Blizzard blocks Battle.net access in Iran

Publisher says it is complying with United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws in its move to restrict access to Blizzard games in Iran and other nations.

Blizzard has blocked access to its Battle.net service in Iran, according to a statement the publisher made to Polygon this week.

Battle.net has been blocked in Iran.

The issue first came to light from reports on the Battle.net forums detailing problems that users in Iran have had with connecting to World of Warcraft and Battle.net.

However, Blizzard's WOW terms of use specifically mention Iran as one of the countries in which Blizzard does not authorise its games or services to be used:

"The software utilised by World of Warcraft and/or the service may not be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Syria, or any other country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods …By using the service, you represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list."

Responding to Polygon's request for comment, Blizzard issued the following statement in regards to the incident, clarifying that the publisher made changes to comply with United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws that went into effect this week.

"We can't speak to reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens. What we do know is that United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran. We've recently tightened up our procedures to ensure compliance with those laws, which means we must restrict access to our games by players in those nations."

Blizzard did not comment on which countries outside of Iran are also affected by the publisher's changes in response to the United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws.

GameSpot contacted Blizzard for comment, but the publisher did not reply as of press time.

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416 comments
yasermo
yasermo

we are human and must love each other Regardless governments relationship

f**k governments, they separate us

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

Uhm, how stupid are you guys?

It is not Blizzards own choice, they have to do it because of United States laws.

US does not trade with communist countries or countries with an enemy regime.

 

Im sure blizzard wants to make as much money as possible, they dont care about nationalities.. Its a profit company!

yasermo
yasermo

dont worry we`ll use vpn and play diablo 3 and other games

iranian always have new idea

 

tgwolf
tgwolf

Wow, you wouldn't think they would do something reputable much less respectable...

mmmm150
mmmm150

gogo!ban people who lives in iran ,cut off thier access to any kind of information...im sure it will help them to get "even more" enlightned about wat is going on in the world and in thier own country,im sick of this not only our own govement is censoring now whole world started to censor information good job ppl instead of baning govement you are bannin people:))oh let me guess next thing will be banning "internet" from all iranian?

berserker66666
berserker66666

You know, I really like the way Laura Parker handles these articles. Always bringing the REAL issues of gaming and related problems. See, it's not wise for anyone to ban games on any country, especially where there's political turmoil brewing. People might get the wrong impression and might even retaliate with serious heat.

don_bidarian
don_bidarian

Keep it in your pants people, I wish for a day where people can comment without jumping on eachother :pAnyway I dont blame Blizzard, under the law they have to block Iranians.

However that just proves that sanctions only hit normal citizens and doesn't affect the government.

 

Thats kind of violation of human rights, but then, who am I to decide? :p

Batmantheorphan
Batmantheorphan

I've gotten tired of all these propagandist comments by some brainwashed Americans so I think I just have to make it clear: I'm Iranian and I'm telling you that WOW is NOT banned in Iran. Not only it's not banned, but there are many servers working officialy under the law. everything your government and media are telling you about Iran are nothing but LIES and propaganda. you know nothing about iran. they have told you a lot about those three american 'hikers', but have they told you anything about the Iranian mother of 2 who was sent into jail in america for 'circumventing sanction' ? an iranian university professor, who happens to be a professor at the university I attend, was sent into jail because he was trying to buy simple lab equipment, an Iranian woman was kicked out of an apple store when she was trying to buy an ipad because she was speaking persian. do I have to say more? the US is the true apartheid, The US is the uncivilized country. and it's time you looked past the stereotypes and deceitful news of your media.

frozenux
frozenux

Diablo 3 and WOW(including guild wars ,among other games) have been "marked" by the Iranian government  already ,for those reason:

 

1-Promotion of superstition and mythology (oh the irony...)

2-Promotion of violence due to too much violence.

3-Abolishing the deformation in sin.

4-Demonstration of inappropriate clothing and "slutty" outfits for female avatars.

 

Here's is the source

http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/8/22/3259974/battle-net-blocked-in-iran-world-of-warcraft-diablo-3

 

And this is the least of crazier things they banned/censored in this country.There is little to nothing civilized about that government  and that's not a racist comment it's just a fact,same way north Korea is as much uncivilized.But I'm pretty sure people,mainly the youth, is going eventually to be fed up with all this shit and boot the religious zealots in charge.They just like to keep people in the dark to better exercise their power.

 

Jebril
Jebril

So I guess I'll post this before I see another racist comment pop up here. It's interesting to know that Iran actually has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel and the United States, in fact many Israeli citizens are actually immigrants from Persian Jews that lived in Iran. Iran has many Jewish people who are politicians as well and say they are treated fairly for the most part from a couple of vids that I've seen. I honestly think most of you have watched too much of the mainstream media again, another symptom of being a sheep. If these people TRULY wanted to kill every single one of you they would've already attempted it, multiple times.

gowillett
gowillett

Another sensationalist piece by Parker. When will this end? I'm tired of coming to this site expecting to see, oh, I don't know, video game reviews, and seeing poor writing like this.This is the second article from her like this in a month. The first article was an angst ridden EA opinion piece about weapons and gaming ethics. It was biased, had poor tone, and was critical of policies regarding the proliferation of arms and their role in video games. Now this. Blizzard is abiding by U.S. law.  Parker may have trouble understanding this, as she's an editor from GameSpot Australia. I'm not sure why she's commenting about U.S. international relations and  gaming policies in the first place. The tone of this article suggests there is some sort of poor business practice on Blizzard's behalf for restricting usage of U.S. products from state sponsors of terror.Why are foreign editors even allowed to contribute to the U.S. site? Actually, what does this even have to do with the reviewing of video games? That's what this site is about right? Well, it used to be (a long time ago) about reviewing video games, and keeping a lighthearted atmosphere about gaming. After all, they're GAMES.

 

Oh, and Parker, one doesn't start paragraphs with "However" in the King's English. It's in poor taste sweetheart.

visionedorange
visionedorange

blizzard games sucks anyways so no big loss for them ther

jackson2415
jackson2415

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: except for countries that the United States doesn't like.

 

Maybe rename the game: MOST OF THE WORLD OF WARCRAFT.

light62
light62

you know it's kinda unfair

specially for MMO games, since they are online games and can't really be played offline

anyways, what kind of damage would playing online games do to US ?

if there is going to be any damage, it would be to iran because of promising years of young people being wasted on things like games and stuff.

these US guys and Blizzard guys are stupid too.

 

Dedpheeno
Dedpheeno

I can see putting embargoes on dangerous resources and materials, but if Diablo III and WoW are online games isn't that restricting young peoples from interacting with each other and being more familiar with each other. Wouldn't it help dispel the mistrust created by the US installing a brutal regime with the british and the mistrust created by the brutal regime from Iran that replaced it, if we could just chill together and play some games as normal people?

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

A simple VPN will get around that... for those savy enough to figure it out.

_el_Greco_
_el_Greco_

People around the world deserve the same respect, whether they're from Iran, Israel, Cuba, the United States, Syria, etc.  It's a pity to see that even in our present times we can't have a more unifying dynamic since we're all human and citizens of the same world after all.  But what can you do, politics will always be a bitch.

schesak
schesak

It is a shame that the good people of Iran who enjoy gaming are punished because of their leaders, who surely could not care less about gaming.  

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

The comments for this article are so utterly depressing. Can't we all just get along and go on some raids together? Apparently not, because of Islam/Iran/America/Israel/Governments/the West/Women/Men/Blizzard/Everyone. Meanwhile, I'm going to go on living my life knowing that at least I'm not as angry as some of the poor unfortunate souls here in the comments. 

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

 Laura Parker or who ever at game spot has the power needs to shut this post down as all its for is trash talk

Pyerun
Pyerun

I don't see what this will accomplish other than Blizzard getting some free PR.

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

It's so sad, that what people think about we Persians, this is sad, Governments, religious, Medias...make people hate each other, and it makes me so sad to read the comments and see what other people are thinking about us, some of them say we even know nothing about games whereas lots of great Persian CG Artists are evolved on those pretty games and movies that your are playing and watching, and the most thing that makes me so so sad is the lack of information, some simple mind people just close their eyes and say nonsenses and spread only hate. 

I just hope people have some caution.

nurnberg
nurnberg

It sucks for Iranian gamers, but the real culprits are the Iranian leaders.  It's all their fault!

SolidTy
SolidTy

Some of the people playing will just pick up their AK47's and patrol more, so they probably should have let them play their game.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Polygon has got some great scoops, I'm going to log into that site more often! Thanks GS! :P

RiP_ili
RiP_ili

This is why governments suck, all of them. No matter what BS goes on between them, the people are always the ones caught in the middle and suffer for it. I'm not saying online gaming even remotely qualifies as a 'real world' issue, it's one of a million luxuries we can live without. But still, the people are the ones who do without. Government officials never go without... of anything, ever.

volume_three
volume_three

 @brainiac1988 

The US doesn't trade with communist countries? *Facepalm* You do realise who America's 2nd largest trade partner is, right? o_O The US doesn't trade with an enemy regime? They did pretty well trading with Saddam even after going to war with him in 90/91. Heck, they were even kind enough to leave the guy in power despite the US themselves acknowledging that he'd used chemical weapons on his own civilians.

 

 

Perhaps it's time to put down the control pad and pick up a text book or two. Learn the history of US foreign relations in the Middle East, especially in regards to Iran. You may be surprised to discover why the US is currently in Afghanistan and Iraq when 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers who apparently perpetrated the September 11 attacks were from SAUDI ARABIA. Where are Afghanistan and Iraq located in relation to Iran? I guess that's just a coincidence.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @brainiac1988 "US does not trade with communist countries" Technically, China is still a Communist country and the USA still imports stuff from there. Russia, too. That sounds like a Cold War thing. Now the USA just doesn't trade with countries that has sanctions.

soheil_m
soheil_m

 @don_bidarian I guess you made it clear man ... it's just law !! and surely it's noneffective , just effective on people !! I thought they said "Targeted sanctions" (!!!!)  but I'm pretty sure it's not "Targeted" !!!!

anyway ... as you said ... who am I to decide ?!!!

Benny_a
Benny_a

 @Jebril The largest population of Jews is in Ex-USSR block.

They are not treated well in Iran, whatever videos you see is from fear, its like when you see North Koreans crying when they see their "dear leader", its all from fear.

eitehr you say whatever the govermnt wants you to say or die.

 

Also, Iranian Jews are hostages they are not allowed to leave the country and move to Israel

AceBalls
AceBalls

 @gowillett The reason why this website is so good is because it deals with everything related to gaming and games culture. I think the Gamespot staff are very good at what they do and I think YOU are a dickhead.

larkin-54
larkin-54

 @jackson2415 passing sanctions on a country typically has very little to do with whether we like someone or not to get NATO as a whole to say no to something as in the case of the listed countries is just one step away from the UN saying something 

MysteryJ0ker
MysteryJ0ker

 @jackson2415

 You know it's pretty much already banned in Iran anyway right? For: violence, promoting mythology (foreign to Iran that is) and skimpy outfits

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Dedpheeno That would be nice. Unfortunately, the economic activity of US companies in Iran has the effect of supporting the Iranian government. The argument for sanctions would be that the US has an obligation to avoid supporting a government that consistently calls for the destruction of one of its most important allies, and is probably building nuclear weapons to accomplish that goal.

DeadLight2080
DeadLight2080

 @Phazevariance it dosen't work !! I am in Iran and because we entered Iran for country in our accs there is no way to get access to it ,and they are lair rubbers if it is because of us sanctions why EA , Valve and... didnt do the same If they  have problems with our government what is our fault here ? I will never buy any of their games again and ask ski* guys for Activision games .

_el_Greco_
_el_Greco_

 @schesak I agree.  The Iranian government is not one that I would be very eager to support.  At the same time though, you'd expect the "civilized world" and the United States to handle diplomacy with Iran with better expertise and grace.  I think history has already proven that you can't really fight fire with fire.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@syler4815162342 For what it's worth, I don't think the majority of Americans have a negative impression of Persians - only an ignorant minority. I hope the reverse is true as well. Speaking for myself, I have serious problems with the actions and rhetoric of the Iranian government, but even if the government speaks for the majority of Iranians - which seems unlikely - there are still dissenters who deserve great respect. Hopefully reason will prevail, for all our sakes.

surrealme
surrealme

 @syler4815162342 I've known several people from Iran. Had a serious relationship with a Persian woman and got to know her family here in the States and learned a lot about her family in Iran. They were all really wonderful people. I may think poorly of the Iranian government and religious fundamentalism but it's not a reflection of how I feel about the Iranian people. All the Persians I've known have been great.

soheil_m
soheil_m

 @nurnberg you're right , it's will just hurting the young ones .. not that man named ahmadinejad !!!!

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @Benny_a  @Jebril Iranian Jews might be better off moving to the US or Europe instead. There are still European-origin Jews in Israel that still think they are so much better and superior to the Middle-Eastern Jews.  

SnappySnake
SnappySnake

 @CaLiBeiRs  Not sure where you got your info, but it is the Iranian government that is to blame, not the people.

Benny_a
Benny_a

 @syafiqjabar     How do you know about that?

But you forget something, its not unique to Israel, go to any country that have diffrent cultures and youll see the same thing, the more educated part of society will always think they better then otehrs.

Its just human nature.