World of Warcraft blocked in Iran

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Blizzard has cut off access to World of Warcraft in Iran, citing US trade sanctions.

For the last week, players in the country have been complaining that they can no longer connect to the massively multiplayer game.

Finally, though, Blizzard has posted a statement on its player forum.

"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," it reads.

"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."

Blizzard also claims that US law prohibits it from providing refunds, credits or transfers.
                               
"It was my first mounth [sic] playing wow and i cant imagine how much money i lost over this stupid reasoning," one player complains.

Some people are continuing to access the site by using a proxy server outside the country.

Blizzard's move comes, though, amid rumors that the Iranian government itself is blocking access to this and other games. Some players say that, when they tried to log in, they were directed to a page saying only that the games promote 'superstition and mythology', the promotion of violence and inappropriate clothing on female avatars.

It's unclear why Blizzard has made its decision now: US sanctions haven't changed recently. The company does, though, say it will "happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows".