How awkward. I neglected to mention the legality issues of this new RealID plan, which obviously would play a part in this whole mess. Both Facebook and Google have been subjected to recent lawsuits for practices similar to what this would be. However, amidst the various inane theories being trotted around (RealID = Real ID, or What The Fuck Are You Smoking?!), I came across this.
As the article states, South Korea passed a law requiring anyone who posts on a forum viewed by more than 100,000 people per day to use their real name. Obviously, WoW qualifies as such. Given how huge of a market share South Korea is (and it’ll get even bigger when SC2 comes out), Blizzard would take a huge hit if they did not make this change.
Forced to choose between pissing off the majority of their fan base, or making it illegal for a large portion of it to play… who knows what Blizzard will decide. I sincerely hope they manage to work it out in a fashion that satisfies both parties, but this is a pickle.
Soooo. Blizzard. RealID. By now anyone that has even a passing interest in the Internet has probably got wind of their plan to extend RealID into your posts on the official Blizzard forums. If not.. well.. check it out here.
This isn’t going to happen. Take a look at that list. At this time of this writing, it’s at 1473 pages (that’s closing in on 30,000 posts), and gaining a page every ~60 seconds (I timed it). I sampled over a dozen of the pages in this, and they’re all negative. To say that people that are okay with it are a minority is an understatement. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Blizzard has managed to offend their entire fanbase, a feat for which they should be given a medal if it wasn’t so fucking stupid.
Despite all my frothing and raging over the past six years I have never, not once, considered cancelling my subscription because of something Blizzard did. If this went live, I would cancel in a heartbeat. I am, however, quite confident I will be playing WoW for some time to come. Not even a man who seeks the death of gaming itself can ignore this large of a negative response. Screw ethics; if this goes live, players will quit en masse, making this a colossally retarded thing to push through no matter how you view the world.
In short, this isn’t going live. If it does, I will eat my boots. And then quit WoW.