Real ID nixed from Blizzard forums, Morhaime explains

Well, that was quick! Just as soon as Blizzard announced sweeping changes to its forum policy, company head Mike Morhaime took to those very forums to say, "real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums." In a letter addressed to the Blizzard community, Morhaime says the company "has 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," and thusly has come to the decision to not require real names.

Outside of that change, Blizzard will still be implementing all other forum changes (detailed by our sister site WoW.com right here). That said, the opt-in Real ID system will still be implemented in forthcoming Blizzard titles. Morhaime explains: "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." Further, he adds that "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." Additionally, the Real ID system is set to "evolve" as time goes on, with Battle.net getting "new and exciting functionality" for those of you "who decide to use the feature." Could that mean incentivized Real ID use from Blizzard? We're not sure just yet, but it certainly sounds like it.

Check out the full message from Morhaime to the Blizzard community after the break.

"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.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment Blue"

This article was originally published on Joystiq.