World of Warcraft publisher Blizzard has recently blocked Iranian fans of the role-playing game from being able to access its servers. The blockage comes as Blizzard makes moves to ensure that it is complying with US federal law having to do with trade restrictions and economic sanctions. Exactly why it’s taken so long for Blizzard to comply with US law is unknown.
What we do know is that Iranian fans of the game have started to pepper Blizzard message boards with complaints that they were unable to log onto game servers. These Iranian players were told recently that the reason they can’t get on servers has to do with US law. Blizzard hasn’t offered an indication of how many players were affected by the ban. However, Blizzard says that only a small percentage of its players were affected.
Blizzard wrote in an e-mail to affected players, “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. 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.”