Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sanctions block Iran gamers from World of Warcraft



AFP PHOTO

LONDON—They’ve vanquished elves, trolls, and all manner of magical monsters. But one select group of online gamers is facing an even more formidable foe: The US sanctions regime.

Iranian players of “World of Warcraft,” the massively popular online multiplayer franchise, have found themselves frozen out by Blizzard Activision Inc., the American company behind the game. Iranian role playing enthusiasts have spent much of the past week peppering Blizzard’s message board with complaints about how they weren’t able to log on to the service — only to be told recently that US law was to blame.

“United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran,” the company said in an email sent to players last week and forwarded to The Associated Press late Tuesday. “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.”

A post to Blizzard’s message board by a company employee also noted that rules meant Iranian players would not be getting refunds.

Blizzard’s “Warcraft” franchise dates back to 1994 and has grown into a sprawling virtual world complete with its own online economy and a thriving subculture. The games’ more than 9 million subscribers can log on to assume the identity of a dizzying array of fantastical characters and fight together — or each other — for experience, magical weapons, and loot.

It wasn’t clear precisely how many players were affected by the block. Blizzard’s public relations director, Rob Hilburger, said that the company doesn’t break player data out by country or region for competitive reasons. But he said the Iranian market compromised only “a tiny fraction” of the company’s subscribers worldwide.

Hilburger didn’t immediately respond to a question asking why the company had only recently blocked Iranian players from its service.

The United States and its allies have been steadily increasing economic pressure on Iran as it tries to convince the Islamic republic to open up about its disputed nuclear program, which Western governments fear is a cover for the development of atomic weapons. Tehran insists the program is intended for civilian energy generation.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

22 houses destroyed, 3 hurt as violent wind storm hits village 43 mins elapsed 242 out of 438 pass board tests for chemical engineers 1 hour elapsed Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report 1 hour elapsed Oil prices to go up on supply concerns, optimism on US rebound 1 hour elapsed QC woman who flew in from Middle East tests negative for MERS-CoV 1 hour elapsed DFA, DOH urge OFWs not to panic over MERS-Cov 1 hour elapsed 5 OFWs from Negros quarantined for MERS-CoV tests 1 hour elapsed Release of village chief’s truck caught carrying illegal logs slammed 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Gaming , Iran , World of Warcraft



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  2. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  3. Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  4. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  5. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  6. SKY says ‘malicious third parties’ caused internet access problems
  7. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  8. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  9. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  10. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  3. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  4. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  5. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  6. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  7. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  10. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest
  10. Filipino artist copies piece from digital art

News

  • 22 houses destroyed, 3 hurt as violent wind storm hits village
  • 242 out of 438 pass board tests for chemical engineers
  • Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  • 5 OFWs from Negros quarantined for MERS-CoV tests
  • Release of village chief’s truck caught carrying illegal logs slammed
  • Sports

  • Jackson finds second wind to push Meralco past Rain or Shine
  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Oil prices to go up on supply concerns, optimism on US rebound
  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • QC woman who flew in from Middle East tests negative for MERS-CoV
  • DFA, DOH urge OFWs not to panic over MERS-Cov
  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace