Blizzard on Real ID: "The process worked"

"We always give players a heads up."

Blizzard's plan to force gamers to use their real names when posting in its forum - and its subsequent backtrack - was a "process" that "worked", the US game creator has said.

Two weeks ago Blizzard about-turned on its decision to require and use people's real names for the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft forums following huge protests from gamers.

Real ID, as it's called, stores people's real first names and surnames so that other people can befriend them across multiple games and recognise their real-life friends.

"We weren't surprised to get feedback," vice president and executive managing director for international operations Michael Ryder told Eurogamer before StarCraft II's midnight launch at GAME, Oxford Street.

"That's something that's part of our culture. We know we're fortunate to have a lot of passionate players that care about what we do.

"So we always go out to the players and give them a heads up on what we're thinking about doing, and we look for their feedback.

"In this case we got feedback."

Yesterday BioWare Mythic general manager Eugene Evans told Eurogamer that he was "surprised" Blizzard went for Real ID in the first place. "For a group that is so close to their community, it was amazing that they misread it that poorly," he said.

But, ultimately, Evans said Blizzard's change of heart was the right decision.

"We should all learn to listen to our communities."

Ryder described the "process", as he called it: "We were able to take that feedback, reconsider, consider all the factors, of which feedback was one. Ultimately we decided we would not go in that direction for the time being, and see if there were other ways we could address the objective we had, which was to improve the forums generally.

"So, all in all, the process worked. We put the word out. We got the feedback. We reconsidered. We made a change. We appreciate the fact that we have such passionate fans."

Ryder said the experience has, in the end, shown Blizzard in a positive light.

"It reinforces the notion that we're privileged to have those players that care and give us feedback."

StarCraft II is out now for PC and Mac. A review is inbound.

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