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World Of Warcraft ban in Iran

World Of Warcraft ban in Iran

Iranian Warcraft players will not even be granted refunds for their frozen accounts.

Blizzard has restricted access to World of Warcraft in Iran due to US-imposed trade restrictions and economic sanctions against the country.

Iranian players flocked to the Battle.net forums last week complaining of being unable to access the MMO. Blizzard responded and issued its official response in a 'blue post' that blamed US government policy for the move.

Blizzard added that it would happily restore access if the law changed. Due to the nature of the sanctions against the country, the company is also prevented from issuing refunds to the affected players.

'Blizzard Entertainment cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens,' said Blizzard community representative Lurdlespor. 'What we can tell you is that United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran.'

It is unclear how many subscribers Blizzard has lost as a result of the ban, as Blizzard does not divide its user-base by country. The terms of use documentation for World of Warcraft also states that Blizzard's titles can not be downloaded by residents of Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea or Syria.

Previous reports had suggested that the Iranian government had imposed a Battle.net-wide ban. The Verge reported that a government pamphlet had been distributed linking Blizzard's games to the promotion of superstition and mythology, violence and the demonstration of inappropriate clothing for women.

The document allegedly originated from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and also mentioned games including Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Second Life and Guild Wars.

Blizzard's World of Warcraft is currently gearing up for its next expansion, the Mists of Pandaria. At its peek, the MMO boasted more than 12 million subscribers, but this number has more recently dropped to approximately 9 million.

34 Comments

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Dave Lister 30th August 2012, 08:42 Quote
This is exactly why pearl harbour happened - unfair trade sanctions.
cookie! nom nom 30th August 2012, 08:55 Quote
"Due to the nature of the sanctions against the country, the company is also prevented from issuing refunds to the affected players."

well this has stopped me renewing,that's bull poop! they should do something for the people affected.
Nexxo 30th August 2012, 09:16 Quote
Quote:
The terms of use documentation for World of Warcraft also states that Blizzard's titles can not be downloaded by residents of Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea or Syria.

I thought Iraq and Lybia were our friends now? Blizzard not keeping up with current events? :p

I also think it is epically stupid and counterproductive. If you want to undermine a country's government, you have to undermine its culture, preferably by introducing your own. MMORPGs are one way of introducing Western cultural values to a young Iranian population.

In the same way, introducing the US Dollar and business opportunity to Cuba would wipe out Communism there in one generation.
sp4nky 30th August 2012, 09:28 Quote
The United States has a long history of unfair trade sanctions. We should not be surprised here.
Flibblebot 30th August 2012, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4nky
The United States (government) has a long history of unfair trade sanctions stupidity. We should not be surprised here.
FTFY :D
Although, tbh, the UK government isn't too far behind on the stupidity stakes... :(

What I don't get is that I thought that the US has had trade sanctions against Iran for a long time, so why is it just now that Blizzard are complying?
Griffter 30th August 2012, 09:50 Quote
big brother has never done any good at any stage.
GeorgeStorm 30th August 2012, 09:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
What I don't get is that I thought that the US has had trade sanctions against Iran for a long time, so why is it just now that Blizzard are complying?

That's the important thing here I think, it shows (to me) that Blizzard aren't sorry, since they knew about the sanctions, but waited until after they'd sold their new expansion pack or whatever to comply, and then, quite nicely for them suddenly they can't give refunds, but that's not their fault, it's the government.....

Poor show on their part.
thogil 30th August 2012, 10:07 Quote
A theocracy complaining about the "promotion of superstition and mythology". Oh, the irony.
Phil Rhodes 30th August 2012, 11:15 Quote
Quite. As I said once before, I cower in the face of your unimpeachable record on not believing in the supernatural, Captain Religious.
Woodspoon 30th August 2012, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
That's the important thing here I think, it shows (to me) that Blizzard aren't sorry, since they knew about the sanctions, but waited until after they'd sold their new expansion pack or whatever to comply, and then, quite nicely for them suddenly they can't give refunds, but that's not their fault, it's the government.....

Poor show on their part.

Yes something fishy is going on here
Harlequin 30th August 2012, 13:24 Quote
actually iranian players can get around it by using a proxy
schmidtbag 30th August 2012, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie! nom nom
"Due to the nature of the sanctions against the country, the company is also prevented from issuing refunds to the affected players."

well this has stopped me renewing,that's bull poop! they should do something for the people affected.

You think Blizzard wants to ban countries like this? That's a loss of income on their part. Besides, what if they did put an effort with the other countries but were denied? I'm sure they don't want to waste any more time on this.

Anyways, there could have been a worse reason for banning Iranians. It could have been solely because of something religious or political (in a "I don't trust them because they're Islamists" sense), so let's be thankful those weren't what drove this decision.
dolphie 30th August 2012, 17:44 Quote
Lol they flocked to the forum to scream, "vee vill not tolerate zees restliction from u feelthy amelican infidels! Geev us back our Warclaft or face ze nuclear wrath of allaahh durka durka durka durka durka !"
schmidtbag 30th August 2012, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphie
Lol they flocked to the forum to scream, "vee vill not tolerate zees restliction from u feelthy american infidels! Geev us back our Warclaft or face the wrath of allaahh durka durka durka durka durka !"

Hmm, I didn't know the national languages of Iran was German and French.
dolphie 30th August 2012, 18:01 Quote
Yeah it's a new language called lacka lacka. It's a much more modern country now too, they are thinking of changing the name to iRan.
Sloth 30th August 2012, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

I also think it is epically stupid and counterproductive. If you want to undermine a country's government, you have to undermine its culture, preferably by introducing your own. MMORPGs are one way of introducing Western cultural values to a young Iranian population.
It's a humanitarian effort, we're keeping their youth free from MMOs so that they may become productive and healthy members of society. ;)
Dave Lister 30th August 2012, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphie
Lol they flocked to the forum to scream, "vee vill not tolerate zees restliction from u feelthy amelican infidels! Geev us back our Warclaft or face ze nuclear wrath of allaahh durka durka durka durka durka !"

Dude that's seriously not cool. America is the worlds enemy not a peaceful but misguided nation like Iran.
Goty 31st August 2012, 01:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphie
Lol they flocked to the forum to scream, "vee vill not tolerate zees restliction from u feelthy amelican infidels! Geev us back our Warclaft or face ze nuclear wrath of allaahh durka durka durka durka durka !"

Dude that's seriously not cool. America is the worlds enemy not a peaceful but misguided nation like Iran.

Isn't that cute, he almost sounds like he knows what he's talking about!
play_boy_2000 31st August 2012, 01:34 Quote
I see no problem with this, in fact i would support a wholesale block of all the subnets registered to iranian ISPs (or a complete disconnection of the country entirely).

If the citizens of Iran are in agreement with all of the utter crap spouted by their president, then they obviously have no need of accessing american webservices.
Growly 31st August 2012, 02:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
If the citizens of Iran are in agreement with all of the utter crap spouted by their president, then they obviously have no need of accessing american webservices.
Wow.

You should write foreign policy.
Bogomip 31st August 2012, 02:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
That's the important thing here I think, it shows (to me) that Blizzard aren't sorry, since they knew about the sanctions, but waited until after they'd sold their new expansion pack or whatever to comply, and then, quite nicely for them suddenly they can't give refunds, but that's not their fault, it's the government.....

Absolutely, its not like this announcement has come right before the release of a major expansion pack..........................

If you think its in Blizzards interest to not be able to sell to a country then you are clearly wrong. They sold there as they thought they could get away with it, and then someone said no and they had to stop.

And cut the crap about America being the entire worlds enemy, there are 300 million Americans, some of whom the government is on the side of.
XXAOSICXX 1st September 2012, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000

If the citizens of Iran are in agreement with all of the utter crap spouted by their president, then they obviously have no need of accessing american webservices.

In the same way that you, by your logic, support all the utter crap spouted by our government?
lysaer 1st September 2012, 18:34 Quote
personally I think we need to find an alternative energy source to oil, stop trading with the middle east all together, then watch the countries implode when they realise they have nothing else to trade.


Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
Star*Dagger 1st September 2012, 19:27 Quote
At least a few countries will be spared from the ultimate in idiocy, Pandaria!
mclean007 2nd September 2012, 06:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
I see no problem with this, in fact i would support a wholesale block of all the subnets registered to iranian ISPs (or a complete disconnection of the country entirely).

If the citizens of Iran are in agreement with all of the utter crap spouted by their president, then they obviously have no need of accessing american webservices.
Jeez, you might want to think through your proposals before you go all militant about them. Cutting off a sanctioned state (let's not limit this to Iran) altogether would achieve nothing more than helping the government to smother dissent, spread misinformation and crush uprising. Look at North Korea and, to a somewhat lesser extent, China - their governments devote enormous resources to trying to keep their people from accessing "unapproved" western information sources.

To take another example, a lot of the political dissent in the Arab Spring (which may be viewed as uprisings against tyrannical regimes) was organised and reported through Twitter and other web resources, to the point that the Egyptian government took the extraordinary step of cutting off all internet traffic within the country to try to regain control. Google and Twitter teamed up after this to put in place "Speak2Tweet" - a service allowing Egyptians to call a number, record a voice message and have it Tweeted on their behalf.

Access to western information sources is EXACTLY what people living under extremist regimes need in order for a sufficient groundswell of public dissent to develop. I can understand the justification for trade sanctions, but blocking information flow would be wholly counterproductive.

Finally, to weigh in on your implication that all Iranian citizens support everything their government does, you need to pull your head out the sand. Even in countries with relatively uncorrupt and duly observed democratic process, the government may very well have won the votes of less than half the electorate, and even those who did vote for the incumbents are unlikely to agree wholesale with all their policies. Even in a democratic society, there have to be compromises - you can't please all of the people all of the time. Even if you took referenda on everything, you'd only have 51% approval for contentious issues, and minority rights and views would be utterly suppressed.

In the case of Iran, there isn't even free electoral choice - the "president" is nominally elected by universal suffrage, but he may be dismissed by the (non-elected) "Assembly of Experts" more or less on a whim, and only candidates approved by the Assembly may stand for presidency in the first instance. In any event many key executive powers are retained by the "Supreme Leader", who is elected by the Assembly.

The effect is that the president is effectively an impotent puppet of the Assembly, because (a) he is cherry picked by the Assembly before he can run for office; (b) if he strays from the Assembly's policy he will be deposed; and (c) important powers aren't in his hands anyway. Note that the post of Supreme Leader has only had two incumbents - the first died in 1989 and the second has been in power since then. Kindly explain where in this charade of democracy you see the electorate voicing "agreement with all of the utter crap spouted by their president"? I'm not approving of the Iranian situation, but I think you need to divorce your views on the regime from your views on the people - go to Iran, meet some ordinary Iranians, then come and tell me that they all blindly support their government's controversial policies. And surely even if they DID, you'd want them at least to have access to information about other points of view?!
mclean007 2nd September 2012, 07:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
personally I think we need to find an alternative energy source to oil, stop trading with the middle east all together, then watch the countries implode when they realise they have nothing else to trade.
Another knee jerk reactionary comment. Define "Middle East". I live in the United Arab Emirates, which, while admittedly funded by oil, is actively planning for a post-oil economic future. There are strong attempts to build revenue streams in tourism, as a transport hub (Etihad and Emirates both scoring consistently highly in airline satisfaction surveys), in manufacturing (leveraging the availability of cheap energy and plentiful labour), and as an investment centre. Oil money is being rapidly and very effectively dispersed into geographically and sector diverse investments.

The world is falling over itself to find a clean, viable alternative to fossil fuels, but as yet nothing has come to fruition. If it ever happens, it won't be for some time, and the UAE at least shows every sign that it intends to be ready. I'm not sure why you are so critical of "the Middle East", but it's not justified. If you're focused on Iran, you should say Iran and not bundle the whole region together. I can't speak for every Middle Eastern state, but the UAE is permissive of western ways of life among its many ex pats. It has its share of problems, and there isn't true democratic process, but I'd say that for a country barely 40 years old, it is doing very well. It is a safe and secure country with very little crime; infrastructure is of a generally very high standard; the ruling family are well regarded and good to the people; the citizens are generally happy; the country is prospering; and it provides work for millions of ex pats at a time when employment markets in many other parts of the world are languishing. To cut off the UAE just because of a widespread ignorance in the west as to how life actually is in the region, and this conflation of all Middle Eastern states under one banner, would be hugely detrimental to the global economy and to the lives of the many westerners who have made it their home.
DragunovHUN 2nd September 2012, 07:25 Quote
They could have been using WoW as a training tool for terrorist attacks!
lysaer 2nd September 2012, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Another knee jerk reactionary comment. Define "Middle East". I live in the United Arab Emirates, which, while admittedly funded by oil, is actively planning for a post-oil economic future. There are strong attempts to build revenue streams in tourism, as a transport hub (Etihad and Emirates both scoring consistently highly in airline satisfaction surveys), in manufacturing (leveraging the availability of cheap energy and plentiful labour), and as an investment centre. Oil money is being rapidly and very effectively dispersed into geographically and sector diverse investments.

The world is falling over itself to find a clean, viable alternative to fossil fuels, but as yet nothing has come to fruition. If it ever happens, it won't be for some time, and the UAE at least shows every sign that it intends to be ready. I'm not sure why you are so critical of "the Middle East", but it's not justified. If you're focused on Iran, you should say Iran and not bundle the whole region together. I can't speak for every Middle Eastern state, but the UAE is permissive of western ways of life among its many ex pats. It has its share of problems, and there isn't true democratic process, but I'd say that for a country barely 40 years old, it is doing very well. It is a safe and secure country with very little crime; infrastructure is of a generally very high standard; the ruling family are well regarded and good to the people; the citizens are generally happy; the country is prospering; and it provides work for millions of ex pats at a time when employment markets in many other parts of the world are languishing. To cut off the UAE just because of a widespread ignorance in the west as to how life actually is in the region, and this conflation of all Middle Eastern states under one banner, would be hugely detrimental to the global economy and to the lives of the many westerners who have made it their home.

A large portion of the middle eastern countries populations do not want the west involved with them at all, I personally would just find it interesting to see if they would change that view when they realize that they have nothing of significant value to trade.

I know what life is like out in UAE, my company has worked out there, but it doesn't change my jibe, it's the same way I'd be happy to cut of the undeserving welfare leeches in this country, when they realise they aren't going to be getting anything maybe they will get up and find a job.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
mclean007 2nd September 2012, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
A large portion of the middle eastern countries populations do not want the west involved with them at all, I personally would just find it interesting to see if they would change that view when they realize that they have nothing of significant value to trade.

I know what life is like out in UAE, my company has worked out there, but it doesn't change my jibe, it's the same way I'd be happy to cut of the undeserving welfare leeches in this country, when they realise they aren't going to be getting anything maybe they will get up and find a job.
Obviously to an extent there is complacency, a belief that the oil money will never stop rolling in, and if the west suddenly randomly decided to extend sanctions to all gulf states, there would be panic. But you have to appreciate we'd be cutting off our noses to spite our faces - not only would it cause insane oil price rises in the west; all those oil profits haven't just vanished, they're invested heavily in financing a lot of western businesses. Take just one example, which will be close to the hearts of many on this forum - AMD is 20% owned by Mubadala, a government investment company of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Or how about Globalfoundries, which manufactures AMD's chips? 100% owned by ATIC, an Abu Dhabi goverment investment vehicle.

So I'm not sure what you're proposing by saying they (the Arab states) have nothing of significant value to trade. They have money; they have assets; and they have oil. Like it or not, there is no viable alternative to oil at the moment, so we need it, and a vast proportion of the readily extracted resources are under the Gulf Sea and the sand of the various surrounding countries.

In any event, my experience of Emirati people, as well as the various Omanis, Qataris and others I work with, is that they are generally very welcoming to foreigners. The notable exception is Saudi Arabia, which really doesn't like to open its borders to foreigners, but even the Saudis will let westerners in for business purposes. The Arab states want to be allowed to govern their lands as they see fit, and their cultural heritage and values are very different to those in the west. I'm not about to cast judgement on those values, as it isn't my place to do so, but to compare the people here to "undeserving welfare leeches" is highly unfair. I agree entirely that layabouts who refuse to work get far too much of an easy ride in the UK. I'm not sure where the similarities are supposed to be, however!
Fizzban 2nd September 2012, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
personally I think we need to find an alternative energy source to oil.

If only we could harness nerd-rage... The world would have all the energy it could ever need!
fluxtatic 3rd September 2012, 01:51 Quote
Someone kindly point me to something credible that any of what the US and Israel say about Iran is true. Mostly what I hear is the US and Israel constantly screaming about what a threat Iran is. Meanwhile, Iran's take seems to be "What's this? Sorry, we're in the middle of a summit here." Sure, Ahmadinejad seems to be a bit of a wingnut, but who's to say that what he supposedly says is even being translated accurately? Aside from that, it's not up to him ultimately, anyway. You might not agree with them being a theocracy, but they come across as a lot more rational than Saudi Arabia.

For the people talking about "layabouts" - there aren't enough jobs to go around, have you noticed? Your solution is what, to let the unemployed starve to death? That's one way to fix the unemployment problem, I suppose.

Sucks for the WOW players in Iran - dirty of Blizzard to have even let them join, since I'm pretty sure the sanctions against Iran predate WOW itself. Wonder if Blizzard's going to get hit with any penalties for having "traded with the enemy." (Nah, they're a large corporation. These days, that seems to mean all the upside of being a person (free speech, political influence, some mis-guided notion of a "right to profits") without any of the downside (real consequences when you get caught doing something criminal.)
lysaer 3rd September 2012, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Obviously to an extent there is complacency, a belief that the oil money will never stop rolling in, and if the west suddenly randomly decided to extend sanctions to all gulf states, there would be panic. But you have to appreciate we'd be cutting off our noses to spite our faces - not only would it cause insane oil price rises in the west; all those oil profits haven't just vanished, they're invested heavily in financing a lot of western businesses. Take just one example, which will be close to the hearts of many on this forum - AMD is 20% owned by Mubadala, a government investment company of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Or how about Globalfoundries, which manufactures AMD's chips? 100% owned by ATIC, an Abu Dhabi goverment investment vehicle.

So I'm not sure what you're proposing by saying they (the Arab states) have nothing of significant value to trade. They have money; they have assets; and they have oil. Like it or not, there is no viable alternative to oil at the moment, so we need it, and a vast proportion of the readily extracted resources are under the Gulf Sea and the sand of the various surrounding countries.

In any event, my experience of Emirati people, as well as the various Omanis, Qataris and others I work with, is that they are generally very welcoming to foreigners. The notable exception is Saudi Arabia, which really doesn't like to open its borders to foreigners, but even the Saudis will let westerners in for business purposes. The Arab states want to be allowed to govern their lands as they see fit, and their cultural heritage and values are very different to those in the west. I'm not about to cast judgement on those values, as it isn't my place to do so, but to compare the people here to "undeserving welfare leeches" is highly unfair. I agree entirely that layabouts who refuse to work get far too much of an easy ride in the UK. I'm not sure where the similarities are supposed to be, however!

Which is why I said if we had an alternative to oil also I'm not saying do it, I am saying it would be an interesting scenario.

Meh AMD, it would just suck that Intel had no competitor, well it's not exactly a competitive company but it keeps Intel on it's toes. Wouldn't be good for the GPU market though, all we need is another excuse for Nvidia to charge more money.

The comparison on welfare leeches was not about being a layabout, more so to suggest we actually take away these benefits as it were and see how quickly they change their tune.

Welfare leeches, fanatics from wherever in the world and cyclists who don't use cycle lanes all fall into the same category for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
.

For the people talking about "layabouts" - there aren't enough jobs that people want to do to go around, have you noticed? Your solution is what, to let the unemployed starve to death? That's one way to fix the unemployment problem, I suppose.

Fixed that for you


Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
mev_47 5th September 2012, 13:22 Quote
sounds a pathetic way for blizzard to go about their business, its just a bloody game ffs, thats them off my christamas card list and any of their titles from my wallet
schmidtbag 5th September 2012, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mev_47
sounds a pathetic way for blizzard to go about their business, its just a bloody game ffs, thats them off my christamas card list and any of their titles from my wallet

did you not read the article? it explicitly stated that this wasn't blizzard's decision and they didn't have much say in this. It's not like they want to lose customers, I doubt they have any serious political issues with Iran, after all, "it's just a a bloody game ffs."
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