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Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:31

Blizzard Facing Legal Action in Germany Unless They Highlight Online Requirement By July 27th

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Blizzard is in the news, again, and for some of the same reasons that they have been in the news since the launch of the third installment in the Diablo franchise. When it was launched Blizzard made the decision to require a constant internet connection to play the game. This includes the single player game and is a decision that is not coming back to haunt the company. In South Korea Blizzard has been fined (a paltry $7,000) for failing to refund customers over the infamous Error 37. This error popped up when Blizzard’s servers were overloaded. Unfortunately, because of the requirement for a connection to play the single player game people were unable to play the game at all.

Now in Germany the Federation of Consumer Organizations is also coming after Blizzard and asking them to highlight the requirement for a continuous internet connection to play the game. If Blizzard complies all will be handshakes and smiles, if not the FCO is threatening to take Blizzard to court. The FCO has given Blizzard until July 27th to make the change (that is two days from today). We fully expect Blizzard to ignore this and wait to see what the courts say. We hope that they do side with the consumers here. In fact we think that Blizzard should offer an offline mode for people that want to play the single player game. It is an unreasonable expectation that players have to connect in through Blizzard’s servers in order to play a game that does not interact with others online (meaning the single player game).  Considering the number of hacked/compromised accounts that are out there we can fully understand why some would want this, but do not understand why Blizzard is reluctant to provide it.

Outside of hacked accounts and the online requirement Blizzard has some other concerns. There are more than a few flaws in the game that allow players using certain classes to achieve a “God Mode”. In many games this is not a big deal, but in Diablo III players can trade items for in-game gold and even real money. If someone choses either the Barbarian or Wizard class they have a very unfair advantage over other players. If anyone thinks that no one will take advantage of this exploit for personal gain they are simply putting their head in the sand here.

Blizzard has a lot on their plate and this will continue to grow as more people complain openly about the failings of the game (including an admitted lack of sustainability). Consumer organizations are getting involved and we feel it is only a matter of time before we see our first incident with the Real Money Auction House. When (if) that one hits you can bet things will get ugly for Blizzard very quickly as their current pattern is to blame the users instead of owning up to the problem and making the proper fixes.

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Read 2499 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:39

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