Blizzard Real ID system sparks controversy

Blizzard fans expressing privacy concerns--as well as those dismissing such worries--have flocked to the company's still-anonymous official forums to sound off on new identification system.

Blizzard boasts one of the largest, most engaged user communities of any game developer in the world. The benefits of such a following are obvious, but the downside becomes similarly stark when the company runs afoul of its user base.

Quincy Featherbottom
What would grizzled space marine Quincy Featherbottom say about this? GameSpot

The company on Tuesday unveiled its new Real ID system , a service that allows friends to easily follow each other's activities in Blizzard games like World of Warcraft. It also introduces cross-game chat and social-networking features that let users see not just their friends, but also their friends' friends.

However, Blizzard is requiring users to register for the service with their real names. And beginning with the Starcraft II message boards this month, the developer is changing its forums to require users to post under their Real ID names.

Blizzard fans expressing privacy concerns--as well as those dismissing such worries--have flocked to the company's still-anonymous official forums, combining to produce more than 40,000 messages in a 2,000-pages-long thread.

Read more of "Blizzard Real ID system sparks controversy" at GameSpot.

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