EA and Blizzard map editors replaced with loot boxes and season passes

Will Nevin, Staff member

Once upon a time in a CRT monitor gaming industry long ago there were two companies, Electronic Arts, and Blizzard, who developed some of the most iconic games in history: “The Sims”, “Battlefield”, “StarCraft”, “Warcraft” I-III and “Diablo” I to II.

To this day, these video games have left a permanent mark within the industry and they were all developed before 2003.

One reason these games have been incredibly influential is the ability for users to create their own game modes within a map editor for free, a feature which allows anyone to create their own map, game settings, and even new mechanics for other players to play online.

Sounds simple and rudimentary, however, multi-million dollar companies and reputable developers started their beginnings creating custom maps within another game.

For instance, Blizzard games WarCraft III and StarCraft are famous for their detailed map editor which have propelled an entire genre, Multiple Online Battlefield Arena, MOBA.

League of Legends and DotA 2 both have derived huge inspirations from a custom mode within WarCraft III and StarCraft called Defense of the Ancients.

Developers Steve “Guinsoo” Feak and Steve “Pendragon” Mescon from the original DotA map “DotA Allstars” teamed up in 2006 to form Riot Games and developed League of Legends.

The lead developer of the items for DotA Allstars is nicknamed IceFrog and is notorious for creating content within hundreds of character skills in an extremely balanced game.

Many developers of the original DotA mode, including IceFrog, were hired by Valve, a multi-billion dollar company, to continue creating content for DotA 2 in 2013.

Almost every First Person Shooter game in the early 2000’s included a map editor. Battlefield and Halo 2-3 have some of the most iconic modes still being played today.

Blizzard games being released today, like Overwatch and Hearthstone, do not follow their previous format that made their games legendary, offering unlimited free creative content in the form of map editors.

Companies today are more interested in locking new content behind Random Number Generator, RNG, loot boxes and card packs than investing in a map editor which has the potential to spin off another game or an entirely new genre.

Why allow users to create free content which turns a game into a timeless classic being played for decades when companies can hide new content behind paid doors and release a sequel on a yearly basis?