Blizzard Publishes FAQ on Real ID and Facebook for Battle.net and its Games

By Brian Leahy, Jul 16, 2010 2:15pm PDT Blizzard has published a set of answers to some frequently asked questions in regards to the company's Real ID system, Facebook integration, and privacy concerns.

Many of the community's concerns are addressed here, but it is clear that Blizzard is moving forward with its plan to turn Battle.net into a social gaming network in some capacity. The company stresses that much of this information is subject to change as development on Battle.net and its games continues.

One of the central complaints -- that friends of Real ID friends could see a player's real name -- will be addressed:

We recognize that some players would prefer not to be displayed on friends lists in this fashion, so we plan to include an option that will allow players to opt out of appearing on their Real ID friends' 'friends of friends' lists. We're anticipating this feature to be available for StarCraft II shortly after release of the game, and World of Warcraft at around the same time -- we'll have more information for you in the coming weeks."

If you have concerns about Real ID and Blizzard's plans, do yourself a favor and read the full FAQ. It certainly won't answer every question, but should at least clear up a lot of misinformation surrounding the controversial program.

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  • If you start to take games apart and study individual segments, it would be easy to view WoW as a giant social network (even though it's more than that). It's understandable that some management dude could view that social aspect as a game component and wonder why other games don't have that component and come to the "why can't we add that to any game and collect advertising info" conclusion.

    But, as game players, we see games as more than the sum of their parts. This is the reason tons of games (especially MMOs) fail horribly even though they have all their "feature boxes" checked. You can't just cherry pick features from games and make some horrible Frankenstein (Patchwerk?) bullshit and assume it will succeed.

    SC2's social networking features only have a prayer of success because it'll be linked to WoW. It has nothing to do with it actually being a good idea or a feature anyone really wants.