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Blizzard Backs Away from RealID Forum Policy

Posted by Michael Bitton on Jul 09, 2010  | Comments

Blizzard Backs Away from RealID Forum Policy - World of Warcraft -

World of Warcraft players and MMO aficionados alike were stirred into an uproar over Blizzard's recent announcement of a new forum policy that would utilize the RealID system to combat the game's rampant flaming and trolling issues on its official forums by forcing players to reveal their full first and last names whenever they post. The idea being that players would be less prone to fly off the handle at each other if the "veil of anonymity", which has been part and parcel of internet discourse for just about forever, was removed.

While some people agreed with this idea, there have been a number of privacy issues raised concerning the new policy, to say the least, and Blizzard has taken to the game forums today to officially respond to all the hub-bub.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime announced today that Blizzard is officially backing away from the proposed RealID forum policy, stating, "...we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

An excerpt from the full announcement is available below:

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.

You can view the full announcement here.

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB