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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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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