Blizzard seeking new Korean gaming partner

Starcraft creator ends "fruitless" negotiations with Korean e-Sports Players Association after broadcast rights of RTS franchise "aren't being respected."

Blizzard Entertainment's sci-fi real-time strategy game Starcraft might be well over 10 years old at this point, but its popularity has only flourished in South Korea. The game is so popular there, in fact, that Blizzard opted to announce the game's long-awaited follow-up in Seoul, as part of its Worldwide Invitational tournament held there in 2007. However, with Starcraft II due for release in the next few months, Blizzard will be ending tournament broadcast negotiations with the Korean e-Sports Players Association.

In Korea, folks watch Starcraft on TV.

Speaking to South Korea's Yonhap News and translated by a member of Starcraft-enthusiast site TeamLiquid.net, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime stated that it will end its relationship with the popular tournament league. According to the report, Blizzard has taken exception to KeSPA's handling of the Starcraft property rights.

"We've been negotiating with the association about intellectual property rights for the last three years, and we've made no progress at all," he reportedly said. "We're going to stop negotiating with them and look for a new partner...Blizzard obviously has the IP rights to the Starcraft series, but those rights aren't being respected, and we can't keep having these fruitless negotiations with the release of Starcraft II at hand."

Yonhap did not delve into the specifics of the disagreement between Blizzard and KeSPA. However, speaking to GameSpot, a Blizzard representative emphasized that the company at no point had an official relationship with KeSPA. The rep noted that the organization was operating leagues and selling broadcast and distribution rights without direction or input from Blizzard.

Following the breakdown of negations, the developer now intends to find a more receptive e-sports partner for the franchise. The Blizzard rep went on to note that the focus of its new partnership in e-sports for Korea will be Starcraft II, and not the original game.

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Discussion

87 comments
bahamat0
bahamat0

Doesn't matter to me much since I'm mainly aiming for the single player campaign and the galaxy editor, though still for all this case of blizzard trying to find a new Korean partner, I hope things go well by the time the game is released, that's all I could say.

Smarty12
Smarty12

@kray80esp You're right, I apologize. I realise that this may very well be a very delicate matter for some people. But times are changing and I at least am trying to be as open-minded about everything, and try to make others understand my point of view. My reaction in this siutation was a bit over the line, so again I apologize.

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

what this all comes down to is that nobody would talk like this in person. so let us not get all mad online. lets just say that sc2 is coming soon and were all going to be playing it!!!!!!!!!!

kray80esp
kray80esp

@Smarty12: I just posted the definition of sport, kid. There's no reason to insult me or anyone for that. Your arguments will gain strength when you learn to respect others. Anyway, in my humble opinion, physical activity needs to be present in a sport for it to be considered a genuine sport. The fact that the International Olympic Committee accepted chess as a sport doesn't change this ancestral concept. It could be said that chess is an exception to the general rule, but videogames aren't. The term 'e-sports' also seems a bit unfortunate to me because even though RTS games have a very competitive nature, they are an extremely sedentary activity, which is contrary to any other sport (except chess).

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

@June-GS Once again you instantly open your mouth like a submissive choir boy. June-GS said, "Now don't anybody get their fanboy panties all twisted up, I ain't takin' anybody's side here--especially not Activision-Blizzard. But if this kinda thing ever happened in the US, the league would've been sued black AND blue. Just sayin' a fact, folks." Riiight, all you say are facts. More like mental farts. You're a moron when you daydreamed about your panties and claimed Activision-Blizzard would beat up the league with lawsuits if this happened in America. You like wearing your panties while getting dominated by Activision-Blizzard, but not all of us are morons or obedient school boys like you. FYI: intellectual property rights, copyrights, trademarks, and patents are similar, and they DO exist for music instruments, construction tools, PCs, and cars, and, no, we don't have to pay royalties every time we use them for profits.

June-GS
June-GS

Now, please tell me fella, "using your brains"--as you put it, which one of those points you considered trash-talkin' and warranted you tellin' me to "jerk off and get sodomized"? We can have your "intelligent discussion", if you want to (though I don't know what's there to discuss with such a straightforward distribution rights topic). But you best watch that mouth o'yours, fella. And don't say I didn't warn ya.

June-GS
June-GS

@Utahraptor_ LOL. I talked "trash"? I think you have me confused with yourself there, boy. There you go again, mouthin' off like it's your last day on Earth. Name one word or phrase from my two posts that you consider trash-talkin'? To elaborate, exactly which part insulted you and became trash-talkin': A) The part where I clarified that there was no actual lawsuit involved? B) The part where I said "in the US, KESPA would've been sued black and blue"? You DO know I was only figuratively speaking there. You should know this since you're such an expert with metaphors and similes. C) The part where I said that regardless of rights, my cousins and I STILL watched KeSPA for years? D) The part where I said that it is NOT South Koreans' gaming rights, but KeSPA's distribution rights that was in question? (Again, please read the article above, especially the latter paragraphs. Don't worry, there's no "creative writing" there, so we won't be arguing about it.) E) The part where I said your ANALOGY of guitars and pianos doesn't apply here because none of them are protected IPs and therefore none of them has royalties--or to use your own so-called metaphor--taxed? CONTINUED...

starblo
starblo

I just hope the voice acting will be the same, I noticed a different voice for the terran base assist (computerized womens voice), but that's ok.

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

June-GS
June-GS

@ Utahraptor_: You best read carefully before you start mouthin' off. I never said there were ACTUAL lawsuits involved. And if you could please read my post again, you'd see that I even mentioned that we've been WATCHING KeSPA's broadcasts--whether OR not they have the rights to do so. Not once did I EVER mention South Korea--the country or its people. And your analogy about guitar & piano-makers doesn't even apply here. Guitars and pianos are not legally-protected Intelectual Properties. How could they "tax" people?

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

This is similar to a frivolous lawsuit. I guess Microsoft should force all company workers to repeatedly pay MS when they continually use MS Windows, MS Office Power Point, MS Word, MS Excel, etc. Blizzard gets credit for the game, but e-sports is also about the competition organizers and the competitors. South Korea is NOT simply broadcasting a movie or song by Blizzard. South Korea basically bought a tool/football/basketball/car/computer/software/whatever/widget/gadget/thing, and the organizers and gamers converted the tool into a national entertainment. If Blizzard can tax pro gamers and pro-gaming organizations, then a guitar maker or piano makers deserve profits from musicians and music promoters. I guess tool makers should tax or take money from construction workers.

June-GS
June-GS

Whoa, wait a minute. All these off-topic flamin' aside, did we just read those last few paragraphs correctly? You mean after ALL these years that my cousin's been watching KeSPA's broadcasts, they never actually had the OFFICIAL rights from Blizzard? Now don't anybody get their fanboy panties all twisted up, I ain't takin' anybody's side here--especially not Activision-Blizzard. But if this kinda thing ever happened in the US, the league would've been sued black AND blue. Just sayin' a fact, folks.

chrion133
chrion133

But thats not the point, the point is maybe then you would have some respect for the only game and players great enough to be considered an actual sport. Its these crappy small time tournaments where they play jokes like smash bros that lend to this negative non sport feeling some of you have. Heres to hoping SC2 goes world wide, america derserves three, 24 hour video game channels dedicated to SC2 like korea has!

chrion133
chrion133

Im actually surprised all gamers arent into the scene. Most of you probably have no clue who slayer-s boxer, or jaedong, or flash, or savior even are. Besides being the greatest video game players of all time that get PHAT paid to be actual pro's with thousands of adoring fan clubs full of beautiful women. Id really like to see any of the haters here go on television in front of a HUGE live audience, knowing millions of fans are watching you, and play against jaedong, obviously you would get utterly destroyed and embarrased.

will98499
will98499

* an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition * the occupation of athletes who compete for pay Clearly, depends on the definition of the word "sport" that you are using. In addition, 400 actions per minute...that's physical exertion if you ask me. Competing for pay? Yes.

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

@hallowninja do your simple reaserch on sports please

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

and also you keep basing your argument on the idea that a sport has to be physically endearing. which just raises the question why there is no clearly defined word separating brain sports like chess and starcraft from soccer and football. yes they require a different set of skills and mind to play either but it doesnt make one lesser than the other, which you keep implying.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

@MachShot you cant change the in-game variables of starcraft but the reaction time of the player is a variable. and that can change drastically from player to player. your argument is basing the actual in game units or 'tools' of the game as the sports players. But they arent. thats like saying the football in football is always the same size and shape which isnt a changing variable. well no duh. those tools have to stay consistent to keep the game blaanced. And the football insnt the one playing the game. neither is the terran marine or the protoss zealot. the person controlling everything IS playing and his management of all those units IS a changing variable. So technically it is sport by your definition. even if it is one for your brain and not your muscles.

electroban
electroban

So i don't get this topic, Blizzard is cok blocking this league for doing what exactly?

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

Any activity around which competitive tournaments are held is a sport. Chess, video games, all are sports. And those of you who say that playing video games at a competitive level takes little effort, you guys clearly don't know what the hell you're talking about. Do you guys even play serious video games? Unless all you play are "sports" games and FPSes, you should be well aware of how much effort it takes to be good at video games. Physical exertion is not the defining feature of a sport.

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

please thats how many of the gamers learn. some just dont apply the info as well.

MachShot
MachShot

Actually, the national sport of Korea is wrestling called Sireum. You guys watch SC matches online, eat some bulgogi, and all of a sudden think you know Korean culture. Pathetic.

chrion133
chrion133

They have actually done scientific tests on Pro SC players comparing them to casual players, and there brain activity is quite different while playing. Its on the documentary you can find on youtube about pro's in korea. You cant just watch and learn to be that good, because then everyone in korea would be as good as Flash and Jaedong because SC is on there televisions every day. You have to have a very powerful mind and be amazingly skilled to reach these levels.

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

It's confusing to me how no matter how many times you say something some people just don't seem to grasp certain things and continue to remain very narrow minded.

jameskaldas
jameskaldas

hunting wasnt considered a sport, but then ppl started "hunting FOR sport"

jameskaldas
jameskaldas

Quote (Why do you think so many koreans are so good. They watch and learn. Try and do that any real sport please. Gl with that.) lawl, thats a minor minor thing really. Thousands of people are watching all the games, but they suck, so it fits in with the "real sport" you mentioned. So I'd like to you just watch and have 400apm and the infused intellect to think on your toes. LOL gl with THAT. Turn it around, and drive it home(lil inside.) Also, I don't care what it's called, but its more a sport to me than fishing is for a variety of reasons, which was listed under your definition from dictionary.com.

chrion133
chrion133

Starcraft is the greatest E-sport to ever exist. The level of play and competition goes well above and beyond any other game. It rightly deserves to be on television in more countries. Not only does it take a very special person, with just inhuman multitasking ability to accel at the pro level, but watching the pros play is a HUGE treat!

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

@Machshot lol bigger on football than you ever will be. played it watched it madden it up. so please. if you ever hear the announcers or watch nfl network they say and the saints are the world champions or superbowl champions. not everybody gives it world. but you hear it definately. its the same thing with calling sc2 a sport. the biz calls it a sport but not "everybody" uses the term sport with sc.

MachShot
MachShot

@neodestroyer Actually, the champ is always referred to as "Superbowl Champion". No one in America calls them national, international, or world football/Superbowl champion. Either you don't live here in the USA or you've been living under a rock.

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

its like when there is a superbowl champion they say that so and so team is the world champs. why the title when its mostly played in america only? It gives it a better title when you win or when you compete. calling it a sport just adds a little extra to the game. make it seem bigger than it is. although sc2 is big a sport is the wrong name

MachShot
MachShot

@mach1920 Actually, it does. Semantics, schemantics, I know. But "sports" are an integral part of human society and the psyche and it needs to be separated. To say that drooling at a computer screen while typing 300 APM is "sport", is pathetic. This is exactly why we have major league cooking, eating, cup stacking, etc. It has gotten out of hands. I'm sure the majority of Korean citizens also think e-sports are pathetic. They all watch soccer. Soccer?! What's that!? Wow! A real sport where you actually have to use more than 5 joints and muscles and lung capacity!

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

Exactly you by certain definitions of the word sport everything can be a sport. Is it the type of sports most of us think of when we think of sports? Go look up the definition and the origins on dictionary.com.

peetowser
peetowser

Obviously if you believe Poker to be a sport, you already are beyond the point where explaining might help you...

Cat_Astrophy
Cat_Astrophy

Blizzard's prob just being greedy d****es. They're gonna be hurtin when Korea gives them the finger and popularity dies.

mach1920
mach1920

What difference does it make if it is considered a sport or not? No matter what you call it, people still play it competitively, and people still watch it. Whether or not you call it a sport or a game doesn't change anything.

jakesnakeel
jakesnakeel

@AStriegel, Who are the 'they' that call poker a sport? If poker is a sport so is Scrabble, Chess, Monopoly, Candyland...

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

I disagree. Why can't video games be called a sport? They started calling poker a sport and you are basically doing the same thing on video games but it's actually more in depth. You have to know things and also know your opponent to defeat them whether that be poker, football, video games, baseball etc. Sport is defined several different ways and one of those ways is fun and recreation (I just looked it up so I'm not trying to appear like I know everything) therefore video games can most definitely be called a sport.

Barighm
Barighm

Sports are games just like video games. Making that distinction is foolish. The only difference is most sports have been played long enough to gain a level of appreciation or respect. Hard to build that same level of respect with video games because they rarely last more than a year and everyone wants their sequel out ASAP. And I'm president Obama. So before you refute me you better have a damn good argument.

MachShot
MachShot

Video gaming is not sport. In (real) sports, you change the variables as you train. For example, as a football running back, increase your 40 yard dash and you will be likely to outrun others and score. Or as a swimmer, increase your endurance and you will finish faster than the others. Key phrase: Now do you understand the variables? Yes, you do get "better" when you play more. APMs, strategy, these all separate a good player from an average player. But just because it has "sport" aspect doesn't make it a sport. Just like a car can look nice, but it doesn't make a Camaro "art". By the way, I graduated B.S. Sociology and took a course in "Sociology of Sports" with U of Wisconsin - River Fall under Dr. Brian Copp. So before you refute me, you better have a damn good argument.

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

STARCRAFT2 WILL BTW TAKE OVER MY WHOLE SUMMER

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

Not pointless but true. Why do you think so many koreans are so good. They watch and learn. Try and do that any real sport please. Gl with that. BTW this does not mean starcraft2 is not one of the BEST games evvvvvaaaa just that your misguided on definitions. try and do some research and get realistic please

sammoth
sammoth

IT's NOT A SPORT. A Competition yes. @2bitSmOkEy Are you kidding me. Did you ever hear of practice in sports ? Oh yeah you forgot about that. NHL has Practices all the time you just don't see it. So does every other sport. 12HR days means nothing try getting up out of the chair and doing routiine hockey drills on the ice and you will see how fast 12hrs sitting on youe arse has no comparison to a REAL sport training and practices. Not including the Games that get played.

jameskaldas
jameskaldas

@neodestroyer, what a load of garbage. I'd like to see you mimmic 400 actions per minute as easily as you say it is to copy the pros. most avg RTS players have 50. More dedicated over 100. Your whole post is pretty pointless.

BaLLz_ON_FiRE
BaLLz_ON_FiRE

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

neodestroyer
neodestroyer

sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc. starcraft is not a sport. it takes physicality. sc I can tell you now i have not played it as long as these veterans but I know i can copy a pro gamers video and become good in no time. Really? yes really I did that and it boosted my skills easily. The better I mimick the better I get. Now lets see a starcraft gamer persay copy lebron james at basketball. Or Roger Federer at tennis. Ronaldinho at soccer. You can learn the game but to copy skill and phsycality is impossible.

Smarty12
Smarty12

@Chrypt22 To each their own I suppose. But I guess the point I was trying to make is that just because they're video games and don't require as much physical effort doesn't make them "easy" to master. If you don't want to call them sports or e-sports or whatever, that's fine by me. The fact remains, mastering Starcraft isn't an easy feat to accomplish. Like some people have mentioned before fans of RTS and 2D fighting games know this better than anyone. To me, they're as much of a sport as the next game, electronic or otherwise.

Chrypt22
Chrypt22

@Smarty12 I would disagree, just because something is competitive does not make it a sport. If that were the case then any board game, spelling bee, or organized debate could be called as such. Just because I dont consider playing video games a sport doesn't mean that it takes away from what the professional players do. They are not athletes nor should they be. How ridiculous would it be if we started seeing Starcraft tourny's in the Olympics. Granted, that would never happen but I think you get my point. Video games are meant to be competitive because that is how human nature is. Its merely an electronic competitive platform, call it competitive gaming or what ever, but sport or athlete should not be associated with it.