The StarCraft II drama continues: Over 5,000 people have signed an online petition aimed at getting Blizzard to re-think its decision to not support LAN play in the game. The petition reads, in part:
"We, your most loyal fans, implore you to reconsider adding LAN as a network feature to StarCraft II. This is a response to the announcement that the only multiplayer in StarCraft II will be via Battle.net. We understand you will be adding amazing new features to Battle.net that you can't talk about yet, but regardless of any features you might add online, we would still like to be able to play in a traditional network where no internet connection is needed. For an internet connection might not always be available."
As Brian Leahy reported earlier today, Blizzard seems pretty adamant about not including LAN play, mainly to prevent piracy. In a statement, a Blizzard spokesperson said:
"We felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with StarCraft II and safeguard against piracy."
Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. Battle.net is free, and, according to Blizzard will remain free, even after it is upgraded. It's reliable, too. And seriously, when was the last time you found yourself unable to connect to the internet?
As Leahy pointed out, Blizzard's plan may well be to allow users to verify their copies over Battle.net, and then play over LAN anyway. If that's the case, there is no downside, other than the mild pain of verifying your games before you play. Either way, it's Blizzard's game. Given Blizzard's amazing track record and reputation, you have to figure the company has thought this through pretty thoroughly, and has decided there won't be LAN support. so if they decide there won't be LAN support, gamers can decide not to buy the game. But I have a feeling few of the 5,000 or so petition signers will really boycott StarCraft II.