Starcraft in Korea falls somewhere between a national sport and a religion. So you'd think, then, that Starcraft II would have been a big hit there. Nope!
A great report over on Edge highlights a bitter struggle between Starcraft developers Blizzard and Korean e-sports authorities, which has left many in Korea — which should be the games' top market — feeling disillusioned and disinterested by the game's big-budget sequel.
It's got little to do with the game itself. Rather, it has more to do with Blizzard's almost fanatical insistence of maintaining control over it — from the removal of LAN party functionality to the "quarantine" of online players within their own geographical area to a feud between the developers and KeSPA (the Korean e-Sports Players Association).
"Our position is that we created the competitions. Korea is the home of StarCraft –- it's very big here" a KeSPA spokesman tells Edge. "There are still lots of people playing an old game, but now I think Blizzard wants it to be here without KeSPA."
"Blizzard wants Battle.net to be used in competitions, not LAN. And they want more money."
And it's not just Korean e-sports authorities failing to warm to the game, Edge's report saying that in the month after Starcraft II was released, only 2-3% of Koreans playing in internet cafes were playing it.
For the full, fascinating story - including how things might finally be looking up for the game in Korea - head to the link below.
The Battle For StarCraft II [Edge]