Blizzard Kills Real Name Forum Policy; Anonymity Will Remain

By Brian Leahy, Jul 09, 2010 11:20am PDT After 3 days and a ridiculous amount of negative feedback, Blizzard has scrapped plans for forcing official forum contributers to do so under their real names.

Today, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime announced the abandonment on the World of Warcraft forums saying that Blizzard has "decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

Blizzard still plans to add "new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more" with the launch of the StarCraft II forums for the retail release.

Even though the forums will remain anonymous, Blizzard's plans for Real ID have not changed in-game, as explained by Morhaime:

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.

Blizzard does listen if enough people complain. After months of complaints about the lack of chat rooms in the StarCraft II beta, Blizzard has announced plans to add chat support shortly after the July 27 launch of the game.

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36 Threads | 166 Comments

  • Forum thing is a cover-up. The real security flaw is that when you "friend" someone in WoW with a Real ID, ALL of their Real ID "Friends" now have instant access to your full name. What in the h3ll is that? I friended MY friend, not all their friends! I trust MY friend with my full name, I don't necessarily trust all of thier "friends". I have no clue who they even might be! I do in fact have some not so swift friends that might friend a crazy.

    And the absolute worst part of it, is you have no way of knowing it works that way when you do it. Blizzard just drives up in their "OMG Real ID = Cross Game Chatting" Van, opens the door and lo and behold, your good buddy is in there offering you the same candy they gave him and having a good time! Of course you join him! GG.

    WoW is not Sesame Street (apparently blizzard likes to think it is). Its a flippin' MMORPG which attracts a very high percentage of depressed/angry people with tons of time on their hands trying to escape their miserable existences for a while. I have no problem with that but player vs player hatred runs extremely high at times. There's plenty of crazies in sheeps clothing there, it's not the best place to be throwing your personal info out there left and right. If anything this will make grieving worse in game since you will actually have a reason to really fear the grievers. You wont be able to talk-back to grievers or put them in their place to get them to shut it, for fear they'll somehow get your REAL ID and the psycho(s) will show up at your door step.

    You can absolutely bet that no blizzard employees will use this feature, ever. Or that they will give themselves fake real names. Gee, wish I had that option. Oh wait I had it... then accidentally gave it away.

  • I don't post to forums so I don't care about Real IDs but anyway I support the community and I'm happy that Blizzard changed their mind because the gamers were pretty angry about it. Also I love the power that the community has. I even read articles on BBC and Wall Street Journal sites about Real IDs. That's great, it shows that the community has control over Blizzard's decisions.

    Although the power is mostly in WoW community because it is sooo big. Some decisions made about sc2 made the sc2 community angry but they couldn't make Blizzard change their mind about them.