Blizzard bans Iranian players from World of WarCraft

Iran is on Blizzard’s World of WarCraft blacklist due to US sanctions against the country, Blizzard has confirmed.

The lockout happened last week, with affected users initially blaming the government’s internet censors. Some users have reported that the login page for a number of games, including World of WarCraft and Guild Wars, redirects to another page saying that the connection has been blocked because the content promotes “superstition and mythology”.

When players complained to Blizzard, it turned out that – all claims of government inference notwithstanding – the company had dropped the banhammer in compliance with America’s war on curly alphabets.

“Blizzard Entertainment cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens,” Blizzard staffer Lurdlespor wrote on the World of Warcraft forum.

“What we can tell you is that United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran. Several of you have seen and cited the text in the Terms of Use which relates to these government-imposed sanctions. This week, Blizzard tightened up its procedures to ensure compliance with these laws, and players connecting from the affected nations are restricted from access to Blizzard games and services.”

No refunds or any other sort of compensation are being offered, although Blizzard’s games were never officially sold or supported in the region anyway, so that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable. Lurdlespor added that Blizzard “will happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows.”

I’m sure the ban will send a powerful message to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about his controversial nuclear weapons program. In the meantime, Iranian gamers should probably be more concerned about air raids than dungeon raids. Zing!

Source: BBC

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