s3rndpt - 7:57 pm on Jul 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
jecasc has the right of it. I think the story about it preventing flame wars is really just a cover story. Else they'd have changed it a long time ago- I mean, come on- this is a video game- flamewars are part and parcel with playing. And the WoW forums are really not that bad compared to many. This had nothing to do with bullies, or flamewards, or anything else with players. This was all about the Activision half of ActivisionBlizzard wanting to play nice with (and make money from) Facebook and the info it could grab there. I can't remember a time Blizzard, as solely Blizzard, has ever tried to pull something so blatently greedy before. Self-serving, yes, but they've always been sensitive to their users. This stuff didn't start happening to this degree until Activision and Blizzard merged.
I think that Activision/Blizzard has seen things like Zynga's games on Facebook, and thinks that new WoW players will be drawn in the way people get drawn in to Farmville. They look at it as an entirely new segment to be tapped. But they forget that WoW players and Zynga players are 2 completely separate gamer types. They also forgot that people like their privacy.
ken_b, that was most likely 50,000 unique users. Stuff like this spreads like wildfire with gamers. And 50,000 users is a small fraction of WoW players in the US alone- there are close to 5 million of us.