In this post, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said they are dropping the plan to add Real ID (displaying your real first and last name) to forum postings. In my prior blog post on this (see below), I suggested that Blizzard did not have to use real first and last names, if in fact all they wanted to do was make people accountable for their forum posts. Create a "Forum ID," link it to your Battle.net login so you can only have one, and there you are. Still anonymous, yet accountable.
In the current post, Morhaime says you will post with your "character name + character code." I don't have the details on that yet, but it would appear that they are doing exactly what I suggested they should. Not because I suggested it, of course, I don't for a moment think they read my blog. I'm not even sure that YOU are reading my blog, imaginary friend, but still I press on in hopes that you do.
Now, two NEW questions beg to be asked.
1. Did Blizzard do this as a PR stunt? The outpouring of love to Blizzard for "listening to us" posted by the same people who yesterday were calling for heads on the chopping block suggests that we might have been played a bit, here. Personally, I doubt it, because of my next question, but it's still a valid topic for discussion.
2. Will the consequences be long lasting? People did quit the game over this. In our guild of 39 accounts (listing the characters is meaningless, since we all have more than one), 2 people have canceled their accounts. That's only 10%, but if it is representative of players worldwide, then 1.5 million accounts were canceled. Multiply that by $15 a month, and we're talking about a yacht's worth of income here. That's enough to make even the behemoth Blizzard Entertainment flinch.
And flinch they did. Wisely so, I believe. Now we will wait and see whether the canceled come back, and whether those who were angered will ever get over it.