Brett_Tabke - 12:29 am on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
Amid a firestorm of protest from its users, Blizzard on Friday backed down on plans to require users in its "StarCraft II" and "World of Warcraft" forums to use their real names.
"We've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums," Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Blizzard announced that users who posted in the forums for "StarCraft II" and "World of Warcraft" would no longer be allowed to use anonymous character names. The intent, the company said at the time, was to create a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the community.
The announcement certainly connected the community – in opposition to the switch. People took to the forums immediately to voice their concern.
"People play video games to get away from everyday life," wrote one "World of Warcraft" player. "I don't want them to mix."
"Possibly the worst idea in the history of bad ideas," wrote another.
Morhaime said he had heard the feedback and Blizzard is putting the real name idea on hold for now. But the company is still committed to implementing other forum changes, such as the ability to rate posts up or down, post highlighting based on rating, and improved search functionality.
Following a barrage of criticism, World of Warcraft publisher Blizzard has backed down on the need for gamers to use their real names on its forums.
The firm's about-face comes three days after saying it would introduce the feature as part of its Real ID product.
Blizzard said the intention was to cut down on "flame wars" and heated online arguments started to cause trouble.
Within 24 hours of announcing the plan, Blizzard received more than 1,000 comments, mostly critical.
Hours before the change of heart, there were around 50,000 comments stretching over some 2,500 pages.