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
//ed - Post edited to update the list of new forum features that will be implemented.
After a herculean effort by the World of Warcraft community the RealID "real name on forums" idea has been scrapped. Blizzard's CEO himself wrote an apology and retraction following what could only be characterized as the biggest PR $!@&storm in WoW history.
For those living under a rock for the past few days: Blizzard had proposed that in order to end or hinder anonymous forum trolling on the official forums they would implement a system where players' real names would appear on the forums alongside their posts. This was immediately met with an intense backlash from the community who were opposed to their real names being easily identified with WoW characters.
The thread announcing the change quickly spiraled out of control and reached 2,500 pages with 45,000 responding posts (which were overwhelmingly negative about the change).
There's no word on what will be done instead to curb forum trolling, if anything at all. This marks an important landmark in the evolution of the RealID system though. It has become obvious lately that there is a concerted effort to try to exploit the Blizzard gaming community and turn it into some sort of social network like Facebook. Players have accused Activision of being behind this push because it has not had the usual savvy of a Blizzard operation.
For now we won't have to worry about our personal details being given out on the forums, so rest easy!
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