Blizzard Gives Up on Korean e-Sports Association

April 28, 2010 -

Blizzard intends to find a new e-sports partner in South Korea, according to a recent interview with a top Blizzard executive. In an interview with Korean newspaper Yonhap News, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that the company is moving in a new direction - which is apparently away from KeSPA, who currently handles StarCraft competitions in the region. KeSPA (aka the Korean e-Sports Association) has been at odds with Blizzard over what boils down to money. Blizzard says that the company doesn't respect its IP rights and has refused to talk to them for 3 years.

KeSPA is one of the largest e-sports associations in South Korea and supports some of the most popular professional StarCraft teams in the country. It also has the ear of the government, who recently gave StarCraft II, a mature rating of 18+. This seemed to be a direct response to Blizzard's attitude towards KeSPA and the removal of LAN support in StarCraft II, which ultimately gives Blizzard more control over online play via Battle.net - the only way you can play the game multiplayer.

Blizzard's top executive went on to say that the company is appealing the mature rating, because the game was intended for a teen audience. Chances are if it doesn't make amends with KeSPA or find a partner that is in the government's good graces, it won't get anywhere with that appeal.

But even if Blizzard does manage to find a new partner to handle e-sports in the country (likely), and gets StarCraft II reclassified with a Teen rating (less likely), one has to wonder what happens to StarCraft? The turn of a blind eye, perhaps? A lawsuit? We’ll keep you posted on that situation as it develops.

On a slightly related note, Morhaime predicted that StarCraft II will surpass StarCraft's worldwide sales record and noted that a "large portion" of any money made off of e-sports in Korea will be rolled back into it in the form of sponsorships, prize money and more.

Thanks to Yonhap News via TeamLiquid, who translated the interview.

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Comments

Re: Blizzard Gives Up on Korean e-Sports Association

good on them. I hate their methods but I approve their reasons. I want Blizzard to get hammered over and over again in their number 1 market until they reintroduce LAN support for this game. It's Supcom2 all over again.

Until game companies realize that not everyone in the world has unlimited broadband connection/quotas like the US do, I applaude any action to put them in their place in the removal of any local network support.

Re: Blizzard Gives Up on Korean e-Sports Association

That isn't the reason they are doing it.  And Seoul, South Korea is the most wired city in the world.  

Pwnage of Empires

Re: Blizzard Gives Up on Korean e-Sports Association

It's sad how terrible of a group KeSPA is. They do nothing for the players or fans.  Hopefully Blizzard can get a deal going with a new organization to get a thriving ESPORTS community for SC2.

Pwnage of Empires

Re: Blizzard Gives Up on Korean e-Sports Association

Until its cracked which they are begging it to be....I think blizzard is not seeing the forest for the trees screw individual or group licensing,write the country off(IP lock the region to free/non checked mode) and ask 5-10% of money made from the sports events.Fckign A man even an idoit can see if you cn get 1-2% of that it would bloodly well pay off


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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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