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StarCraft 2 Is Getting Paid, Premium Maps

by Jelani James

Blizzard has entered the World of Paid Mods.

Starcraft-2-Arcade

Ever thought what StarCraft 2 would be like as a turn-based RPG, tug-of-war or just about any other type of game? Well, your curiosity will soon be sated with the arrival of update 4.3.0 which will add paid, premium maps to the game’s Arcade.

This feature, which functions in a similar vein as Bethesda’s Creation Club — offering paid mods, has been a long-time coming.

As you might recall, the first time Blizzard announced any intention along these lines was back in 2009 when it discussed a future where members of the mod community could sell content on a Starcraft 2 marketplace. At the time, ex-design chief Rob Pardo expressed hopes that this would attract the best amateur game designers away from other platforms (like Steam) and eventually lead to more thoroughly-crafted content from creators with a budget.

Now, nearly nine years later, that future — much like the Carrier — has arrived.

For now, players can expect two premium Arcade maps once the update arrives: ARK Star and Direct Strike, each costing $4.99 with a share of the sales going to the creators.

ARK Star, created by Daniel “Pirate” Altman, follows the adventures of the Sol Seekers, an elite team of templar on a mission to find and destroy a weapon known as the ARK Star.

The game functions very much like a turn-based RPG, with players being able to craft new gear, level up and even unlock new talents and abilities. Check it out below:

Meanwhile, Direct Strike, created by StarCraft modder Tya, is the “next evolution” of Direct Strike HotS, one of StarCraft 2’s most popular Arcade maps.

In this game, players are pitted against one another in a tactical tug-of-war where each side builds units to spawn into their staging area before sending them out in waves to assault the enemy base. Check it out below:

We don’t know when either game will arrive (since patch 4.3 doesn’t have a release date yet), but with Blizzard confirmed to be working closely with “prominent community creators” who it has handpicked, it’s safe to assume that premium Arcade maps will fare far better than Bethesda’s Creation Club. Of course, only time will tell if this turns out to be the case.

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