Blizzard Locks Down Russian Language Version

In what appears to be a U-turn without any warning, Blizzard has locked down the Russian language version of the game. Before today, if you purchased the cheaper Russian version of the game you could select another language such as English and play just fine. From today, anyone with this version is being asked to download the Russian language pack and they will be locked into that language.

Back on the 16th of May, Blizzard were asked whether it would be fine to use the Russian version and play in English and a CM responded with:

Yes this should be possible, you should be able to choose your language normally once the Russian version is released.

Today this has changed and the Russian version has been renamed “Limited Russian” and the original CM post has been changed to read:

 Update: 08/06

The Limited Russian version is separate to the other versions, if you have a Limited Russian key on your account, you will need to play using the RU language pack

Sorry for any confusion over this issue.

Please note: the full EU version is available on the Blizzard Store which allows all languages and full region support via the Global Play feature (including Russian language support)

As you can imagine, there are now a lot of English speaking players locked into the Russian language with no way of changing unless they purchase a new EU version, or Russian players who actually want to to play the game in English but from today can’t.

There are plenty of customers calling for refunds or for Blizzard to let anyone who purchased the cheaper Russian version up until today have access to all languages. This all looks like a communication breakdown at Blizzard and perhaps we’ll see some compromise be reached in the coming days.

Thanks to Jan for the tip.

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40 thoughts on “Blizzard Locks Down Russian Language Version

  1. I don’t really see the point to this (from Blizzards point of view). People asked if this was possible, Blizz said yes, people buy this version of the game and blizz goes back on their word and screws over people with the RU version. All in an attempt to what, make everyone who has the RU version buy the EU version as well if they want to play in English?

    Nobody is going to go out and buy the game twice. Whats to stop Blizz from locking the EU version to English then forcing everyone to buy language packs?  

  2. That’s weird? I could swear that I read last week or so that the Russian version would be locked down to the Russian language.

  3. I was absolutely positively SURE that the russian version would be locked to the russian language only. I guess I missed that quoted blue post saying otherwise, so I’m a little surprised that people actually find this.. surprising?
    I mean, the Russian version costs 1000 rubbles, and the EU version costs 2,500. What’s the point of people buying the cheap version if they have all the benefits of the regular version, other than the wait until it’s released? After it’s released, there is no icnentive to buy the game at full price anymore.

    I guess I’m thankful enough that they even let us buy the original EU version, unlike SC2, which I never bought because of that.

    I pre-purchased the EU version as soon as it was available, but, yea, the fact that blizzard actually stated that you WILL be able to switch your language and then backs out of it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. 

  4. To Russians they explained everything this way from the beginning: “Russian version is cheaper than normal version, has only Russian language and is available since Jun 7”. So it was an error on Blizz side, if this version even allowed to login between May 15 and Jun 7… This error perhaps leaded to a confusion, that people thought that Ru version is the same as full, but cheaper.
    This doesn’t excuse Bliz, of course, because of that blue post from May 16, which clearly states/confirms this confusion too…

    • This is almost like what Blizzard did with the Brazilian WoW servers. They advertised exactly like this:

      “Brazilians players that are currently playing in US server will be able to free transfer to Brazilian realms”
      but when the transfer day came they told us that only the US servers crowded with Brazilians would be eligible for transferring, so I remained locked in the Maelstrom realm because there’s almost no Brazilian playing there. When I opened a ticket to complain Blizzard told me I was wrong and that they never said (all) Brazilians would get the free transfers, but that’s is subject to interpretation. When I read “Brazilians” on their official announcement it was logically natural to assume the word “all” was implied in the phrase since I’m Brazilian that played in a US realm.
      I kept fighting with Blizzard for a few days trying to reason with them but it was just like talking with monkeys. When I realized they weren’t even reading my replies, (just replying generic messages and giving me outdated information) I showed them the finger and never played WoW again. I may be only one more player among the millions that play, but if Blizzard employees had any brain mass they would give me the transfer they promised to keep me paying fees instead of losing a client. But that’s their problem, it’s not like WoW is dying right now, right?

    • that’s not true at all, it never said it was a limited edition, it says is an standard edition, and the game actually says it is a global and multilingual game besides it happens in Latin america version too and this version costed me 60 dollars from legal authorized retailer, and I bought it because I wanted to have the real box in my hands. I changed the language once it was installed with no problem, and played in English just fine until Blizzard thought hmmmm lets f#ck and rip off all this ppl.

      👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

  5. How more fail this could be for Blizzard ? Btw I bought Russian version of Skyrim – changed language to English and playing, what’s the problem, too gready ?

    • You are omitting part of the story.
      There is a known problem for game publishers – how to sell the game cheaper in a certain region, without letting people from all region use that?

      Blizzard is using a language-locking way, perfectly viable and strict.

      Skyrim does sell the very same license in all regions, but it is actually LOCKED in Steam in Russia. Like, completely, you can’t even find the game page. You have to go to a online gaming shop (which all look shady to me), purchase a key there for a cheap Russian price, and then the game mythically unlocks.

      Yes, Bethesda’s approach is better for us English-speaking original-valuing minority, but still. 

  6. If they didn’t do that everybody in the world would buy russian version (which is three times cheaper than the international version) and play the game in english

    • The limited versions should be blocked, obviously, but did Blizzard really warned players of that? I doubt. But this is not the main problem, what if I’m a Russian that knew about the locking but don’t want to play a translated game? Translations sucks, this shit shouldn’t be forced to any players that dislikes it. What’s the difficult of offering a stupid language pack for the game?

      • I’m the Russian who wanted to play English version. I just bought EU one. Yay, PROBLEM IS SOLVED. How do you expect them to sell x2 cheaper version with all languages included? Blizzard doesn’t have region locking by IP like Steam.

        And yes they warned players, at least Russian ones.

  7. Great way to really anger their customers even more. As said, what if some russian guy wants to play in English? I too prefer to play games in English, rather than my native language. Because the translations are lame 99% of time and also some of the context is lost in translation.

    • In this case our hypothetical guy (me) pays a full European price and is happy.
      If he can’t afford the game – sorry, them’s the financial reality today – Europe is more rich.

      My wife bought Eu version just because of release delay – yesterday she switched language and is happy too. And you have an awfully alarming perception of “99%” – the translation isn’t flawless, expecially in skills department, but actors are quite good. (*wink wink Azmodan*

  8. Why was the Russian version cheaper in the first place?
    I don’t quite get their motivation, risking pissing people off over a few ‘forced’ sales?

    • Russian version is cheaper because salaries here (not in Moscow) aren’t quite, you know. I am a decent programmer (not anything like very experienced or very talented, but decent and know some pretty cool methodolodies), and I earn less than $1000 a month. A salary of $600 is not low, it is normal. And not many people would pay 10% of their month’s earnings for a videogame.

      Blizzard’s mistake was that CM saying something he didn’t know about. I saw that comment at that time and, frankly, didn’t believe it. 

      EDIT: that’s not 10%, that’s 13% – hi euros.

    • @Chaosmage

      Man… sure you’re ignorant. Please learn more about the world outside USA, most people in this world earn way less than $600/month on average. Expecting everyone in the world to be able to afford a standard US price is just absurd and unrealistic.

  9. “As you can imagine, there are now a lot of English speaking players locked into the Russian language with no way of changing unless they purchase a new EU version, or Russian players who actually want to to play the game in English but from today can’t”
    Then maybe they should have bought the English version to begin with! You don’t buy a Mercedes if you want to drive a Ford.

  10. It happened to me i got A RENTAIL BOX from the store MX standard edition i i cant play it on anyother language than Portuguese (lol) and Spanish LA (sucks)…  I WANT MY MONEY BACK, DONT BUY THIS GAME.

  11. Hello, I would like to clarify that it’s not only the Russian version with this problem. Everyone that bought a physical copy somewhere outside the US/Canada is having the same problem. Blizzard is claiming this is a ‘limited’ version of the game, which is bs because nowhere in the box does it say it’s a ‘limited’ version.

  12. It was not ‘suddenly.’ We knew for months that there will be a budget Russian version, obviously limited to prevent EU kids from skipping a proper price. Why would anyone buy [b]RUSSIAN[/b] version if that one doesn’t want to play in Russian or be associated in Russia in any way?
    What they thought Russian version is for and why it has its own cost? Those who bought it cannot be so naive or stupid to realise there was some difference at least.

    • Dont be stupid. People did expect the Russian version might be Russian only. Which is exactly why people asked Blizzard for clarification. To this, the Blizzard mod confirmed that there was NO Language restriction. He wasn’t even wrong actually, because people who bought the keys at that time also confirmed that there was, in fact, no language lock. Blizzard put this language-lock only yesterday after hundreds of gamers bought and registered the keys. They first gave one information, waited until people bought the deal and then went back on their word and changed it. I dont see how anyone can justify this.

  13. They didn`t just lock down the Russian version.

    They also locked the Brazilian version with no warning and it`s not that cheap at US$50 a license…. 

  14. The problem is not only in russian edition, but also in Latinamerican spanish edition, it has been blocked, but the price in retail disc is around 55~60 usd that is almost the same price the digital download is.

  15. I’d expect a lawsuit over this if they don’t change their mind.
    This is the kind of thing that has to be done BEFORE you sell the product, not after.

  16. Seems like a final pocket fuller of sales from people who bought the Russian version to save money. What they didn’t realize was that they were dealing with Blizzard, a company that can completely deny having said something and hour ago. How much more greedy and degraded can Bli$$ become?

    Simple soultion: Provide those who bought the game Russian with an All language pack. New Russian sales are language locked. Simple.

    • It’s so funny to read such comments from Europeans. OMG I WANTED TO SAVE 40 EURO AND NOW I CAN’T GREEDY BLIZZARD FUCK YOU. Do you understand that you have x5-10 bigger salary then average Russian and it’s the reason why Russian version is so cheap?

      • You need to be more informed. I live in Bosnia and Herzegowina, a European country. The average salary is 300 Euro. forces me to pay for Diablo 60 Euro, NOT DOLLARS. Do you really think someone from my country can pay 60 Euro for a game? Not everyone in Europe is well off.

        • I am fairly certain that he was talking about the standard of the EU. Whose standard, by the way, is something like ten times that of the average Russian. And even the “poorer” European Union countries that were mostly accepted in 2004, if I remember correctly, have higher standard to the point of there not being a point in complaining.

          Edit, Bosnia is a minescule market for video games, even the top video games sell in, what, thousand copies? Tops. So, Bosnia, or any other ex-Yugoslavian countrie isn’t relevant to the issue.

  17. Called this the moment they said there was a seperate retail version for Russia. I was very suprised when people said the russian version was allowing any language. Totally unsuprised to see this has been changed (I would say fixed because it is pretty obvious this is the way they always intended it to work)

  18. I don’t think it’s that hard to have an unofficial English language ‘patch’ coming up soon… In fact I did exactly this with Mass Effect 3, bought the RU only ver, then download a 4mb unofficial English patch and replace all files, works like a charm… Unless all the strings text are stored server-side of course, but I doubt it.

  19. i can barely understand why blizzard got greedy and lock the language on Russian keys but on other regions too? oh god im not form Europe or USA and im screw thanks to that and i bought a rentail for full price (800mxn = 60us) and blizzard never warned about the restriction on LA region lol thats not fair and they dont want to refund anything of this bullshit..

  20. Wow… some of you are really dense. This affects more than those Russian copies. Users from all over the world are seeing their REGIONAL RETAIL copies (i.e. they paid full price) being locked to their countries language (or what Blizzard thinks is their language).

    So stop being an ignorant fool saying it’s people’s fault for wanting to buy cheaper copies. It’s not.

  21. There’s nothing to do with people buying Russian to pay less. They locked all languages but we paid full price.

    There’s no difference in price between digital and retail box here in Brazil. It’s 50USD each so why they say there won’t be restrictions in the first place and then remove the language option later? I do not understand.

  22. Well, Taiwan region was locked in the same way. If you use a Taiwan Limited Key(Which is 1450BNpts), you are REQUIRED to use Traditional Chinese client to play, but if you got a US or EU global key, then its ok with all clients. BNet Taiwan provide an Upgrade version which cost abouy 1950BNpts. I have no idea why they are doing such thing, and it’s very ridicules. Because u can access to Global Play, but you can’t choose language pack.

  23. lol did they give an upgrade option in taiwan -_- and nowhere else ?? How ze fuuuu is that possible ??

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