Day 3 of the Hurricane RealID, Damage is Begining to Surface

Brief recaps:

Day one, the official announcement is made during regular sever maintainence. The initial shock and repulsion by fans is unprecedented. Blues are overwhelmed by the response and attempt to keep the massive response under control. Blizz Employee reveals his true name and the backlash is intense, he is forced to take down his facebook.

Day two, the scope of the reaction reaches new heights. Blizzard officially announces that RealID -will- happen, and that they were aware it would turn away many current posters and were ok with this consequence. Activision’s announcement that RealID will be integrated with Facebook and their partnership begins to raise eyebrows. Enraged gamers start to make a connection between Activision’s increased involvement in Blizzard’s marketing to their decreasing integrity.

So it goes on

Here we are at day three of what is easily one of the most impacting events in the history of gaming and the gaming industry. The world-wide attention of this is much more far-reaching than we expected. I said this was history in the making in my first post, but even I didn’t realize just how big this was going to be.

Fellow blogger Zaldinar has been keeping rigorous track of as much information as he can. His lists are much more organized and comprehensive than mine, and I feel his posts are beyond a must-read:

What is stunning is the list of mainstream news sites that have covered this since it’s fruition on Tuesday, including the BBC. With all this publicity going around, it’s amazing at how inappropriate the developer’s reaction has been, which leads me to this interesting new factoid:

Rumor Mill
A moderator from the Guild Wars 2 Guru forums, Neo Nugget, pointed us in the direction of this posted rumor on the Starcraft Inc-Gamers forum:

Although the validity of the comments is here-say at best right now, it may suggest that Blizzard creative team are just as miffed at this system as we are, have little control over it, and even possibly left a little in the dark. Whether this is directed at the RealID forum change or the Facebook partnership I’m still unsure of. The post was quoted from the 40,000+ thread on the forums, so it’s hard to say. While it’s definitely a case of he-said, she-said there are a few things that anybody who’s seen this sort of corporate push and pull will recognize:

• The creative team (artists, programmer, designers) having little to no say in the business aspect of any company is nothing new. It’s unfortunate, but a reality.
• Corporate hush-hush is a huge problem when it comes to big business and PR. Just look at BP and their Gulf fiasco. Press are being forcefully turned away and anybody working with them in the clean-up efforts are forced to sign non-disclosure contracts.
Needless to say, I have little doubt that Blizzard employees are under similar pressure from the higher-ups. They are remaining rather cold and neutral on the subject: the only blue that has been saying anything of note has been Wryxian of the EU forums.
Both this scenario’s are common in big corporate decisions like this, and thus lend themselves to some validity. The poster on Inc-Gamers is trying to dig up more info / confirmation on the subject, so I will keep an eye out for any updates.

US vs EU
That brings me to another interesting and final thought for now: why is it that Europe has been much more open about it than the US? Albeit, it’s just one poster, but I do find it interesting that all we’ve gotten State-side has been a whole lotta copy-pasta “please post in the main thread” spam. A lot of posters are assuming we’re being ignored, but Wryxian insists that all feedback is being looked at and considered and is urging gamers to continue providing suggestions and comments on the matter:

I can only reiterate what we’ve already said, that is that we are listening and compiling your feedback for review and consideration. We cannot foresee what will be the outcome of that and thus we cannot make predictive statements about future events and decisions. However, when there is further information to share, as is always the case we will endeavour to share it here.

At the same time he says that RealID is going live in it’s current form … basically regretting the loss of constructive posters like Flanks:

Privacy is very important and if you’re not even slightly comfortable with revealing your real name in the forums, then I think it is perfectly understandable that you err on the side of caution and just don’t post. It’s a shame that some perfectly constructive and decent folk predict they will no longer be posting in our forums when we make this change.

Lots of mixed information in that regard. It’s hard to believe they are seriously considering what we’ve all said when it seems pretty clear that this is happening in it’s current iteration. Maybe there’s something to be said that Blizz has little to no say in the future marketing of their products. And I can’t help but wonder if the silence from the US suggests they are under stricter non-disclosure rules than the EU reps.
More to come!

Special Links / Updates Section

Factoids: • 22% of all cyberstalking involve online acquaintances. • Over 4,000 posts have been deleted from the RealID Megathread

• A pro-RealID poster challenges the masses to find him. A fellow WoWer takes up the challenge and within 20 minutes is talking to him on his work phone. Read the tale here, it’s extremely interesting, and kudos to both parties for going about the entire thing in a mature, classy manner. Despite the fun-ness of the story, though, it still sends a huge warning about how easy it can be to find someone / be found with just a name.
As plans to move forward with the facebook partnership continue, little is said about consumer reaction.
Somewhat of a self plug: posted a thread to try and extend my thanks to Wryxian, and some discussion on the state of US Employees has started. I’m not the only one who feels they are in a pickle dealing with parent company policies.

• Treesdiel continues to provide us with more content: coverage from reputable news sources
Wall Street Journal –

Washington Post –

• In a twist of savage but warranted irony, someone posts a slew of information about Robert Kotick, the soul-drained CEO over at Activision, including but not limited to political donations. This gets more and more interesting:

  • Trees

    Here’s a couple good blog posts to watch from major publications:

    Wall Street Journal –

    Washington Post –

  • Trees

    I’ve seen this code copy/pasted in the forums and I thought I’d pass it along (paste it in your chat box).

    /run for i=1,100 do if BNIsSelf(i)then BNSendWhisper(i,”RealID whisper from yourself..”);break end end

    After you enter it, you’ll see that this isn’t optional at all. Your real name has already been integrated into the game and the geniuses at Activision/Blizzard left a backdoor open for all your addons to see.

    • Thanks for the heads up: i’m going to give this a check when I get home from work. not pleasing to hear at all.

  • Trees

    Some versions of GearScore will now broadcast your real name without your consent or knowledge.

  • Jess >:|

    Lists several blizz employees and a ton of info about them gathered from online..

    interesting to look at all of the stuff this guy has found about them, including videos of them.

    I started the arduous task of deleting all my wow forum posts. Went through ten pages of posts, many, many more to go.

    Izzie I’d advise you to do the same, I came across posts where you listed your email, and aim sn.

  • Greetings Izzie! Thanks for the linkage, I appreciate it.

    A comment on your US vs EU question, there have been a few cases in the past when there have been specific community / individual questions that have been asked on the US forums that fell to crickets, whereas on the EU forums detailed and direct responses if not back and forth communication has happened.

    I’m unsure how often it happens in the opposite direction as I don’t follow the EU side of things that closely (maybe an EU reader out there can shed some light on that), but I know that particularly on “bug or intended” type questions EU CMs tend to be much more responsive.

    • Yeah, I had made a comment about that on the NA forums and that seemed to be a common statement. It’s possible that the EU team is simply more responsive than NA.
      I still appreciate that he’s been the only one really directly saying anything, at least as of my post. I haven’t been keeping up since last night.

      Thanks as always, good job on the coverage too.