Blizzard has brought paid mods to StarCraft II with its latest patch. The developer is introducing what it calls ‘Premium Arcade’ maps, which are user-made creations that’ve been cooked up by leading members of the modding community.
The studio will be kicking off the initiative by releasing two Arcade maps: ARK Star, a tactical, turn-based RPG mode featuring the protoss, and Direct Strike, a popular mode that pits players against each other in a tactical tug of war.
ARK Star will cost $4.99, while Direct Strike will be available for free at the point of entry, although players will have the option to upgrade to a premium version for $4.99.
Blizzard says it’ll be sharing sales revenue with the map’s creators, Daniel ‘Pirate’ Altman and Tya, though it didn’t specify how big their cut will be.
It’ll be interesting to see how the wider StarCraft community reacts to the news, given that paid mods haven’t always been well-received in the past – such as when Valve made it possible for Steam users to sell mods for real-world cash, before quickly backtracking on the decision after it sparked a wave of conflicts.