Starcraft 2 Getting DRM Protection


Blizzard has always been one of those companies that did not worry about piracy at all. They had a very simple way of dealing with it and that was to kill the cd-keys and ban players.


However, in a recent interview from Incgamers with lead designer Dustin Browder, VP of creative development Chris Metzen and VP of game design Rob Pardo, it is reported that Blizzard is finally going to use DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the first game to use it will be Starcraft 2.

No its not end of the world and before you start going to SC2 forums and ranting about how this will kill the game, you should know that the form of the DRM protection would be very low.

Even though developer Pardo said “piracy really historically has not been that big of deal for [Blizzard].” He said there has been a few examples, but “for the most part we can shut down those services.”

The game will have a very low form of DRM protection in which:

In order to install the game, “you need to connect once to install the game,” StarCraft II lead designer Browder revealed. A player will also either have or sign up for a account during the installation process.

I doubt anybody would be annoyed by this kind of DRM, but it is the first time Blizzard actually require players to be registered. For the most part it should sit well with fans of Blizzard, however, we have to remember that Activision loves DRM and most likely they will influence Blizzard to do the same.

Would love to hear what you all think about all this?

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136 Responses to “Starcraft 2 Getting DRM Protection”
  1. Zantoo says:

    This could solve the LAN problem all you nerds are b!tching about.

  2. Random says:

    What is the point of adding DRM. within 24hours of it being a available to a warez group this WILL be cracked and any DRM removed. Another way to prevent lan support i see. Blizzard really has turned to crap since the merger /me sighs

  3. Talas Grim says:

    I've been looking forward to SC2 since SC(1), now with LAN play stripped out and DRM, I'm thinking of not buying the game, and waiting to see if they ever make a SC3.

  4. okinkun says:

    Blizzard, bad move. DRM never stops or even remotely effects piracy. Ever.

    All DRM does is inconvenience your PAYING costumers. And you've already screwed up enough, with that regard, by not allowing LAN play.

    Guess I'll skip this, like I skipped Spore. Same damn reason too. -_-

    Or, if I don't want your crappy DRM on my computer, I could just pirate the game. LOL

    See how counterproductive DRM really is?

  5. Duo says:

    Cant wait to not pay for this travesty.Stupid stupid blizzard. I paid for everything I got from you. Twice… three times for diablo 2. And you know what, I didnt mind it at all because you where the company that respected the fellow gamers. Your liked your clients and they liked you, but you crossed the line of the trust/distrust relationship. I WILL NOT CONNECT, I WILL NOT SIGN UP, AND I WILL NOT PAY FOR YOUR PRIVACY INVADING BS SOFTWARE. Now I have to go get a copy from stupid two bit hacker, see what you did now. Clear the DRM of any sort and I will come back. You know how to disable key's, you know how to ban. Although I already HAD a account I will let it rot like you are rotting the core of your fan base. Please by all means destroy your hardcore gamer fan-base for a larger casual gamer assortment. Let us see how long that lasts you when your cash cow (WOW) stops producing milk. Till then I will stand firmly on the other side of the line, exactly where YOU left me blizzard.

  6. Tan The Man says:

    Say it ain't so…

  7. Blake Powers says:

    I can honestly say that this doesn't bother me. If you look at the new b-net when you load in your cd keys it gives you an option to download the game client. I'll be honest I have bought Starcraft at least 4 times because I have lost CD keys. I applaud what they are doing. We all know the game is gonna make a bazillion dollars anyways.

  8. matt lohkamp says:

    Just because it could be worse doesn't mean it's bad, you know? It's no root kit – then again, is it necessary?

  9. Travis says:

    I'm not going to complain because I know that I will still buy the game. I don't like the fact that there will be no LAN functionality but I'm sure they have their reasons, plus I prefer to play with friends on anyway.

  10. checkmate says:

    This kind of DRM is especially difficult to deal with for folks in the military.

    If I'm on deployment, underway for months at a time, and only in port for a few days, then I certainly have no means to wire my laptop into the internet to play a game.

    I had a friend who wasted 60 dollars or so on Mass Effect just so he could look at the box.

    It's a significant inconvenience to deal with. Hopefully I'll be home when SC2 is realeased…

  11. SadistiX says:

    it's not like it'll stop the pirates =.=

  12. YimYimYimi says:

    It's like, in this case, the pirates are the people helping the consumers, not the developer helping the consumer.

  13. aw!!! says:

    tsk3 blizzard is really pissing of their fans! first the LAN play then this…

  14. Jim says:

    Great, when they shut down that DRM server in the future they turn your discs into $50 coasters.

  15. ahac says:

    Oh… so it will be like Steam?
    Steam sucks right? No one wants access to their games without searching for the DVD.

  16. NetworkError says:

    Well… I *was* going to rush out and buy SCII when it came out, and I *was* looking forward to playing it… But on the bright side, Blizzard just saved me >$50 dollars.


    Bring back LAN play (no internet connection required) and kill the DRM. Your fans will love and adore you for it. Can you really put a price on customer loyalty?


  17. JoeSoap says:

    I guess Blizzard doesn't really care about sales in the developing world. Not everyone has a reliable, fast internet connection. No wonder piracy is so rampant in the developing world…

    Guess, I'll skip this one and find something else to play.

  18. Prime_ says:

    I don't get why everyone is so angry right now…the only form of DRM is to just reigster for the bnet account (which you will need to play on during the install.

    You only need to do it once unless I'm misreading something.

  19. syous_my says:

    See this?

    Had not the news came out after this was done SC2 will be on the list too.

    Happy listed as non apoc friendly SC2

  20. I have no name says:

    "I doubt anybody would be annoyed by this kind of DRM"

    Jedi mind trick fail.

    I have yet to encounter any form of DRM that is not annoying. Even steam which is very nice most of the time, can be invconvenient in certain situations, such as those mentioned by the military folks above.

    I should just get SC2 from the pirates, since they will be offering a superior product.

  21. NetworkError says:

    Re: Prime

    Why are we so angry? We're angry for a few reasons.

    1. One of the things that made StarCraft (and other old Blizzard games) so attractive was their player-friendly design. You could just play the games, single-player or LAN multi-player, with absolutely no strings attached. In fact, Blizzard added some special sauce to make this experience extra friendly. (Remember installing spawns?)

    2. Most StarCraft players are still playing StarCraft on their LAN today. It's a timeless game that we all want to enjoy for decades to come. If there are strings attached to this new version (i.e. Must activate new installs with Blizzard server; Must start a LAN game by way of BattleNet), it drastically reduces the flexibility and freedom-of-play that StarCraft fans are used to.

    Because of our long, loyal history with Blizzard, we expect *more* from them.

    In one sense, this version doesn't really take much away from the old version *if* you have a reliable Internet connection and Blizzard's server continue to run for as many years as you want to play.

    *If*, on the other hand, your Internet connection is dodgy or Blizzard decides to end-of-life support for StarCraft II's servers, the game becomes a pile of… nothing.

    By it's very nature, a game with such strings attached cannot be timeless… Cannot be a classic. Eventually the external services that are required in order to make it perform as designed will go away.

    We, the StarCraft fans, weep collectively because we already know the inevitable outcome of our beloved game's current course. And sadly, the only way to prevent it from eventually fading into obscurity will be to circumvent Blizzard's carefully crafted dependence on external services. But even this will not fully replace what is missing by design.

  22. Mark says:

    This DRM is mildly invasive at most…I don't see what the uproar is about. Connecting ONCE to the internet during the installation process is not much to ask for at all. I could understand it being a big deal if you had to connect every time…but you don't.

    I think if they are going to make you authenticate your account anyway though, why not keep LAN in the game?

  23. By requiring that I connect to their servers in order to install the game that I bought, they are putting the continued viability of the product I paid for into their own hands.

    Imagine if you bought a book and then couldn't read it because the publishing company had gone out of business.

    Even if we assume that companies like Blizzard will keep their activation servers up until they go out of business (despite plenty of historical evidence that this simply isn't the case), I own dozens of games from companies that no longer exist. And if you think that Blizzard is Eternal because they're Really, Really Big, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  24. real says:

    Damn DRM crappy files in my cpu that I don't want,

    I was going to buy the game but now I am just going to, pirate all of blizzard games from now on.

  25. real says:

    I was goin gto buy 5 copies now I am gonig to pirate them as hard as I can.

  26. Jonas says:

    If I buy the game I get no LAN play but DRM.

    If I get a cracked copy I get LAN play and no DRM.

    Which copy do you think I will choose ?

  27. JoXuL says:

    Damnit, this means that I won't be able to create new accounts when my record becomes 0-50-50.

  28. QueueQueue says:

    Wow, people need to relax. 99% of the people complaining about the DRM will in no way be effected whatsoever. Whether the DRM is effective or not at stopping piracy, who cares? Why would you openly criticize a company for attempting to protect themselves?

    You idiots are trying to be martyrs. Stop complaining about things that don't even effect you. The rest of the world will be happily playing SC2, while you're having a bitch-fit over, what you seem to think in your naive minds, is a just cause.

    I am also certain, the majority of these people sayings they are "going to take their stand and not buy SC2", will be going to their local game store early to mid next year to pick up their SC2 pre-orders anyways.

  29. g unit says:

    Hearing this I now would not feel bad pirating sc2. Since paying customers will get worse service than those using warez.

    How about blizzard starts charging for and multiplayer service directly since that is currently the big draw anyhow for starcraft 2 users?

  30. cisco says:

    this is BS!

  31. Jason says:

    DRM slows down the process of piracy and/or makes it harder. For pirates who cant wait a few days or weeks for the game to be cracked they will convert to buying the game.

    However last game I bought (GTA4) which had DRM was a horrible experience. So I don’t like the SC2 and potentially Diablo 3 having DRM.

  32. Tashi says:

    this kind of thing kills those of us who go out to sea for months at a time. we were so happy when one of the wive's sent a copy of red alert 3 only to find out we couldnt install it.

  33. KZT says:

    I think it's great that they're including DRM. With Modern Warfare 2 set to fly off the shelves and 8 million people+ paying £8-15 a month on WoW, I was worried that Activision and Blizzard might spend their profits on jets or fast cars or admins or GMs or product support or something!

    I happen to think that restricted game access, rootkits, arguing with customer support about account status and limited installs are the rights of a paying customer and ha ha to the pirates and keygen coders and hamachi users who will not be able to get these as part of their gameplay experience!

    And all for a significant part of my disposable income! We've come so far since the dark old days where you just got a game for pocket money.

    Three cheers for modern gaming!

  34. jakubox says:

    That sux big time. I was looking forward to buy this game. Just because blizzard was aware of the bullshit that all of the narrow minded drms bring. U can suck on my torrentz now blizzard. WTF is it with those industry guys who cannot see that just connecting means a hell lot for some gamers out there.
    And as usuall i guess that is the fucking reason to postpone the bloody release.

  35. JoelB says:


    The only reason I've ever bought your games has been for LAN play with my friends, and the OCCASIONAL battle over b-net. It's much more fun playing with people in the same room, and you're making things absurdly convoluted for no reason. I'd never have even know about Starcraft if it hadn't been for LAN play. Some people have some laptops and a game router, no internet. We go camping, we go to the middle of nowhere, and PLAY STARCRAFT!

    I was considering planning to upgrade my computer and possibly buy a new one, JUST TO PLAY STARCRAFT 2. This is very expensive. I have to start saving the minerals and gas soon or I won't have enough when you actually release the game. In order to do this I have to know it's a smart build. I have to know your game is going to actually be a better version of Starcraft.

    In the past week I've had my internet have problems 3 times, it was completely down. NOT UNCOMMON! A good friend is in town. My friend loves Starcraft as much or more than me. We watch pro matches on his big-screen TV. We had some epic matches just this week without internet, all with our legally purchased copies of starcraft, we were able to play without internet.

    Do you WANT to force b-net to have more people on it, making it cost more to run? Apparently. It sounds like it'd be easier not to, since often times people will just want to play locally.

    There are other people that have old computers and will need to upgrade. It's much easier to convince them once they play the game over LAN with a friend.

    Everyone will praise you for your ability to listen to fans if you do the right thing, like the did with Starcraft.

    It sounds to me like you are building mass sunken colony when you are fighting nothing but siege tanks and wraiths. Think about the end-game here dudes!

    And to all you seasoned Blizzard employees who know that this is a bad idea,

    Don't let a bunch of chuckleheads tell you how to do things. Fight back, put your jobs on the line. It's not too late and you all know it.

    I'm only one of the many.

    You've seen the movie the Matrix, when cypher pulls the plug on Switch.

    That's what you are doing to me.

    "Not like this. Not like this."

  36. subrosa says:

    Being an old-school Starcraft player, back when battle net over 56k was impressive, I am very disheartened by the turn that Blizzard is taking here.

    3 things have really irked me about Starcraft II

    1) No LAN – you have got to be kidding me, Starcraft would not have become Starcraft without the LAN play…in fact as I grew up with 56k having 2 people play together would be near impossible with Starcraft II.

    2) 3 releases for campaigns? really? So I have to buy what is essential the same engine with different art 3 times?

    and now

    3) DRM. yes, I always have an internet connection, yes I am fine with signing up with battlenet (I would anyways), but DRM is only a hinderer to the consumer. What was wrong with the old "cd-key" system? Did someone make up some figures to sell you the false sense of security that is DRM?

    I really do hope the pirates come out with a better version with LAN without DRM, maybe I will just buy a copy of the legit game and download/play the pirated version….then I cover my legal standings AND get the features I demand.

    And yes, I know no one from Blizzard will read this, I know no one cares. It will catch up with them eventually, and hopefully another indie publisher will learn the lesson and replace them.

  37. Talas Grim says:

    I won't pirate it, I'm a software engineer.

    But I also, won't buy it, I'll spend my money on another game, even after waiting so long to see a SC2.

    There's always hope for Diablo 3.

  38. Qwerty says:

    That sux big time. I was looking forward to buy this game. Just because blizzard was aware of the bullshit that all of the narrow minded drms bring. U can suck on my torrentz now blizzard. WTF is it with those industry guys who cannot see that just connecting means a hell lot for some gamers out there.

    And as usuall i guess that is the fucking reason to postpone the bloody release…

  39. Glim says:

    Pfft! I was really looking forward to StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3, but no thanks, I'll pass. Requiring an internet connection for a single-player game is a deal-breaker for me. Too bad for Blizzard… There are a ton of other games out there, and I'll gladly spend my money on the ones that aren't intentionally broken… 😉

    EA made the same mistake… As a result, I've skipped Spore, Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect, Dead Space, and also have no intention of playing Dragon Age or Mass Effect 2 they activate the same way… Brilliant move EA! Great way to lose a long-time customer! 😉

  40. Swifty! says:

    Honestly? Am I really reading a bunch of kid's comments or semi-reasonable adults? All i see is "waaaa! mommy! they arent doing it the way it was!"

    DRM- You get the game, you log on/register on bnet(where Im sure youll be (A- wanting to log onto almost immediately and test your mettle against skilled opponents anyway and B)And more than able to do since, you know, everyone flaming about this has the internet, or at least some access since your on the internet,right now, complaining about how hard it will be to use the internet to go to the gaming server and register, WHERE YOU WILL BE GOING ANYWAY. WTF

    what is the big deal? Pretty much the same as logging onto bnet right now on brood war, and registering a new account-but maybe with the addition of one more box- a CD key box.

    LAN- Ok, lan is a great, fun and easy way for people to play together in a single building all night eating pizza, drinking soda and playing unil their brains are frazzled and eyes bloodshot. With that said, get over he fact that you cant-quite literally- GEEK OUT and shut yourselves off from the world for a weekend of Dude sweat and no sleep or showers…no women. Blizzard is doing you hard core-ers a favor; keeping you from falling into a dark WOW type black hole that leaves you unable to funtion productively outside of WOW.

    All your friends are just going to have to meet online, use their own damn bandwidth, and be happy playing a nice, polished game with a brand new service engine designed to promote better multiplayer experience. More balance, 7 catergories of play levels, improved ranking and ladder system, Achievements,etc…

    Lan was cool when we didnt worry about girlfriends. When we were 12.

    Let it go, at least we are the ones who can talk about lan like woodstock for hippies,man. We were there when it happened,man!It was great, now its gone. Moving on….

    3 releases for 3 campaigns.Sweet! Is it a money making scheme? Yes and no…but isnt that the idea behind a company making,marketing and selling their product? And remember, each Release is said to be as epic as both SC and BW combined, for each release! 26-30 in depth missions. New maps, achievements, units, gamestyling(landscapes etc.) and lets not forget-BW gave us some of the most important units used in the game. Each campaign won't be an EXP like BW, but an entirely unique game adding units,diversity and new characters and an equal amount of gameplay and new missions for each race, as large as BW and SC1 put together for each of them.

    Idk, Im glad all of you are spazzing out like the end is nigh, vowing not to buy the game on the basis of… No lan,addition of soft DRM(one timer) and having to pay for each game seperately even though they are, in respect, a stand alone title that also happens to make the game you bought a year ago even better.(talking multiplayer-new units, maps, abilities,terrain,etc.)

    So,say each copy costs 60$. 3 copies. 180$

    over the course of 3 years.quick math im thinking thats around….


    60$PerYear/12months=5$ a month

    5$a month/An avg of 30 day month=between 15c and 20c a day.

    So, kiddies =) If you start your piggy bank today and put in a quarter a day, you'll be able to buy every copy of star craft, and you wont even feel the pinch of your pocket. You guys sound very, very spoiled and I'm relieved you're so upset about a few generally insignificant details that I won't have to worry about you playing the game. Wouldn't want you to be moping so hard about the game while I'm playing with you that do don't notice the pylon that already warped in just outside you base, with 3 cannons on the way, and 2 zealots standing guard while you havent even taken the time to scout(because you're so mad you aren't playing lan-you're actually playing people at your skill level, instead of those LAN friends who don't play as much as you and are fun to slaughter effortlessly.) How's that for a rant? Flamey enough for you?

    Good day sirs and kids! I look foward to the release of the fine tuned perfection that awaits in the SC2 Trilogy!!!!!!


    Stick that in your pipes and smoke it. IM EXCITED ABOUT SC2 OMFGROTFLMFAO

  41. bob says:

    I don't have interent access on my gaming/home pc (speed, reliability and price reasons) so even requiring me to 'authenticate' the game once during install is going to lose Blizzard my £30!

    Oh well more money to spend on hobbies where they treat you like a customer and not a criminal. Remember innocent until proven guilty!

  42. Swifty! says:

    Right on, I just like playing devil's advocate. I think blizzard has plenty of stupid mistakes and decisions. Mostly the decision to wait to release a game that's done by most standards strictly for the multiplayer aspect. All i'm saying is if you can't find a free wi-fi connection somwhere for 10 minutes…crap maybe you shouldn't be spending your money on SC, since you must live in a 3rd world country.

    "DRM assumes the holder of the game is a thief or pirate, when the reality of piracy is so very different. I should be rewarded for purchasing a game from a store not punished."

    Did i read that correctly? You spend money on a game, and by registering it,you are-in essence- saying you didn't buy it? I don't really get what your statement means…

    SC is the ONLY game I've ever like from blizzard…I've never even played WoW and I think Diablo is the most redundant "click,click,click" game ever invented. So you can call me a fanboy-but by no means am i a "blizzard troll"

    I just think everyone is acting like a big baby about change. Change happens, deal with it. Register your game you "pirates" or don't buy it like you said you aren't. =) If you're about playng multiplayer with your friends,and not multiplayer online, I'd say you are a very slim margin and the gaming industry shouldn't have to cater to you anyway. It's about money, ergo they'll cater to the masses. If you have an internet connection to flame about it on here, you ought to have that connection to connect for gaming. If not, bummer. Guess you'll have to stick with SC1, which is still an awesome game. =) Now excuse me while I go change my son's diapers, give him a nap, and try to make more babies with my girlfriend. =) Good day sirs.

  43. Swifty! says:

    With the amount of piracy happening today, why wouldn't they incorporate DRM? It's like buying a car without having to go to the DMV. If i stole your car and drove it around, and a cop pulled me over…and i could just say,"it's ok, i payed for this" and get let go…well you can see where your logic is flawed,can't you? Thank blizzard for waiting so long to make DRM a requirement. If you bought it at the store, and have an internet connection, what's the difference between typing a key-code or logging online for about 2 minutes? The difference is everyone has to pay to play, as they should. Just be thankful it's taken this long to go into effect mr "I make six figures" lol

  44. bob says:

    "In a normal car you are given the key when you purchase it. In the DRM ‘protected’ key you are effectively looking after the car for the dealer and have to beg to be able to use it."

    should read

    "In a normal car you are given the key when you purchase it. In the DRM ‘protected’ car you are effectively looking after the car for the dealer and have to beg to be able to use it."

    Sorry about the typo

  45. Swifty! says:

    Lol you guys are fighting change to the death aren't you? Actually in a DRM car…you have your title in you file cabinet at home after you go to the DMV. Be thankful that DRM isn't like the DMV.Then even I'd be bitching.

    Yes,I do expect blizzard to expect you to prove you bought the game…at least they're making an effort to fight smelly pirate hookers. You expect them to sit around and make no effort? Your comparisons for DRM and a car dealership, as well as getting searched when you enter/exit a store have no validity because that's unrealistic and you're stretching too far to make your point. Wouldn't happen. Succumb to knowledge, before you look even "more dumber."

    Yes it will be cracked, but I'm going to buy my copy and register it, like 90% of the other players out there who accept change and see DRM as a step in the right direction.You'll never stop piracy….but you expect them to accept piracy? Well, they mine as well drop DRM AND keycodes! Shit, mine as well make the game available for download from the website for free in that case,yea?

    Of course I wouldn't shop anywhere the search me, much less STRIP search me. Your comparisons are not even realistic.

    I'm all for basic rights, but I think if you buy the game, you know what you're getting into-and you're fogetting even major companies like Activision/Blizzard have a right to protect and license their product. Just like all the flamers have a right to shut up and not buy it, let their voice -or lack thereof-be heard that way.

    The fact that you are upset you have to prove you aren't a douchebag hacker,well, insinuates that you are one….

  46. Swifty! says:

    Guess I didn't acnser your DMV question earlier. YOu buy a car, you have to go to the DMV to register/title it. Buy a game, you go online and register it. How hard is that to understand? Figured you'd know all about the going to DMV, seeing as you must have a plethora of cars with your six-figure salary and all.


  47. Swifty! says:

    OMG. Buy the game, go home and install. Connect to to verify. Play the game until your computer takes a shit or you reformat. It's a ONE TIME DEAL. Why doesn't anyone seem to understand that? You dont need to connect to blizzard every day if you want to play. They just want to make sure you didn't download it from a torrent site for free. What is wrong with a company protecting their rights?

    I dont think you're a hacker 1975, i just think you talk like one.

    I don't think a police officer in the USA is going to come on your land and ask for a title for your car without it reported stolen or good cause either, so that point is moot. Although they do have to register farm vehicles,technically. But if you never leave your house,land, or roads on your private land-then of course you don't have to register the damn thing.

    I don't think everyone is guilty until proven innocent, i just think the outrage over a SOFT DRM is freaking rediculous. Instead of a keycode, you connect to the companies server. Hey, you paid for this, thanks! Enjoy the game, and enjoy the (most likely) freaking awesome 2.0 for free, unlike most other companies *cough* MSoft *cough* that require you to pay a monthly fee. Considering they are giving multiplayers a free,upgraded service to ensure a better gaming atmosphere…the least you can do is prove you paid for the product you are going to use on the free servers they have to pay to maintain and upgrade.

    What a Biased,one sided discussion we'd have here, if I wasn't shaking it up a bit, eh?

    “like 90% of the other players out there who accept change and see DRM as a step in the right direction” – Link to a study that proves this please.

    There is no study. Although 82% of statistics are made up on the spot. XD

    But if you find someone to do a stufy like that, Let me know. I'm sure the number wouldn't be half that-if this forum is any indication.

    OMG OMG the server went down!!!! Whatever am I to do with myself! Good god!! I can't play!!! What am I supposed to do!?!? Go OUTSIDE!?! OMFG OMFG

    Seriously? Get bent or get laid.

    Get over it. Change is here. If you want to play the game, log onto for a minute. If you dont, STFU and get outta here. Boycott by not buying the game, see if blizzard gives a shit. =D

  48. Swifty! says:


    "Why would I give my rights to a greedy multinational gaming company whose CEO makes 15 Million? he certainly doesn’t have my best interests at heart."

    You make six figures, who says I should listen to you anyway you greedy wanna be CEO. rofl…

  49. ERic says:

    Whats this?

    Blizzard turn into EA now?

  50. Swifty! says:

    That's right, let it die.