Blizzard adds Real ID opt-out option

In a much-anticipated move, Blizzard has added a full opt-out option to its Real ID service, which will span across all of its enabled games - currently World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, and likely Diablo III.

In a statement on the World of Warcraft forums, a Blizzard community representative noted a few changes to the company's Real ID program, which allows players to connect across Battle.net by sharing their real-life names. Should players desire, they may now opt-out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features. Players can also choose to fully disable the service.

We'd like to make you aware of the new Real ID-related privacy options we've introduced to Battle.net. These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.

Real ID offers an optional, convenient way for keeping in touch with real-world friends you know and trust, whether they're playing World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or one of our future games. The "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features provide you with even more options to stay connected while you play by making it easier for real-life friends to locate each other on Battle.net.

Blizzard sparked controversy in July when the company announced its proposed plans to require users to post under their Real ID names across message boards. Players who wish to change their privacy settings can do so through the Communication Preferences page on Battle.net.

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27 Comments

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I like realid too. Don't know what all the fuss is about. People only see your realid if they are on your real friends list, anyway. Don't add anyone to the list is effectively the exact same as an opt-out. I like being able to chat with my friends across games and wow realms.

Osiris said,
Fail, may as well be opt-in.

What are you talking about, it is. You were never forced to add Real ID friends.

vice le von said,
You're playing with some person and you don't even know their name, that's just cold. The world wide web is so lonely at times

You know you could always ask said person, right? You don't need fancy features to know someone's name. What happened to the good old... "Hello, my name is whatever, what's yours?"

(Spork) said,
wow hasn't gone free to play yet?

Uh yeah, the most popular MMO in the entire world for half a decade, with millions of active subscribers and making their parent company billions of dollars every year is going to go free to play. That totally makes a lot of sense.

You're actually taking that article seriously? One of the designers basically said if another MMO comes along someday and seriously threatens wow they might consider that option. Neither of which are any more likely to happen in the foreseeable future than a furry alien crashing his spaceship into my garage. As the game currently stands it most certainly isn't going free to play.

"Hey were making billions on this game, let's stop charging for it and give it away!"

This has been available for a while now, but it's now in its own separate category under Communication Preferences (as it should be). I don't know if it's still a "risky" feature since I've turned it off since day 1, but for what it's worth, I don't know anyone else that uses it either.

Educated Idiot said,
This has been available for a while now, but it's now in its own separate category under Communication Preferences (as it should be). I don't know if it's still a "risky" feature since I've turned it off since day 1, but for what it's worth, I don't know anyone else that uses it either.

The real news here is that people can now disable "friends-of-friends" and Facebook friends, or completely disable real ID without resorting to parental controls.

Edrick Smith said,
So what's the point of Real ID if you can disable it?

What do you mean; the point is that some people might want to use it. That's like asking what the point of Neowin is if you can block it in your firewall. What did you think Real ID was?

TRC said,

What do you mean; the point is that some people might want to use it. That's like asking what the point of Neowin is if you can block it in your firewall. What did you think Real ID was?

The purpose of the full implementation to was eliminate the amount of spam, harassment, and plain stupid acts of the people that use their services. They figured people would be less likely to commit those things if you were required to actually use your real name thus not being able to hide behind your computer screen.

Edrick Smith said,

The purpose of the full implementation to was eliminate the amount of spam, harassment, and plain stupid acts of the people that use their services. They figured people would be less likely to commit those things if you were required to actually use your real name thus not being able to hide behind your computer screen.

And when they announced that, everyone exploded in a ****storm to complain about it. Not to mention how one of the Blizzard employees was harassed due to some friendly and helpful sites posting his full contact details in plain sight. As such, Blizzard had to take a step back and rethink the idea.

RichardK said,
We have been able to fully disable it from the beginning. No news here, move along.

You couldn't opt out of having the friends of friends feature and still use RealID, so it is news.

Couldn't you already do this by going into the parental controls? Or did they just make the option more obvious?