Blizzard backs down on Real ID for forums

Earlier this week, and to the dismay of the many users of Blizzard's official forums, Blizzard announced it would soon force all users to use their "Real ID" -- or their real name -- to be identified, in a bid to remove "flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness" that currently exist in the username-based forums.

But today Blizzard announced that it has decided to put on hold its plans for Real ID to be mandatory, noting that the company has been "internally discussing" the outrage towards the decision and felt it was no longer appropriate to force users to use their real names on the forums for popular Blizzard games including World of Warcraft and the upcoming StarCraft II.

"We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a post on the forums.

"As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

He says the company will instead require users in the upcoming StarCraft II forums to go by their Battle.net character name and character code, with Real ID to remain separate from the forums for the foreseeable future.

But Blizzard isn't dumping the Real ID notion entirely, with Morhaime noting the company has still got big plans for it.

"We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games," Morhaime said.

"Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature."

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