Blizzard has recently announced that it is making use of real world names and other data mandatory on the official forums for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, the long awaited strategy game sequel set to arrive on July 27, and for the World of Warcraft MMO, which should get the Cataclysm expansion. After a rather hostile reaction from the community of players, the studio revealed that it would be continuing to talk to players about the system but that it would nonetheless go ahead with its implementation.
A representative from Blizzard talked to Gamasutra about the Real ID concept and about how it would be implementing, saying that his company “will be carefully monitoring how people are using the service. Real ID is a new and different concept for Blizzard gamers - and for us as well - and our goal is to create a social gaming service that players want to use.”
He added, “It's important to note that both enabling Real ID in game and posting on the official Blizzard forums are completely optional. Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game.”
It seems the company is comfortable with the fact that a lot of players might migrate from the official forums, asking questions and participating in other Internet-based communities. It might have some problems as bug reports from the player base are crucial to the ongoing task of World of Warcraft, the best MMO.
Blizzard is also assuring gamers that the moderating team will be more vigilant than ever when Real ID is being implemented, trying to limit all the incidents that can arise from the use of real world names on a gaming forum with a player base as big as that of World of Warcraft. Still, the potential for abuse is high and the official forums might feel much more empty in a short while.