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…

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Companies: blizzard

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

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ikonoclasm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 their game; their money

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

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 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.

Phillip (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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 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

Danny (user link) says:

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?

Cdaragorn says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

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)

trench0r (profile) says:

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.

DracosBlackwing says:

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.

Fushta says:

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].

Fatduck (profile) says:

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.

Valkor says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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 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.

gantense says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: just a few facts


“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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

roy weiss says:

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.

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