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Blizzard Backs Down on Real Names in Forums

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments

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.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    JackNSally , July 9, 2010 10:06 PM
    "Now trolls can still behind the veil of anonymity."

    A word seems to be missing or something. That sentence just doesn't sound right. Can still what? Hide?
  • 12 Hide
    proxy711 , July 9, 2010 10:23 PM
    I doubt they will revisit posting real names ever again after the the backlash it caused.

    I hope instead they decide to actually police the forums now. the new features like ranking posts is the first step. If they really crack down on trolls and the insults the forums will be such a better place to visit.
  • 11 Hide
    Warsaw , July 9, 2010 10:12 PM
    Well....that didn't take long at all for them to reverse that decision. Personally I don't see the point in doing the whole "Real Name" thing, Steam is PERFECT imo, you just have an alias you go by. I believe Blizzard should take note and just do a universal "Alias" of sorts, but for cross-games. THEN, and only then will I decide to do this "optional" communication.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    sliem , July 9, 2010 9:59 PM
    This is mostly good.
  • 23 Hide
    JackNSally , July 9, 2010 10:06 PM
    "Now trolls can still behind the veil of anonymity."

    A word seems to be missing or something. That sentence just doesn't sound right. Can still what? Hide?
  • 11 Hide
    Warsaw , July 9, 2010 10:12 PM
    Well....that didn't take long at all for them to reverse that decision. Personally I don't see the point in doing the whole "Real Name" thing, Steam is PERFECT imo, you just have an alias you go by. I believe Blizzard should take note and just do a universal "Alias" of sorts, but for cross-games. THEN, and only then will I decide to do this "optional" communication.
  • 12 Hide
    proxy711 , July 9, 2010 10:23 PM
    I doubt they will revisit posting real names ever again after the the backlash it caused.

    I hope instead they decide to actually police the forums now. the new features like ranking posts is the first step. If they really crack down on trolls and the insults the forums will be such a better place to visit.
  • 8 Hide
    halls , July 9, 2010 10:29 PM
    I'm really happy they listened to their customers on this one.
  • 4 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 9, 2010 10:30 PM
    Thank you Blizzard. This (along with no LAN support) was starting to make you look like another Activision / EA / Ubisoft that doesn't care about its customers.
  • 5 Hide
    mgoblue3296 , July 9, 2010 10:47 PM
    I was really looking forward to the reactions I would get if I posted under "Steve Jobs".
  • -7 Hide
    master9716 , July 9, 2010 10:59 PM
    The funny thing is that All the IDIOTS are thanking them for not doing this. Wich is funny bc its a paid service , they are so cought-up in the addiction that they think they need to thank Blizzard for this wow!!

    Someone needs to find a good reason to file a class action law-suit against them. There has to be a way bc they are always changing the Terms of use , so someone needs to find a way to put a high ammount of value on time invested ingame so that evertime they change the TOU they can file a lawsuit if they dont agree with their changes
  • 1 Hide
    ColMirage , July 9, 2010 11:14 PM
    JackNSally"Now trolls can still behind the veil of anonymity."A word seems to be missing or something. That sentence just doesn't sound right. Can still what? Hide?


    lol, i didn't even notice, my mind just added the word "Hide" in there even if I didn't read it.
  • -6 Hide
    master9716 , July 9, 2010 11:19 PM
    YOU SERIOUS? Everyone knows that blizzard doesnt give a crap about customers all they are about is Cash 12million players x $14.00 a month = Who cares if 2k players quit in our next change.

    Why do you think that Arenas are so messed up? because all they do is listen to babyes cry and give them what they want Unlike the older players already know theres nothing they can do so they dont do anything.


  • 6 Hide
    pojih , July 9, 2010 11:20 PM
    gm0n3yThank you Blizzard. This (along with no LAN support) was starting to make you look like another Activision / EA / Ubisoft that doesn't care about its customers.


    You know Activision owns blizzard right?
    master9716The funny thing is that All the IDIOTS are thanking them for not doing this. Wich is funny bc its a paid service , they are so cought-up in the addiction that they think they need to thank Blizzard for this wow!!Someone needs to find a good reason to file a class action law-suit against them. There has to be a way bc they are always changing the Terms of use , so someone needs to find a way to put a high ammount of value on time invested ingame so that evertime they change the TOU they can file a lawsuit if they dont agree with their changes


    In their TOS it says they can change their TOS whenever. TOS's are also notorious for not meaning anything also.

    Regardless of how you feel, there are still enough people out there who will play the game.

    And in regards to the forums, subscribers pay enough to have some policing on them. The trolling is pretty out of hand (or at least was when I quit).
  • -1 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 9, 2010 11:25 PM
    pojihYou know Activision owns blizzard right?

    Yes, but from this and other actions, it seems that Blizzard still remains relatively independent from a management standpoint.
  • 8 Hide
    redgarl , July 9, 2010 11:25 PM
    I got only thing to say to all these crazy PC video games companies...

    LISTEN TO YOUR **** CUSTOMERS... THAT INCLUDE YOUR **** DRM.
  • 1 Hide
    Glorian , July 9, 2010 11:41 PM
    I haven't played wow in a while but i can bet the forums are the same. I bet they freakin' blew up after they made that announcement and Blizzard again folded to the will of the forums that doesn't even represent the majority of those who play. As much as I loved playing the game, the people on the forums are absolute idiots.
  • 1 Hide
    clivene09 , July 9, 2010 11:49 PM
    gm0n3yYes, but from this and other actions, it seems that Blizzard still remains relatively independent from a management standpoint.

    Save for the milking every last dime they can out of their customers thing right?
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 9, 2010 11:54 PM
    clivene09Save for the milking every last dime they can out of their customers thing right?

    To be fair, Blizzard was doing that way before Activision stepped in.
  • 0 Hide
    prozium42 , July 9, 2010 11:57 PM
    Glorian and Blizzard again folded to the will of the forums that doesn't even represent the majority of those who play.



    You would think that maybe, just maybe, the people replying to the forum thread would represent the majority of those USING THE FORUMS.

    Also, you obviously don't utilize the forums very often. Entire threads full of dozens if not hundreds of people calling for a small change and Blizzard will still say no. They don't cater to the forumers, they cater to what they believe will be the most fun. Reading through Cataclysm info and seeing how its constantly changing shows this: they already scrapped some things for cataclysm because they realized it'd only add a little more tedious grinding with a result that can easily be integrated.
  • 2 Hide
    Maxor127 , July 10, 2010 12:29 AM
    It was a very ill-conceived idea. Blizzard should've never have even considered it. I don't see how it would stop trolls. If you want to stop trolls, force them to put their addresses on there. If you want to hold people accountable for their posts, then screen names and cd keys should be enough.
  • 1 Hide
    Little Lost Linden , July 10, 2010 12:59 AM
    This is good news.

    For once the CEO of a company had his personal info posted online. That was funny.
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