Blizzard may cancel Marketplace

Game developer Blizzard has hinted that its promised marketplace, which would have allowed users to buy and sell in-game items, third party maps and other add-ons, may never make it to fruition.

The company, which is best known for its incredibly popular and scarily addictive World of Warcraft online fantasy role-playing game, says that it has a team of people working on the feature but is struggling so hard with some elements of the online store that it may never launch.

"As you can imagine there is an immense number of challenges for us to overcome," StarCraft II design lead Dustin Browder told Eurogamer in an interview.

"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."

Both WoW and Starcraft II have game-play elements which rely heavily on the trading of items and materials which are currently implemented within the game's mechanics but could have been off-loaded to the Marketplace application easing the load on servers and making trading on less powerful devices possible.

Blizzard says it will be some time before Marketplace is in the hands of fans if ever. Asked if there was a possibility the whole project would be canned a spokesman said "Who knows? Anything is possible. We've cancelled whole games before. Warcraft Adventures never made it out and that game was basically done."