Blizzard Policing Inappropriate StarCraft II Maps Because They Can

Unlike the original StarCraft, Blizzard is reviewing player-made maps for StarCraft II, deleting those they deem inappropriate. When players in the forums ask why, Blizzard responds, "Because we can."

The deletion of the custom StarCraft II map "Ultimate Tank Defence" from Battle.net due to inappropriate content prompted the map's author to question Blizzard's actions in the official forums. After pages of the original poster and other players trying to determine what was inappropriate about the map that led to its deletion and the suspension of his publishing rights, the creator finally came to the conclusion that enemy units appearing at a certain time may have created an offensive image on the game's mini-map.

Meanwhile, Blizzard community manager Lylirra chimed in with an overview of the rules.

While players are encouraged to share the maps they create through Battle.net, published maps are subject to review to ensure that they promote a fun and safe environment for all players. You can learn more about the StarCraft II content policy here: http://us.blizzard.com/support/article/33752

If a map is found to contain inappropriate content, it will be removed from Battle.net and the map maker will be contacted via email. Should a player have any questions or concerns regarding a specific action, he or she is welcome to contact our support representatives by using the following web form: http://us.blizzard.com/support/webform.xml?locale=en_US

If you see a player-made map that contains inappropriate content, simply right click on the map image thumbnail under "Details" and then select the "Report this Content" option.

The response prompted one player to question why the policy was in place for the second game and not the first, where some of the custom map names were extremely colourful. Community manager Bashiok gave the player the following answer.

Because we can. Literally. We have a support department now of size and ability to enforce these types of things. It simply wasn't possible when our in-game support used to consist of approximately 20 technical support agents. We did, however, actually police Warcraft III maps to a small degree if they were reported. But it was a rather archaic process.

Seems pretty cut and dried to me. Bashiok also responded to the questioner's use of the Benjamin Franklin quote, "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one" to describe the situation.

Keeping people from seeing your hate speech and obscene images on our private game service is not the same as relinquishing your constitutional freedoms in the hopes of increased personal/familial security. Ben would tie you to a kite and let go of the string for making such comparisons.

Nicely put, sir.

Map Deleted off B.Net, No Real Reason Given [StarCraft II Forums via VG247]


Comments

    Does anyone else see the cracks starting to appear in Blizzard's rep? Real ID is a debacle, they're acting like macho jerks about custom maps and SC2 is 14 years spent re hashing the original. I know a lot of people will disagree, but red flags abound as far as I'm concerned.

      Well in reality their comment of 'because we can' translate to 'you little bastards keep making maps that look like cocks and spelling out swear words in terrain, stop it'.

        "Because we can" wasn't them rubbing in their power or authority in the player's face. They aren't saying "we are using this power simply because we have this power." Bashiok was saying they would have taken action like this for the original games except their staff numbers weren't large enough to support enforcement on a level like that. "Because we can," in this context refers to the fact that they always wanted to take action against the trolling and hate abuse done using maps etc and for the first time, they actually can do it now.

        I agree with the criticism that they don't give a specific response referring to whatever it is was the issue. Transparency is very important when a group has all the power and takes action against someone they hold power over.

        In the gaming world, especially online gaming, the player has no rights over their access or content should the developer decide they want to close an account. At the very least the developers should be transparent about the reasons they are taking actions. Sure in a lot of situations the reasons are blatantly obvious to the person who had action taken against them, but there are several who fall through the cracks never knowing what it is they did wrong. It's in this situation I remind myself that computer games are recreation and I almost always better off doing something else like reading a book, going for a walk or doing tequila shots off of a mexican hooker's breasts in some run down bar across the border.

    I've been skeptical since their foray into MMO's.

    They concoct RealID to combat unsavory behavior on their forums, and to an extent in game, by linking these two existences of a player. This is something that could of easily been done with a team (ok it would need to be a BIG team)of moderators.

    They can spare the people to moderate maps in SC2 (though don't disclose the reasons for their intervention) but can't combat trolling on their own forums.

    If this map is/was a legitimate UMS game then surely they would of pulled it, and contacted the author to inform them how it breaches their ToS, giving said author a chance to remedy it.

    "Keeping people from seeing your hate speech and obscene images..."

    If this were true why not just come out and say it. Guilty until proven innocent eh?

    I'm surprised custom content is possible at all given Activision's track record.

    More and more games are being reigned in by the suits.

    That said titles of such scale would be impossible without them.

    "Because we can."

    I see they're taking lessons from Activation's "how to treat the fans" rulebook.

      I'd disagree. Blizzard has always been about doing what they want "because they can". Noone's ever dictated to them how something will be done and all of their games have been better for it. It's just unfortunate we're in a time when people have this over-inflated sense of entitlement that causes the above sort of stuff.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now