July 11, 2010 by Paul Curtin
A couple days ago, Blizzard announced that they would implement a new name ID system along with the release of StarCraft 2, the sequel to one of the best selling games of all time. Blizzard’s new “Real ID” system would force users of Blizzard’s forums to use their real life names when posting on the forums thus eliminating aliases on the boards. In addition to StarCraft 2 players being forced to use their full real names, Blizzard also had plans to apply the new Real ID system to all of their games such as Diablo and Warcraft.
But after an overwhelming negative response from the community, and with just weeks until the release of StarCraft 2, Blizzard has backed down from their highly controversial decision to force users to use their new Real ID system. Here’s a statement from Mike Morhaime (Blizzard CEO and Cofounder):
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.