Publisher Blizzard has employed some interesting marketing to promote StarCraft II’s transition to a free-to-play game.
The firm has been taking shots (or throwing shade, as the kids say) at rival publisher EA via Twitter following that company’s very negative and very publish backlash to how it has implemented loot boxes and a progression system in Star Wars Battlefront 2.
A post on Reddit explaining the company's thinking behind the implementation is now Reddit's most downvoted comment by quite some way. EA has since reduced some of the in-game costs to appease fans.
There’s also a pretty funny video that’s quite reminiscent of Sony’s jab at Microsoft’s game sharing gaff at E3 2013. All of this is pretty bold, given that Blizzard also implements microtransactions in its games meaning the boot could well be on the other foot one day.
Number of hours before you can play ANY Co-op Commander in StarCraft II: 0— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 14, 2017
Number of pay-to-win mechanics in StarCraft II: 0— StarCraft (@StarCraft) November 14, 2017
Free to Play - Now Live! pic.twitter.com/a02OYUCYZU
Not that Blizzard should be taking swipes at rival publishers over the cost of progression in its games; despite company chief Mike Morhaime saying that its team shooter Overwatch does not belong in the conversation about loot crates, it is seen by many as a catalyst for this kind of behaviour.
StarCraft II's move to being free-to-play was announced at Blizzcon 2017.