Unlucky folk who cannot play from Iran

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Its strange days when politics arise in discussions of MMO players.

A recent article indicates that Iran is blocked from playing World of Warcraft due to policy, potentially from within the US and matched by policy within Iran. It’s backed by Blue Post confirmation.

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.

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. Several of you have seen and cited the text in the Terms of Use which relates to these government-imposed sanctions. 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.

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.

How on earth do the players in Iran feel about this?

Well I’d say they are pissed off, and I feel for them. If the same sanctions were established between Australia and America for some reason (perhaps we’re not forgiven for Australia the movie) then we’d suffer too with no actual avenue to resolve the dispute properly. It would be in the hands of the gods. They are also very relieved to hear that it’s finally a known problem, with the first poster in the Blizzard thread saying, “Finally, thank you GM“.

What can they do?

They can get a proxy/vpn solution and ignore the ban. Work around it and hope the accounts are not flagged somehow. Sure, that is paying extra to an external body just to play a game, but I think they have no other choices. I very much doubt that Blizzard will create a special version of WoW with all the meta-god-super-whatever removed, akin to the version of WoW dev’ed for China which has no undead.

2 thoughts on “Unlucky folk who cannot play from Iran

  1. In this part of the world (won’t be able to say it for very long, so I’m milking it), using a proxy server is as normal as having a computer. Many countries restrict Skype, but everyone seems to use it, Turkey has banned youtube (funny story, actually) but everyone is on it… including teachers in classrooms, Netflix is an extremely popular service in these parts but it isn’t even offered here. If an Iranian wanted to play WoW, they could. The only issue, I think, is how fast their internet is. It’s likely they get a better connection with their iPhones. I got a few friends in Tehran that complain it.

  2. Funny thing too, that I am considering using a proxy channel service too for games. I already use one for protecting my internet activity, but maybe a 2nd one is good to help with the horrid lag between USA and Australia. I do feel a tad silly when compared to countries where the web is locked down far harder.

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