I usually don’t do two blog post in a single day, but the announcement just came from MMO Champion, WoW.com, and Blizzard that the forums will not require RealID. I feel this is a victory for the players of the game. Hopefully, Blizzard saw that putting peoples real names on the forums will not cut down on trolling. For an example of this, just look at Penny Arcade from today.
I would be curious to see the statistics on the number of canceled subscriptions that lead to this change of heart. It had to be an extremely high number for Blizzard to change their mind. If only a few people said they would do it, I don’t think it would have changed their minds. The only other thing I could have thought of is that the litigation must have been lining up to take shots at the RealID on the forums and they backed off. That is the only two ways I could see Blizzard changing their mind on this.
However, the biggest victory here is the community. From Twitter to blog post to official forum posts (which I hope someone from Guinness World Records was watching because I’m sure the speed of posts was a record.), the WoW community united against this in a fashion unlike anything I have ever seen in gaming before. The companies do not have to dictate the players. The players can and should dictate the companies. If they are not happy with something, be vocal about it. And while some people got into the realm of QQing, I think a lot of people presented reasonable arguments against it.
So go into this weekend WoW community and celebrate this victory for your privacy. But always be ready. The next attack is always around the corner. May not be Blizzard, but someone else will be suggesting this for something else soon.