Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blizzard Responds To RealID Concerns

In a message posted on the company's Web site shortly before 1 p.m. EDT Friday, Activision Blizzard CEO Mike Morheieme said the company changed the plan announced earlier after receiving a raft of feedback, much of it criticizing the move, from users posting to the company's forums.

Saying that Blizzard's recent announcement to include users real names not only in-game but also on the companies Battle.Net gaming forums has come with a little backlash is a serious understatement. Blogs, forums and various other sites have been flooded with complaints from concerned gamers voicing various opinions about the issue.

Today a Blizzard rep spoke at length with gaming site Gamasutra trying to alleviate some of those concerns. Oddly enough some of the discussion leaves more questions for us than it did actual answers.

"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," the Blizzard rep stated. This we actually already knew...yeah optional go figure huh

The rather mystifying part of the statements was that he explains that players can actually register any name they wish when signing up for their Real ID. HUH? Correct me if I'm wrong here but that seems like an utter FAIL. I thought the point was that users had to use their REAL names and that they were somehow going to verify these real names. I assumed via CC information.

The rep does continue to state that each RealID user name must be tied to a unique CD key for that game, and Blizzard says it plans to attempt to enforce the use of legitimate names. I'm assuming they will be blocking names like Mike Hunt, Wi Tard eect ect

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

The rep continues to explain further benefits of not providing fake names adding 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.

The new Real ID system 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.

Maybe I'm lost here, or maybe Blizzard is doing a complete 180 based on the negative reaction from their user base, either way it seems like there are now more questions about this new Real ID system.

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