Video games publisher GamersFirst has pledged to protect gamer identities in the wake of Blizzard Entertainment banning anonymous users from message boards. The company added that this could be "the beginning of the end" for World of Warcraft’s (WoW) online dominance.
GamersFirst has released a new set of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games — which will go out of their way to protect gamer identities. The announcement comes in the wake of Blizzard Entertainment banning anonymous users on player communication outlets for games such as World at Warcraft.
GamersFirst producer Jonenee Merriex has stated that Blizzard’s move is a poor one, as it is more than likely going to alienate its users. “Forcing players to reveal their identity will just push them somewhere else where they can stay anonymous. Blizzard is going to shut out or at least peeve a large part of their community this way,” he said. “The MMO community wants to feel like they have a safe place to go to be themselves (or not) as the case may be, without the risk of revealing their true self.”
Merriex added that this could be the beginning of the end in terms of World of Warcraft’s dominance as an online RPG.
“Blizzard has 11 million players worldwide and it is difficult for them to moderate a community that large. They are continually showing that they are not really concerned with their player’s privacy. The industry is not ready for WoW to die today, because the WoW killer isn’t here yet, but it won’t be that way forever,” he said. “This is definitely something that will hurt Blizzard in the long run and they will have angry players that may be ready to fight or flight when that WOW killer comes into the picture.”
Tracy Spaight, executive director of publishing for GamersFirst, has stated that the need for gamers to have the choice of remaining anonymous is now an absolute must in the online gaming world.
“In a simulated world, the line between real life and fantasy is easily blurred. For many, that's clearly part of the attraction of MMO’s and virtual worlds,” she said. “It is an unwarranted intrusion to player privacy to force our players to disclose their real world identity.”
GamersFirst’s Free2Play MMO lineup includes Knight Online, Sword 2 and War Rock — with upcoming titles including MKZ, Taikodom and Victory (MMO Racer). For more details, visit http://www.gamersfirst.com.