Iranian players of the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft were unable to access the game after last Wednesday’s European server restart. A confused player immediately hit the tech support forums in search of answers. The thread immediately blew up, with dozens of other Iranian players reporting the same issue. Speculation ranged from basic technical issues to outright blocks from the Iranian government, the U.S. government, or Blizzard itself.
While forum moderators remained silent for the better part of 100 pages, Lurdlesor eventually dropped by to inform readers that while Blizzard “cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens,” he revealed that US law prevents Blizzard from “doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran.” Though these sanctions have been in place for quite some time, Blizzard indicated they have tightened up their policy to better comply with U.S. law.
It appears that, in the U.S. government’s mind, ripping adamantium plates off the Destroyer of Worlds’ back with players from other nations, while overdosing on hot pockets and Mountain Dew (we prefer Fanta) will surely rouse the most vicious of Iranian terror cells. It’s safe to assume that these sanctions extend to all Blizzard products, meaning you won’t fight Diablo alongside an Iranian player any time soon. As an added kick to the epeen, the sanctions prevent Blizzard from issuing refunds to blocked players.
Bored, or feeling brave? You can wade through the 2000+ posts on the issue here.