As you’ll perhaps have read on the site today, Blizzard is launching a ‘Real ID’ feature with Starcraft II that will ultimately force any posts on the forums to be made under a player’s real name.

Blizzard has responded to the huge amounts of discussion surrounding for the idea, telling Gamasutra that the company is “definitely listening to player feedback.”

In the same article it is also noted that players can actually sign up to Real ID with any name they choose. However, this name will then be tied to a unique CD key for any given Blizzard title and the company says it will seek to enforce genuine names (though did not expand on how this would be achieved.)

In something of an implied warning, Blizzard states that the use of false names may result in a poorer quality of service: “our Terms of Use agreement requires that players provide us with accurate information … if a player uses a fake name, it would ultimately impact our ability to provide him or her with timely [customer] service.”
The motivation for the introduction of Real ID still remains unclear, but a theory suggested by one Harvard law student blog attempts to tie the move to recent South Korean legislation. According to that post, a 2009 Korean law made it mandatory for comments on sites with more than 100,000 users to be made under real names.

Google resisted the effects of this policy by simply banning South Korean IPs from YouTube until the government backed down and issued an exemption. With such a huge player base in Korea, Blizzard would be unlikely to risk such a tactic themselves.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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