Blizzard announced the Battle.net Marketplace at Blizzcon in 2009. The idea was to create a place where players could buy and sell mods and maps for StarCraft 2, but design lead Dustin Browder describes their status as "struggling".
Browder told Eurogamer about the difficulties of building the Marketplace. "As you can imagine there is an immense number of challenges for us to overcome. We're trying to deal with those issues. I don't know how we're going to solve some of the player rights issues. How do players protect their own maps so they don't get ripped off by other players? What are the rules of how much you're allowed to charge? There's just a ton of work for us to figure out."
"We've never, ultimately, built anything like this before. Some of our competitors have and more power to them. But we haven't done it yet. So there's going to be a bunch of work for us to figure out how to get this done. But it's something we're working on."
When asked about the possibility that Blizzard might can the whole idea, Browder said "Anything is possible. We've cancelled whole games before. Warcraft Adventures never made it out and that game was basically done. But we are working very hard on it. We have a bunch of people dedicated to it. I have every hope and belief and faith in its success and we're absolutely committed to getting it done."
Last year Valve allowed weapon modders to sell their creations through the Team Fortess item store, earning the creators of the Polycount pack tens of thousands of dollars. A similar system could earn some StarCraft 2 modders and map makers a fortune. Until the Marketplace is released, StarCraft 2 mods will be freely available in the StarCraft 2 custom game browser. Check out our list of the best StarCraft 2 mods and maps for a few choice examples.
Our own Rich McCormick spoke to Browder recently about mods, the community, the early days of StarCraft 2 and the marketplace. We'll have that up to explain more as soon as our transcribodroids are done with it.