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Blizzard Backs Down on Real Names in Forums

By - Source: Tom's Hardware UK | B 7 comments
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Now trolls can still behind the veil of anonymity.

The public outcry surrounding Blizzard's requirement of real names to post on its official forums has convinced the game developer to shelve those plans for now.

Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO & cofounder, posted on the World of Warcraft forum (without his username as his real name):

Hello everyone,

I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

It's important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as the ability to rate posts up or down, post highlighting based on rating, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it's clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you'll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard's success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment

Note that this decision to hold back on the real name requirement is "at this time," so there's still the possibility of this happening at a later date.

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  • 2 Hide
    wonspur , 10 July 2010 07:39
    lol..think about it though..theres so many assholes that play MMO's they would thrive in that environment...and even then you could start finding out where people live and send embarrassing shit to them.
  • 1 Hide
    shakari , 10 July 2010 11:41
    It was to do more with the privacy issues really than people who troll not wanting it. Bliz got alot of flack from alot of the main people on the fourms, ie the ones who create stickies, help out other people etc. Puting it down to trolls whineing isnt exactly true.
  • 0 Hide
    ksampanna , 10 July 2010 21:49
    You sly`bastards
  • -1 Hide
    possiblyreefer , 11 July 2010 10:46
    +1 for freedom of speech
  • 0 Hide
    TegGhola , 11 July 2010 10:58
    If they want to weed out the thirteen year old trolls with nothing better to do, why don't they just require a credit card validation in order to create a forum account? That would remove children from the mix, and dissuade members from wild libel and harassment. (And drive users to other forums, but they seem to have that angle covered already.)
  • 0 Hide
    hooray4boobies , 12 July 2010 07:03
    @TheGhola

    Not sure about you mate, but i'm not really into throwing my credit card details around "willy nilly". That would also mean that those members, 18 and under, which i suggest are a large portion of their users wouldn't be able to post for help etc. on the forums. Which would defeat the purpose of the forums to begin with, and possibly start an intense whine from said
  • 0 Hide
    fenixtx2 , 12 July 2010 16:35
    possiblyreefer+1 for freedom of speech

    Hahahaha. You're saying freedom of speech only works if you're hiding behind a fake name on the Internet? LoLs that's a comment worthy of an American author.