Secure Online Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 cost a reported 100 million to make. Not far into the release, Blizzard bans 5000 players for cheating.

I know, I know. The 1337 hackers are always ahead of programmers. Curious though, out of a 100 million development budget, I wonder how much was budgeted to make a game difficult to hack/cheat? Especially a game such as SC2 that is a huge online game arena – that Blizzard knows people will be quick to jump on the ‘get on an unfair advantage’ wagon.

Think it was more, or less, than the marketing budget?

(tongue in cheek. Curious though, if anyone played SC1 how they beat the cheats. I haven’t played in 6 years =)

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Blizzard might be one of the few to actually have a line item in the budget for security. Most places, don’t however, much to the dismay of Steven Davis. However, I suspect that the designers and programmers spent a lot of time worrying about security. In theory Blizzard should have enough experience with their previous games, including the original Starcraft, to know some of the common pitfalls.

    Compared to the marketing budget? Everything pales compared to the marketing budget. Marketing is undoubtedly the single biggest expense of any AAA game these days, besides maybe salaries as a whole. Expecting anything to be bigger than marketing is just silly!

  2. Thanks for the post Brian, I actually almost phrased that question directly to you – knowing you would have a developer insight. 🙂

    I really wasn’t picking on Blizzard either, just super curious if they would have budgeted for it – and with their experience with hackers in the online space assumed SC2 would (should) have been built from the ground up ad difficult to hack. Maybe they were successful too, 5000 banned off of the millions of copies they sold isn’t that bad of a %.

    Thanks for linking playnoevil – another good site to read!

    (and for the record, I was being silly with the marketing comment. They are always too big of a chunk of the development cost!)

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