Starcraft II gets free name swaps

Blizzard letting players change their in-game, forum names without cost "soon"; additional name alterations will bear a fee, a la World of Warcraft.

When Blizzard Entertainment announced it would require players to use their real, government-stamped, names on its games forums, criticism swept through fan communities, and the company speedily reversed the decision. Now, the developer says it will allow Starcraft II players to change their in-game and forum monikers without a fee…but only once.

A statement posted by Blizzard Entertainment today on its forums explains why the company will allow players to swap names without charge the first time.

His name could soon be Bob.

"In some cases, people chose character names that don't represent their usual multiplayer nicknames, as they were unaware of how the character names were being used," the statement reads. "It's important to us that everyone is represented by a name of their choosing in their multiplayer games, ladders, and on the forums and community site."

Blizzard Entertainment's announcement also shed light on the company's paid name change plan. The system, which is already in place in the studio's ever popular World of Warcraft, lets players change their name as often as they wish with a fee attached each time. Blizzard Entertainment promises that more details on the implementation of the free and paid character name change options are coming soon.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is the first installment in Blizzard Entertainment's long-awaited three-part real-time strategy sequel. It went on sale July 27 and sold more than 1.5 million units globally in 48 hours, half of which were picked up in the United States. For more on the sci-fi real-time strategy game, check out GameSpot's review.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

54 comments
WillyChong
WillyChong

Change name once, hmmmmm. Not surprising, I however prefer not to change my ID name, I and my bro are happy with ours. In case something bad happen, I'll reserve it as an backup option.

wwwlp
wwwlp

@MonkeyKari i think you have right

MonkeyKari
MonkeyKari

I see no reason why you should pay for changing your name.... Maybe Blizzard just wants some extra cash...

Knutte79
Knutte79

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

@BornGamer Well, just making sure. You should know that I can be a bit stupid and gullible somewhat often.

rocca_fella911
rocca_fella911

They are going to need a little bit more then a name change. Anyone in this forum go to midnight release and activate their product to find out they have a "EU" account? It was bs and it disgarded my CD key and gave me the error "Temporary Outage of Battle.net". The only solution to this problem was to call tech support TWICE and have them transfer my content to another account. Im sorry but this whole new battle.net experience is really to wobbled to say I'd stick with it. Im going to see how the next starcraft turns out, hopefully is before diablo 3.

masterdrat
masterdrat

We allow you to change your name once just to show your how we are good, pitiful little playa. Now go and tell everyone about our goodness so the greens can multiply like zergling in our pockets.

Psycold
Psycold

as someone who works for tech support, and has to deal with the same questions over and over and over, I can totally see why they would do this

Mephers
Mephers

@drummerdickens Yeah a little, I've never heard of an rts charging for a name change. Only time I've heard of that is WoW. I really miss the old days where you could just create another account, alas all that is gone with linked battle.net accounts and all that. I can understand in an MMO. but an RTS? I'll admit it's trippin me out.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

I really hope it stops here in Blizzard's monetizing every action like they do in WoW. If Diablo 3 ends up being just a ton of micro-transactions, I am going to be VERY disappointed.

drummerdickens
drummerdickens

@Mephers You seem surprised Blizzard are trying to make money out of something other companies wouldn't! :D

Mephers
Mephers

Not really sure how to feel about this. If they are worried about people changing their name constantly why not just put a cool down or limit on the amount of times you can change your name.... Charging money seems like a prick move, very greedy. Year by year people slowly lose their freedoms, even online it seems.

Rymdkakor
Rymdkakor

It's not about making money, it's about making people think before changing their screen name so they don't change it all the time.

King-gamer
King-gamer

Just an excuse for Blizzard to implement paying money to change your name for the second time. Anything that will make Blizzard money, they will do it.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@CageFury - thumbs up my good man. It's about changing a digital, fake name - not your real name by deed poll! Anyone paying to do that must have a screw loose...

blueness
blueness

@ wahyudil - I hear you. Just think, Apple used to be the good guys, no one ever imagined they'd ever be compared to Microsoft in their doings...

Nibustan
Nibustan

They should've done this with WoW three years ago.

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

I appreciate the one time free name change, just because lots of people including me didn't think it would cross over to multiplayer since profile names only affected singleplayer in Starcraft 1.

Ninbri64
Ninbri64

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

wahyudil
wahyudil

I don't like it when a company already become too powerful and famous, they will do things like they are the king of the wolrd

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

The free name change may stem from the confusing initial character creation screen at launch, since "character profile" was confused by some to mean a profile for your characters and not your one and ONLY character name: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/starcraft2/show_msgs.php?topic_id=m-1-55752876&pid=939643&tag=topics%3Btitle About 1-2 days later, Blizzard decided to post a warning on the login screen, helping to avoid confusion, but it was too little too late for the millions of people who purchased the game on day one. This is big news and I applaud Blizzard for offering this to their customers. Blizzard f**ked up by not giving the warning sooner, so this free name change was necessary.

CageFury
CageFury

Having to pay to change your name, in any game for any reason, is fu**ing ridiculous,

bahamat0
bahamat0

Funny that no matter how good the decision is, you'll always find a small group of people who criticize it :)

Pete5506
Pete5506

Wow good to see something as small as this can be free now

JesusFreak1990
JesusFreak1990

@NoLifeGamin It's all about the cash. They will charge you for any little thing they can, the billions of dollars they rake in from subscriptions in WoW alone are simply not enough for them.

BertisAU
BertisAU

Assumptions are the mother of all f*** ups. This time the "assumers" got a lucky break.

JohnisGodd
JohnisGodd

Thank you Blizzard. Now I can finaly get my name changed to Bieber Fever. My dream come true.

ecs33
ecs33

@saturo123: a cooldown actually wouldn't be a bad idea.

ecs33
ecs33

@negativeions: I think you miss the point. This isn't about the money. This is about keeping everyone from changing their name every other week. The online community becomes alot more enjoyable for everyone when there is that kind of consistency.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Oh this is a MASSIVE relief. I was one of the lucky people who picked a name thinking it was one of possibly several gamesave names that could be done, only to find moments later that I would be stuck with a name that signified regret and stoopid.

airshocker
airshocker

@NoLifeGamin The first name-change is free. You would only pay if you wanted to change it more than once.

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

First of all, IT'S A FLIPPING NAME! Why should anyone even be required to pay for anything related to their name!? Much less a name swap. Incomprehensible

Mohamadouf
Mohamadouf

nice so now people can get away from their stalkers thumps up blizz

WICGuardian
WICGuardian

now if only steam and playstation would catch on to this :S

GoldenRamoth
GoldenRamoth

I like places that charge for a name change. It shouldn't be a huge fee, but enough to dissuade people from changing every week or so. I hate keeping track of all the name changes.. It's why I only go by one name across all my accounts.

negativeions
negativeions

What a ripoff. Blizzard thinks they can charge money for bullcrap. They're making 100 million a month? And what kind of judicial decision is that when a server operator has to pay blizzard 88 million? You think he had that kind of money? What a bunch of pigs blizzard are.

BornGamer
BornGamer

@eternal_blade3 Yeah, I assumed my sarcasm was pretty obvious....

eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

@BornGamer I hope you're being sarcastic, because it most definitely would not cost millions of dollars or they'd be bankrupt, and it probably doesn't take that long to change.. One of the MMO's I used to play let you change your name for free every 30 days if you payed to play.

vasilakis141
vasilakis141

Stuff like this should always for free.But yes Activision/blizzard dont have enought bilions, so they need a fee for such things "Sarcasm".

MissObvious
MissObvious

Good for them for giving people a free name change, since so many people seem to have picked names they didn't really want so they could quickly get into the game. I would like to be able to gripe about how they charge for future name changes and in most other gaming instances-but seriously, so many people on LIVE change their names all the time even though they charge for it that I'm always defriending people on there because I have no idea who they were. It would be ultra-chaotic if people could change their names whenever they wanted for free. Woo for childish people who are horribly indecisive ruining things for everyone else... :/

airshocker
airshocker

One free account-name change is very reasonable. There's no reason you would need more than that since this is mainly to correct the mistake that players made.when they first got the game. Charging for another account game after the free one shouldn't be a surprise.

saturo123
saturo123

charging for this is a terrible idea.... Why don't they put a 30-day cooldown on name changes? Oh right Activision.....

Shawn45
Shawn45

To be honest, I am shocked that they are allowed the first one to be free. Especially considering the new Activision-Blizzard.

airshocker
airshocker

Thank god. This was a big issue for me since I was one of the people who chose a name that I didn't like.

BornGamer
BornGamer

It's only fair that Blizzard should charge people to change their names. I mean, setting up a web form and programming their database to change a player's name must cost millions of dollars as well as hundreds of man hours. They'll probably have to work around the clock to implement this overwhelmingly awesome feature. I hope they're able to make back their costs, or at least break even. Good luck, Mr. Kotick!

Arach666
Arach666

Fascinating news. This should be on GS home page.