If you’ll recall, earlier this week Blizzard announced that they were going to integrate their Real ID system into the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft forums in the near future. This would have meant, when you post on any of those forums, your real name would be attached to each post. Trust me, that is something you do not want happening in that wretched hive of scum and villainy.
However, after a whole week of nerd rage – and this time I can’t object to it because I agree myself – Blizzard has finally retracted their stance on having everyone post with their real names. I applaud them for this, but still wonder why someone at Blizzard thought this was a good idea in the first place. I do hope they come up with some other ideas to improve the forum community for World of Warcraft in particular, as things have been less than stellar. But, posting everyone’s real name was not the answer.
The CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Morhaime, wrote a letter to the community (and sent it out through their PR department), explaining the change. You can find the letter in its entirety after the break. If you want to know more about how we felt about the initial stance of Blizzard and their Real ID debacle this week, check out our latest ShockCast.
I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.
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 Battle.net 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 Battle.net 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 Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.
In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.
CEO & Cofounder