But all the venom of the last few days--this insane outpouring of hatred from devoted but scared forum users--is needed no more. Blizzard has announced that its real-name plans are toast. So, you can stop posting Blizzard developers' phone numbers, pictures, and other freaky information, jerks.
Blizzard community rep Nethaera posted a letter from company CEO Mike Morhaime on the World of Warcraft message board (via Kotaku) this morning explaining the decision.
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.
== TEASER ==From what I gather, a big part of the reason Blizzard wanted to use this Real ID system was to clean up the forums--to keep people accountable for the words they share on the message boards. A vocal minority didn't like this idea. Protest in the original announcement thread was commonplace, as users voiced fears and concerns, like worry over Internet stalking for female World of Warcraft players.
Real ID was going to be used first on the StarCraft II message board starting on the game's July 27 release date. The World of Warcraft board was to adopt this policy when expansion Cataclysm launched.
There was an uglier side to the rabble, as documented by VG247 and Kotaku. Some users began throwing out personal details of Blizzard employees, phone numbers and the like, in a sorry attempt to prove a point.
Changes are still coming to the Blizzard message board. Morhaime notes that post ratings and better searching is coming. He also mentions that Real ID in Battle.net games, which is primarily used to help friends communicate, will not be cancelled.