Monday, 12 July 2010

Real ID: merely a setback

Now that dust has settled on the whole Real ID crisis, I think it's time to take stock.


Blizzard have backed down on their ill-concieved proposals and they deserve credit for that, as do the countless bloggers, forum posters and unsubscribers whose protests brought that about. It's tempting to see that as the end of the story; the evil suits have been defeated and the customers have won. Gevlon's cynicism was misplaced and all is well with the world.

Well, it's not that simple. Blizzard is a large organisation and this sort of decision isn't made by a single rogue individual. An internal scapegoat may be found (probably the hapless chump who thought a spot of inspirational change leadership would look good on his CV and put his name on the presentation to the board), but the people who said "yes", who thought this was all a terrific wheeze until it went wrong, they'll remain. They'll point to the opinion polls that show the players want Real ID and pass this off as an error of implementation rather than an error of policy.

So stay on your guard. The mass media may grow bored of this once the initial surge of protests dies down, but that doesn't mean it's over. We may have won the battle, but the war isn't over yet.

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