Blizzard Bans Iranians From World of Warcraft, Citing Sanctions

Sanctions Also Mean No Refunds, Blizzard Confirms

The World of Warcraft’s players are gearing up for a new expansion pack to be released next week, but they’ll have to do it without Iranian players, as Blizzard, the game’s maker and operator, has confirmed they are banning all Iranians from accessing the game because of US sanctions.

Though like many other companies Blizzard was not directly doing business in Iran, the realities of a global network allowed Iranian players to acquire the software and play on European servers. Blizzard insists the move was meant to “ensure compliance” with US law.

It is entirely unclear how US sanctions even theoretically prohibit online roleplaying with Iranians, but Blizzard’s confirmation will end ongoing speculation that the ban was somehow imposed by the Iranian government due to “objectionable” content within the game.

Apparently the US sanctions are also anti-refund, as Blizzard’s confirmation of the banning of all Iranians included saying that the law “prevents us from providing any refunds” to their Iranian customers. Again, it isn’t clear what part of US law actually forbids providing refunds to Iranians for services not provided.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.