Blizzard Responds to Concerns Over Real ID

Blizzard began to feel the heat from its fanbase after the company revealed that its new Real ID system would post real names on the forums. Although Blizzard said that it's listening to player feedback and will be monitoring how people are using the service, it will still be optional in World of Warcraft and StarCraft II.

"Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game," a Blizzard rep stated. He also indicated that players can enable parental controls that can lock children from forum posting capabilities and prevent them from using the Real ID system.

Strangely enough, players can use whatever name they want when signing up for Real ID, however the account associated with the name must be linked to a unique game CD key. The catch is that the names must be legitimate--no goofy or offensive names will be tolerated.

"We have multiple teams here who will be monitoring the forums and looking for inappropriate names," the Blizzard rep said. "When the situation does arise, our community and customer service representatives will investigate and determine if any action is needed."

He added that using fake names only hinders the company's ability to provide timely service. The Terms of Use agreement also require that players provide Blizzard with accurate information, as certain aspects of customer service rely on identity verification.

Real ID will be integrated into the StarCraft II forum later this month. The service is expected to invade World of Warcraft sometime around the launch of Cataclysm.

  • Real ID is already in WoW. It invaded awhile ago. Supposedly there will soon be a user generated mod that allows people to see other peoples real ID, their actual name, by clicking on their character; and the only way to stop that is to turn off the feature using parental controls.

    Blizzard really opened a can of worms with this one.
  • lemonade4
    And they are still going ahead with this idea?
  • Kelavarus
    Apparently people are frightened they might learn someone else has the same name as them.
  • loneninja
    I still don't see the big deal.
  • moonwine
    Here's what I don't get from these kinds of articles. You notice the brouhaha, you notice the jist of what Blizzard is implementing, but instead of doing any research into it whatsoever you parrot the line that the company is feeding you.

    Yes, it's optional to use it on the forums. Do you know how? You can choose not to post.

    So, there goes guild recruitment threads. No bug reports. No feedback on game systems. No customer service forum or technical support forum. No exchanging of stories. No ability to ask questions of other players, or theorycraft, or exchange ideas. We've had these things since 2004 and built a great community from it, regardless of what forum nay-sayers say about the volume of garbage.

    In one day, Blizzard announced they were taking all of that away and destroying the community. Unless you want to use your real name for every post. It's not about cleaning up the forums -- it's about the profit they're going to make by sharing data with Facebook.

    The whole story: get it before you write an article.
  • zachary k
    tin foil hat time! if people know my real name, ninjas will kill me in the night!
    grow up, it is not a big deal. you tell people your name all the time in polite conversations, lets hope this forces people to act like a human.
  • tommysch
    I am Dick Cheney from now on.
  • halls
    This was really a punch in the gut from Blizzard. They used to reassure players that their personal information could be trusted to them. It was even against their TOS for the forums to post personally identifiable information.
    I enjoyed my time in WoW, but I never thought privacy concerns would be what made me quit. They're definitely not going to stop at the forums with this RealID crap.
  • So says the man with a loneninja username.
  • tleavit
    I quit wow several years back.. Driven off by all the angry 13 year olds that play the game and flame endlessly (including in game) and going off on smoking pot all the time. I was pushing for this very thing a long time ago. Good for them, maybe the kids will behave when you can google search their name and send an email to their parents telling them that they failed.