World Of Warcraft ban in Iran

Written by David Hing

August 30, 2012 // 7:52 a.m.

Tags: #ban #blizzard #iran #mmo #warcraft

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.

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