- Created on 28 August 2012
- Written by GTL Admin
- Hits: 584
In a WOW move by Blizzard Entertainment, World of Warcraft and blizzard.net access has been restricted from access to citizens of Iran. Citing a tightening up of its procedures to ensure compliance with United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws, Blizzard apologizes for any inconvenience but will not be providing any refunds.
Originally thought to be a block by the Iranian government of the service back on August 22nd, Blizzard has confirmed in a statement on their support forum that,
Our team has been watching this thread closely, and we understand the desire for more information about this situation. Blizzard Entertainment cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens.
This also prevents us from providing any refunds, credits, transfers, or other service options to accounts in these countries. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and will happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows.
It only took literally hundreds of forum messages before they came up with that statement. A mystery remains as to why, when they tried to log in, that they were redirected to a page saying that they have been blocked because the game promoted "...superstition and mythology." Blizzard Entertainment cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens.
With no clear indication from Blizzard which text, law or spirit of law of the sanctions they are enforcing, a quick look at Iranian Transactions Regulations - 31 C.F.R. Part 560 shows no specific law prohibiting players in Iran from participating in WOW games. In fact, the text,
The receipt or transmission of postal, telegraphic, telephonic or other personal communications that does not involve the transfer of anything of value between the United States and Iran is permitted.
...suggests that they are permitted. Unless, Blizzard considers WOW to be a "service [or technology] that benefit(s) Iran or the Government of Iran", in which case, it is prohibited.
While it's clear what economic sanctions are meant to accomplish, it's considerably less clear what video game sanctions will accomplish.
Several gamers have posted messages that they are able to get access when they used a proxy server that resides outside of Iran.
Right or wrong, lawful or incorrectly or too tightly interpreted this action definitely sets the atmosphere and precedent for other "gaming services" to feel comfortable to follow suit.