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 U.S.
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 U.S. 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.