A big thread popped up late last week on the WoW EU forums, where a gamer in Iran reported that he was no longer able to log onto Battle.net via any Blizzard game. Much fan rage and debate ensued, until yesterday, a Blue voice weighed in. With very bad news, should any of you be located in that particular nation and desirous of gaming.

    Lurdlespore: Our team has been watching this thread closely, and we understand the desire for more information about this situation. Blizzard Entertainment cannot speak to any reports surrounding the Iranian government restricting games from its citizens.

    What we can tell you is that United States trade restrictions and economic sanction laws prohibit Blizzard from doing business with residents of certain nations, including Iran. Several of you have seen and cited the text in the Terms of Use which relates to these government-imposed sanctions. This week, 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.

    This also prevents us from providing any refunds, credits, transfers, or other service options to accounts in these countries. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and will happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows.

    Before you think this doesn’t affect a lot of people, note that the current population of Iran is upwards of 75 million, and that more than half of those people are under the age of 35. For the sake of comparison, Japan’s population is about 128m, but due to the low birthrate and lack of immigration, there might actually be more people under the age of 35 (prime gaming age) in Iran than in Japan. Obviously issues of computer access, internet access, and culture and society and politics factor in as well, but this must be blocking many thousands of fans, and it’s weird to see international politics come into play in terms of Battle.net access.

    Incidentally, I checked our site analytics for visitors by nation, and over the past 2 months Iran ranks 80th out of 151 nations, just behind Brunei and Qatar, and just ahead of Bangladesh, Moldova, and Panama. Admittedly, all of those countries are down around .01% of the total site traffic.

    Source: IncGamers.

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