StarCraft II game friends Facebook
If you know any World of Warcraft players -- or friends who lock themselves away in their bedrooms for hours at a time with no explanation -- you may have realized the game is something of a black hole.
For the newest computer game from Blizzard Entertainment, the developers have added integration with Facebook. Battle.net, Blizzard's online platform that powers the upcoming StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, will tie into players' Facebook friends lists.
The Irvine game maker announced the feature on Wednesday, saying players will be able to easily add friends from the social network, which tends to reflect real-life relationships, who also have Battle.net accounts. That's just "the first step in the integration," Blizzard said in a statement.
What else could Blizzard add before StarCraft II hits stores on July 27? Blizzard's grand plan for the Facebook tie-in is a niche social network revolving around its games, a project director told USA Today. The project is being called Real ID.
We could envision the Real ID feature going a step further with a Facebook app that notifies friends when you want to challenge them to a game; or Battle.net could automatically push notices to your Facebook profile when you earn new achievement badges. That's serious nerd cred, bro.
We've been playing the StarCraft II beta quite a bit recently. We can certainly admit that, some days, this soon-to-be-released Facebook connection could be the only way friends will know we're still alive. Indeed, nuking a hundred little cockroach-like Zerg soldiers is pretty darn addicting.
Blizzard plans to roll out the new version of Battle.net for other games it puts out, like Diablo III. World of Warcraft, too, will see this Facebook integration.
And for a relevant dissenting view on this new feature, Zack Hiwiller, a game designer from Pittsburgh, created these mock illustrations showing what Super Mario Bros. might look like if it were made today. "Zack just found a mushroom!" the spoof exclaims. "Publish this story to your Facebook wall?"
-- Mark Milian
Photo: BlizzCon attendees try out the upcoming Diablo III game. Credit: Mark Milian / Los Angeles Times