UPDATE March 6th: Blizzard has offered an answer to clarify recent comments by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick concerning in-game ads in Starcraft 2.
Blizzard: “We have no plans to have in-game advertising in StarCraft II. We believe Bobby was actually referring to Battle.net, which has always included ads.”
With this answer, the news bit below has officially been debunked.
Robert “Bobby” Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO ponders the future of the company once the merger becomes reality. Is Starcraft 2 adoption an in-game advertising model? Ultimately, Blizzard has the last word. However, what would happen if Starcraft 2 adopted this model? Sure, Starcraft 2 multiplayer would be free anyways which is good. It would actually finance server performance and maintenance without extra cost from players’ pockets. eSports tournament sponsorship could flourish with support from the biggest companies out there. This is not set in stone, but what do you think could be the pros and cons? Share your thoughts here.
“On the Blizzard side, [we need to] really be figuring out things like the StarCraft business model for the future, with in-game advertising and sponsorship, [which have] really not been something that has moved the dial for anybody in the videogame industry, but that we think presents tremendous opportunity for the future.
“[Blizzard] has been thinking about how StarCraft, because it is a short-session experience, can actually be the model for in-game advertising and sponsorship and tournament play and ladder play for the future.”—Bobby Kotick said at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference.