Blizzard Backs Down on Real Names in Forums

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 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 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 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, ( ) 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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • sliem
    This is mostly good.
  • 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?
  • Warsaw
    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.
  • proxy711
    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.
  • halls
    I'm really happy they listened to their customers on this one.
  • gm0n3y
    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.
  • mgoblue3296
    I was really looking forward to the reactions I would get if I posted under "Steve Jobs".
  • zachary k
    well, they listen to the customers alright, too bad paranoid idiots are louder then people with more than half a mind. bad move blizz, i was looking forward to this.
  • master9716
    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
  • ColMirage
    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.