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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  • Suddenly the plan that was obviously derived from being in business with Activision is pushed away by our heroes at Blizzard. . .

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 3 replies.

    • You wish. : WilliamDecker
    • Blizzard would not have done this if Bobby Kotick didn't have his fingers in their pie. Remember, this is the company who thought it was SMART to let anyone post from any character, including Level 1 alts, without a way for people to see the master account. Then they switch to, "Let's let everyone see everyone's real names!" Blizzard's the company that let you have as many WoW accounts as you could pay for without connection before the merger. Blizzard's the company that said it would not sell items for money before the merger but after the merger is happily littering the playground with murlocks, mini-bosses, and mounts. Blizzard's the company that gave everyone the free online matchmaking service by which all services compared themselves for years: For free. You were an account name away from a new identity every time you logged in, if you wished.

      But now they're all about your real name? Of course, we have Bobby Kotick who technically oversees Blizzard even though they swear he doesn't influence them, the same Kotick who wanted to turn Call of Duty into a subscription service, who oversaw CoD:MW2 while a primarily PC developer (IW) toss out dedicated servers, who was just recently whining because Live gets all the money MW2's multiplayer generates month to month...

      I think it's rather easy to see Kotick's fat, grubby fingers all over this. If he's meddled once, even if caught and reigned in by the lawyers, he'll dig around in the pie again. And soon. His hubris knows no bounds.

      But in this case he's smart enough to see lawsuits and bad word of mouth might kill the golden goose. Remember how profitable Activision-Blizzard is when the Blizzard part is taken away.