Blizzard: US, Not Iran Blocking Access To Battle.net

It was reported earlier that Iranian users are being denied access to battle.net. For some reason everyone freaked out about it, even though it should have caused some confusion because Iranians are famously not able to access most western sites. Not only because of their own theocracy’s policies, but because of sanctions in place by the US that forbids companies based in the US from doing business in Iran. However, some Iranians were bypassing this restriction using virtual networks, a practice that has now been ended.

So how come? Well, according to Blizzard it isn’t due to any action by Iran’s government. In a battle.net post complaining about the block, a Blizzard employee provided this explanation to one unhappy user:

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.

Ouch. It sucks that the US and Iran have been hating one another for 30 years, and it sucks even more that regular Iranians have to bear the punishment for it. Especially the refund thing, because Blizzard isn’t lying: even giving a refund could put them in violation of the law. Which is stupid.

Thanks, PC Gamer

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

8 Comments on Blizzard: US, Not Iran Blocking Access To Battle.net

Farvahar

On August 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Now the question is, if they knew this would happen. Why did Blizzard even sold it’s games(Notably Diablo III and Starcraft II) to Iranians. And before you start saying that all they did was pirate those games, I know for a fact that many Iranians actually bought those games at full price…some even preorder it.

Ross A Lincoln

On August 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Almost certainly there was not piracy, just using the virtual network to evade Iran’s filters, and US sanctions. I wasn’t lying, I think the sanctions are bull. No fan of the current government but it isn’t the Iranian on the street’s fault. Plus gaming could bring people together (and that’s not sarcasm).

SXO

On August 30, 2012 at 6:29 am

As a U.S. citizen I want to apologize to any Iranian gamers for our government’s douchebaggery.

gasmaskangel

On August 30, 2012 at 7:28 am

Theres a bit of sickening irony in here. See, if we really wanted the change Iran’s culture we’d be encouraging companies to sell American entertainment to Iranian citizens. Instead, and contrary to what pretty much everyone will tell you, we’re actively assisting the Iran’s theocratic government by refusing to do business, thus allowing said theocracy to point at us and say “See, the US is an evil imperialist son of a sow.”

Sanctions will only work on a country that gives a damn about being part of the world community.

Nulltron

On August 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

Please do not confuse things more than they are already. The American government has blocked anything that carries with it a so called “added value”. As such the American government is perfectly happy if Iranians try to access American porn sites and even subscribe to them. That is the kind of “cultural exchange” that the American government loves to have with the Iranians. In the same vein, it not only does not mind people accessing American propaganda sites like “The Voice of America”, and download any subversive software that it links to, but to further facilitate this, the American government and its state department flood Iranians with tunneling software and access-by-proxy and VPN software. They have even repeatedly allocated large sums of money to create that kind of software specifically for Iran. Hey Stack was a much publicized example of one, which actually did not go anywhere.

On the other hand, practically all open source software, any educational software and anything of any value is blocked. Google and Yahoo are prime enforcers of this hypocrisy. Even simple entertainment is blocked. In Iran any one can access (illegally of course) practically over a thousand satellite TV channels freely 7/24/365. The equipment costs less than a hundred dollars. There is this maddening flood of latest music videos, movies, news channels and everything one may want to watch in practically every language in the world. Yet, Yahoo does not allow access to its music videos, and what does it say? “Sorry guys, we love you but the owners of those videos don’t want you to see them.” I don’t know why they insist that they love Iranians. I suppose it is their way of just pretending that the last one hundred years just did not happen. Very cheap. Typical American cheap. I am sure they love Iraqis and Afghans and Vietnamese and countless others around the world even more. America loved them to death alright.

Ironically, most of the added-value content that is accessed from Iran is done through the software that the American state department distributes in Iran in order to subvert and sabotage the Iranian society and government.

The American government’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. My advice to the gamers and their desire for fantasy is that if they want to experience and explore a true fantasy world, somewhere that is totally detached from what ordinary people in the world conceive as reality and truth, then watch and study the American government and particularly the American congress and the various American authorities. There is nothing in any game that can compare to the world that these people live and operate in.

Quinsec

On August 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

This is longstanding American policy – what’s next, Cubans complaining about not being able to play WOW? You can disagree with the reasons for the embargo, but this is simply acting in accordance with the law and blizzard should have done it sooner.

JawaEsteban

On August 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Not only is it longstanding American policy, it also happens to be longstanding policy of the entire European Union. It’s not simply an American embargo, it’s also being implemented by the UK, France, Germany, Spain etc. etc.
So, yeah, Blizzard should have known better.

Nulltron

On August 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

Quinsec,

Nobody is complaining about not being able to play WoW. American propaganda machine tried to drive a point about the Iranian government filtering of the internet, and as it turned out, it was a lie.

What is interesting though is that it was Blizzard, and not the American government propaganda machine, that came out clean about it and said that it is Blizzard that is blocking access and not the Iranian government. Barracuda Lewinsky and Barack Bin Dunham just could not bring themselves to hurt Iranian kids like that. I am sure that Sh.. Romney is even more pregnant with love for the all the kids in the world. You know, no sneaky apologetic drones, but upstanding B-52s.

Yes, the citizens of every country should abide by the law of their own country, specially Americans. certainly the American congress prints more food stamps with every such law that it puts into effect. How many of those are there in the most advanced, biggest economy in the world? 50,000,000 and rising? Not counting the 3,000,000 American prison inmates (%25 of all the prison inmates in the world) incarcerated with extreme love? With such caring government why should Americans not obey the law?

There are medical tours of Cuba for Americans, where Americans sign up and visit Cuba for medical care. You know, operations, dental care and so forth. The Cubans welcome the business, but I would say that Cuba should not allow them in, because the Cuban kids cannot play WoW.

I wish all Americans more adherence to the American law.