In a shocking move just a short time ago, Mike Morhaime, co-founder and CEO of Blizzard has announced that we won't have to use our real names to post on the forums.
"...real names will not be required for posting on official forums."
Full text here:
Hello everyone, I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums. It's important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name. I want to make sure it's clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you'll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature. In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard's success from the beginning.
CEO & Cofounder
I, for one, am jumping for joy! My weekend is wonderful and it hasn't even started yet. Over 60,000 dissenting opinions, press coverage from the BBC and Washington Post, the vocal "minority" as some believe (because barely anyone uses the forums, eh) has spoken up and our voices heard.
Whew! I guess I'll be able to return my rocket launchers and F-16's to the air force base this afternoon. A big fight on Blizzard's doorstep won't be required.
Don't think that I or every other concerned wow player won't be watching Blizzard more closely from now on, because I know I will be. We'll have to watch very closely indeed in case they try to push this or similar features at us again. But let's allow our long memories to serve us in the fight for privacy rights. At the same time, don't fret about enjoying yourself with the game that we all play. It can still be fun and exciting!
But this is a victory worth celebrating...unexpected and awesome!