Blizzard scraps region lock for Australian Starcraft II players

Developer rescinds decision to lock Aussie Starcraft II players to Southeast Asian servers; fix won't come into effect until after the game launches.

Blizzard opened up the floodgates to a torrent of angry user feedback last month when it announced that it would be locking Aussie Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty players out of North American servers. Starcraft II aficionados took to the Internet and posted reams of messages on the Blizzard forums letting the developer know that they weren't happy. In a move reminiscent of its recent backflip on Real ID, it appears that Blizzard has eaten a slice of humble pie and listened to its fans once more.

In a post on the official Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Facebook page, Blizzard has retracted the decision to region-lock Aussie players to Southeast Asian servers. In turn, Australians will be able to join the North American servers, although this feature won't be available right away. The company also posted an extensive Q&A alongside its statement, saying that it plans to open up the North American servers to Australians within 60 days of the game’s worldwide launch next week.

Despite giving in to fan outrage, Blizzard is still sticking by its guns, saying, "We still encourage gamers to play on the local servers, which will offer lower latency and more action during peak hours."

Migration will not be as simple as changing servers, with players forced to download the North American Starcraft II client to play. Details on exactly how it's going to work are limited at this stage, with the Q&A urging users to keep checking the Starcraft II community page for more details.

User statistics will be locked to each server, meaning that players will have two different sets of stats: one for their North American games and one for their Southeast Asian matches.

At this time the solution also doesn't appear to unlock the Korean servers or let Aussies mingle with European players. That doesn't mean it won't be opened up at a later date, with Blizzard saying that "no other multi-region play will be available at this time."

For more details on accessing the North American Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty servers, check out the Q&A below that Blizzard distributed:

North American Server Access for Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Players FAQ

Q: Who is eligible to play on the North American servers?
A: All players, including those in the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, who purchase the English Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Standard or Collector’s Edition of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will have the option of playing on the North American Battle.net servers in addition to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers if they prefer.

Q: How much will this cost?
A: The option of playing on North American Battle.net servers will come at no additional cost to all players who have purchased the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II.

Q: How will access to the North American servers be granted?
A: Our intention is to ensure that within 60 days after the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, all players with a copy of the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version will automatically gain the ability to also access the North American servers -- this will be handled through Battle.net account management.

Q: How will I know when I can access the North American servers?
A: We will have additional information on how and when to access the North American servers on our StarCraft II community site.

Q: What will happen with my Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Battle.net account?
A: Once you get access to the North American Battle.net servers, you will have access to both regions for online play. You can choose which one to play on at any given time, and can switch back and forth at will.

Q: How will my friends list and rankings be handled?
A: All account-specific data, including friends lists, rankings, achievements, statistics, titles, and unlockable rewards, will be tracked separately for each region's Battle.net servers, and will not carry over between them.

Q: If I have already purchased the North American version, can I also play on the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers?
A: No. To have the option to play on both servers, you must purchase the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This solution is specifically targeted to address gamers in Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand who have social relationships with North American players from previous Blizzard Entertainment titles.

Q: Will I be able to play on any of the other StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty regional servers?
A: No. Players who purchase the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II will have access to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand and the North American Battle.net servers. No other multi-region play will be available at this time.

Written By

Want the latest news about Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty?

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Follow

Discussion

44 comments
Ezmai_RauteZ
Ezmai_RauteZ

Ive only noticed that YES i will buy a game, a game that is WORTH buying, of course being able to play online is a big part of that, if this game wasn't any good, who would buy it anyway? Like Command & Conquer 4, people who bought that were fooled, even me, but please note, LESSON LEARNED :)

xXrebel666Xx
xXrebel666Xx

Well done Blizzard for making that decision. Simple solution that has granted them another sale from me and undoubtedly many more. Hopefully map editing and chat functionality is up to scratch with the first and this will be an epic game.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

@HK-Ghost This is depressing news... I'm not done being young and stupid! :P

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

Blizzard should eat more of that "humble pie" and add LAN support to SC2.. @2x4b96123: "Why in the HELL are people voting down comments asking for LAN play?" It's said that in order to be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. I'm guessing that those voting down LAN support requests are simply too young at the moment..

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

Why in the HELL are people voting down comments asking for LAN play?

Tora_Kuo
Tora_Kuo

@CyberMew: The point is, that 2 months *after* launch of the game, which is 3 days from now, so *in* 63 days, or at the 63rd day *after launch*, or *on* Sept. 30th 2010, North American servers will *become* available to any South East Asian/Australian/New Zealand version owners. It's not saying it'll only be available for 60 days. Tora

CyberMew
CyberMew

only 60days?! whats the point then

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

Well it's good to see that Blizzard is listening to their fans and not just going ahead with everything no matter what anyone says. Which is what a lot of companies do. They do things no matter what the fans say and don't listen to a single word. At least Blizzard has the decency to listen to fans when they cry out. So for that, I salute Blizzard. I also CANNOT WAIT FOR SC2!!!!!! :)

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

Well it's good to see that Blizzard is listening to their fans and not just going ahead with everything no matter what anyone says. Which is what a lot of companies do. They do things no matter what the fans say and don't listen to a single word. At least Blizzard has the decency to listen to fans when they cry out. So for that, I salute Blizzard. I also CANNOT WAIT FOR SC2!!!!!! :)

forhekset
forhekset

All the crap Blizzard is trying to get away with recently has made any interest I had in this game completely destroyed. They're finding out that when you piss off gamers they can bite back, but only when we speak out in great numbers. As gaming becomes more popular hopefully this will become a regular thing, though I doubt it. I wouldn't ever buy an RTS that didn't have LAN play anyway.

Jarltheafro
Jarltheafro

Really, stop complaining about LAN. To give you a taste of why this decision came into effect I will show you exactly what the scale is. No more than 10 million copies of the frozen throne have been sold (i actually think it was far less) It is estimated around 15~22 million people play DotA, DotA requires both Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne to run. Not everyone plays DotA, it's safe to say at the very least 50% of the people who acquired TFT legally don't play it. That makes 10~17 million pirates, as a company i'd cry. Now say Blizzard earned about $10 for every copy sold, that'd mean they could've covered the entire starcraft project from part of the surplus profits alone.

rapiergv
rapiergv

i don't think i get it. i'm in Europe, so i will be restricted to playing only with other Europe players?

Romper72
Romper72

Great Move Blizzard - now just bring back LAN!!!! PLEASE!!!!! I have a group of Lan buddies that would luv this. But a few won't be getting SC2 mainly due to no LAN :( Come on Blizz, you know you want to make us happy!

triple_punse
triple_punse

shouldnt've been a region lock to start with

selbie
selbie

Smart move. Looks like i might get this game after all

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

That's awesome news, but makes me wish I didn't cancel my CE pre-order now. I just really didn't expect Blizzard to backflip. Definitely very glad that they changed their mind though - now to try and source a CE again!

tooki
tooki

Now for the rest of the world......

dunnowhathuh
dunnowhathuh

It's still a shame we won't be able to game with those in Europe and the rest of Asia. I'm sure there has to be some of us with friends/family who we want to game with from those regions too. Hopefully they'll go back on that decision too.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

A token offering at best. Blizzard is trying to appear sympathetic and humble but the "fans" want more than this. Naturally, some people will eat this up and hail Blizzard as the most generous of companies even though, like so many others, it'll look for other ways to screw the consumer over. It's just that, well, Blizzard likes money and if fans are angry, they're less likely to buy things. Fans are, however, like sheep and short sighted and if they budge just a fraction of an inch but make it look like more, fans will become complacent again.

toadman682000
toadman682000

I personally don't really care, but it's nice blizzard did this for the people who do.

Abberon
Abberon

I don't want to play with Aussies. Nothing against you guys, but you live on the other side of the world and you lag up ma game.

AceBalls
AceBalls

But.. but.. but I WANT TO PLAY WITH THE KOREANS TOO!!!

deathstream
deathstream

Wow, twice in a week or so that Blizz backtracks in response to fans. Nice going. Sorry, folks, LAN ain't comin' back. Major franchises are worth millions (or billions) or dollars. The companies want control. If this angers you, find that friend who uses pirated software and punch him/her in the face. [WARNING: Do not actually punch anyone in the face.]

feleas
feleas

This scares me. This is the second thing Blizzard recently done that got fans angry at them. I have a feeling that Blizzard's losing its grip on the fans. Maybe Blizzard will smarten up..... and bring back LAN... lol *hint hint nudge nudge*

pudgexd
pudgexd

LAN is good addition and a must for blizzard game , maybe blizzard is scared that people would torrent sc2 and play it on garena? rofl

dadoesch
dadoesch

"fix won't come into effect..." (not affect) Sorry. Doing a lot of editing these days. Can't get it out of my head.

polak123456
polak123456

I don't get it. Why lock the regions? Why make friends not available when you switch between regions? It seems to me like going out of your way to annoy people. I mean, if someone doesn't want the lag or ping issues they will leave, you don't have to force them. Also, I would like to be able to "make friends" in Europe, and have them available/visible when I switch back to N.America.

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

Oh Blizz. We love you, not because you're perfect, but because you listen to your fans. Now just add LAN and chatrooms back in, and we'll be really golden.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

If Blizzard also announce "we realise ditching LAN play was a bad idea too" then my day will be made.

mf1986
mf1986

i have no other complain now...... LAN wouldve still be nice

herodotus2006
herodotus2006

Whew. That was one bad choice I was hoping would be reversed.

Sindri0x
Sindri0x

This is great news; not only because Aussie gamers get this, but also because Blizzard is listening to it's community. Great to see a video-game developer do this!

icy06
icy06

Some nice news.

Jaguar_Shade
Jaguar_Shade

Woo hoo! No more region lock! Power to the players!

Toxic22
Toxic22

Guess its only the ones who look after WoW that dont care about Aus and NZ. Glad to see blizzard listen to its fans and did as they asked.

azizex6666
azizex6666

@killingspree303 Agreed! and the reason why i never miss a blizzard game. anyways, now our Aussie brothers can get game on!

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

Blizzard always listens to it's community, which is what all game developer (and publisher) companies should do.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Well this is good to hear

Gammet25
Gammet25

We Aussies want justice!! XD