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Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Off Limits To Iranian Gamers

Activision Blizzard has announced that Iranian gamers are currently out of lack as they will no longer be able to play the  hugely popular World of Warcraft game.  The company said that the move is in compliance with the United States implementation of trade sanctions against the oil-rich country of Iran.

At first, the gamers thought that their own government was responsible but last week, Blizzard’s own online bulletin confirmed that the move was initiated not by Iran but by Blizzard itself.

Disgruntled gamers from Iran started to comment about their difficulty accessing the servers of the game last week.

“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,” Blizzard said.  “This week, Blizzard tightened up its procedures to ensure compliance with these laws, and players connecting from the affected nations are restricted from access to Blizzard games and services.”

To put it bluntly, Blizzard tried to explain that the company would not issue refunds and credits to accounts registered in Iran or owned by Iranian gamers.  It is known that the United States has renewed its active call for trade sanctions against Iran in light of the recent rumors that the country has not slowed down its research to acquire nuclear technology.

Blizzard’s move, as can be expected, drew criticism from users in Iran. One comment from the company’s online board shows” “Blizzard had full knowledge that this was going to happen. But what did they do? They continued to accept subscriptions and MoP pre orders.”

Last year, Iran’s FARS news agency confirmed that Battlefield 3 was blocked by Iran leading to the initial suspicion of World of Warcraft gamers that their own government might be blocking Blizzard’s services.

Recently, gamers from Iran have also notified other gaming sites that Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is cracking down on game titles that promote mythology or superstition.

World of Warcraft seems to be just one of the popular gaming titles that are banned in the country. Guild Wars titles were also mentioned to be inaccessible.

WoW is currently the largest online multiplayer game in the world utilizing a subscription-based business model. Blizzard said that the game has about 10 million paying users around the world as of today. Users shell out a fee every month to allow them to explore the vast landscapes of the game, to upgrade their in-game characters, and to engage in quests with others.

source: guardian