's product and suddenly has a lot of cheap advertising to millions of potential Korean customers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re: just a few facts

    It was slightly obvious that the AC for the RE there has no idea how markets work.
    You remove one thing, others will come in to pick up the slack.
    Go ahead, removed Starcraft from them all.
    They will find another game where the makers have not turned into arsehats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    ikonoclasm (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: their game; their money

    Google turned up an article discussing game piracy (in general, not specifically in regards to SC).

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3698/piracy_in_korea_r4_triumphant.php

    Without any studies on the subject, I'd say that the general apathy towards IP in S. Korea would translate to Starcraft, too. Bliz recently announced that LAN games will be disabled in SC2, meaning you must have a valid key and connect through Battle.net in order to participate in multiplayer games. Based on the evidence I've seen and the changes coming for SC2, I think it is safe to say that Bliz does not profit much from the religious devotion SC holds in S. Korea.

    But again, that's without being able to get any specific numbers on the topic. Circumstantial evidence does seem to support the claim of rampant piracy in S. Korea, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Phillip (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: their game; their money

    That would maybe be true if it actually worked. Give it a few months and the login will be cracked, and their will be pirate battle.net servers just like WOW servers.

    Most people don't use the pirate WOW server because its an MMO so you want a lot of people, however starcraft matches are at most 4v4 so this isn't going to stop anything. It'll piss off real people that buy the game or stop others, like me, from buying/playing the game, but others will get the cracked version when it comes out and connect to their own pirate battle.nets

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re: just a few facts

    ... if anyone is willing to do it. The assumption is that there is always another choice, but perhaps there isn't. In the end, the use of other people's brand names to enrich your business (but not really to enrich their business) isn't really a nice way to do business.

    I am sure if the league had come to Blizzard first, they probably would have gotten support. By trying to sneak in the back door, they get what they get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Broadcast Rights

    So, the broadcast Starcraft game is a "performance" by the players (who of course must *accept a EULA* in order to play), and thus they have the right to prevent unauthorized reproduction of the performance.

    I'm not saying it's a *good* argument, but it could certainly be made by Blizz. I hope that wouldn't hold up in any court in any country, but that won't stop them from trying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    bugmenot (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:15am

    Kespa is a rotten entity anyway. I hope they get removed by Blizzard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    scfan, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:42am

    Maybe if people actually followed the pro scene before they commented.

    Blizzard > Kespa in any way, day or form.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    DracosBlackwing, Aug 25th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: I hate to say this

    Yes. Yes we ARE entitled to having Blizzard sell blah blah blah.

    THINK on what you are saying. Blizzard goes, "We're going to do things our way and if you don't like it, piss off!" ... and then people piss off. What're they gonna do?

    If you are selling something, yes, you ARE required to sell it in a form, way, and design that pleases the people you are selling to. Or they simply won't BUY it. If there is ANY company out there that is so large they can make things the way THEY want them, have no one buy any of those things, and still report profit, please inform me. I need to buy some stocks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    roy weiss, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    discourteous behavior.

    Blizzard seems to be acting greedily here. Who gets angry when they receive a free promotion? I could see them being disapproving if the products were being portrayed in a negative light, but not in this case. These are solid games that are well past the video game testing phase - they should be happy for the free publicity, which has great value.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    best Smartphone applications, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

    Smartphone app developers

    I was looking for something like this, and lastly got it here in your site. This is really amazing, and I am going to be a coming back guest to your site. Just keep it updated with such fresh and innovative concepts.
    best Smart phone applications

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This