Blizzplanet staff Eldorian and Chris “The Bearded Gamer” Arnone were invited by Blizzard Entertainment a few weeks ago to the MLG Anaheim Spring Championship — Check out later our MLG coverage. Both met several members of StarCraft II fansites from all around the world.
Among them was Nydra (GosuGamers) who alerted us he posted a full transcript of the Press Q&A with Ilja Rotelli, Blizzard eSports Director where he talked about the upcoming World Championship Series (WCS)
Do you think it’s possible that StarCraft is genetically too hard a game to be as successful participatory eSport as some other games? If yes, do you think it’s necessary or would you be willing to maybe compromise some of the competitiveness at the highest level to make it more accessible?
Rotelli: I can give a couple of examples I guess. The first one is I don’t think the original StarCraft 1 was dramatically easier to play than StarCraft 2 but despite of that it enjoyed a huge success as a participatory sport. For the second example I will go back to Magic the Gathering, probably one of the most complicated strategy games out there. In spite of its complexity, it’s played by hundreds of thousands of people globally.
So the complexity of the game alone to me doesn’t prevent it to become a strong competitive sport. I think if we can put more effort in explaining the game, we can do a better job in creating an introductory experience for the game and also communicating with and helping out players teach the game to others. We already mentioned this goal of having players share their experiences.
Certainly, it’s not as easy as playing tetris but it is a niche phenomenon that has proven to be one of the most successful PC games of all time and a lot of people are playing so that it is testimony to the fact that it can be learned. Can we do a better job at teaching one how to play the game? Yes. Can we do a better job at supporting players to teach others the game? Absolutely. And by communicating eSports we’ll encourage people to play. I think that by just showing what eSports is provides a motivation to overcome the competition.
We covered this a bit in our latest webcast we did last week. You can hear the discussion here.