Blizzard is reportedly "struggling" to deliver on their ambitious plan for a user-driven StarCraft II map and mod marketplace. In a recent interview, Blizzard's Dustin Browder explains that they still need a lot of time to circumvent unforeseen design challenges- and that the project may never see the light of day.
The Battle.net Marketplace was originally unveiled back in 2009, with the objective of allowing budding level designers and coders to distribute their wares and make some money in the process. It was originally slated to launch shortly after StarCraft II hit the shelve, but the logistical and security issues involved have pushed it to "a distance down the road."
Speaking with Eurogamer, the Design Lead frankly stated that it would be at least a month before the Battle.net Marketplace could launch- but they have a raft of security and plagiarism nightmares to sort out first.
I don't know how we're going to solve some of the player rights issues. How do players protect their own maps so they don't get ripped off by other players? What are the rules of how much you're allowed to charge? There's just a ton of work for us to figure out.
When asked about whether the project would ever fully launch, Browder worryingly suggested that it could well be cancelled even if Blizzard manage to finish most of the development.
Who knows, dude? Anything is possible. We've cancelled whole games before. Warcraft Adventures never made it out and that game was basically done.
Not to mention Starcraft: Ghost. This project is rife with potential pitfalls and full-on security nightmares... but if it launches, it should prove to be a powerful new resource for StarCraft fans and an emergent Indie development platform. We'll keep you posted. [EG]