Blizzard’s New Policy Bans World of Warcraft Reinforcement Organizations
Monday morning, Blizzard released a statement about a policy change in World of Warcraft which interested fans. The developer is updating its policies to prevent “organizations from over-advertising various non-traditional in-game services,” which includes boosting, matchmaking, and escrow.
This policy is aimed at large-scale organizations that operate these services in multiple areas, but fans fear it doesn’t go far enough. The statement reads as follows:
As the conditions under which different entities operate in World of Warcraft change, we are compelled to update our policies to further our goal of making the game experience as fair and welcoming as possible. Since our last policy update, we have seen increasing disruption to the gaming experience caused by organizations over-advertising various non-traditional in-game services.
Starting today, we will now ban organizations that offer boosting, matchmaking, escrow, or other non-traditional services, including those offered for gold. World of Warcraft accounts found in violation of this policy are subject to account actions. These actions may include warnings, account suspensions and, if necessary, permanent closure of the disruptive World of Warcraft account(s). Organizations operating in multiple areas and excessively advertising non-traditional in-game sales are against the terms and conditions of Blizzard’s End User License Agreement (EULA).
This policy update does not prevent individuals or guilds from using the provided in-game tools (“exchange channel” chat) to buy or sell in-game items or activities for in-game currency. the game. However, “reinforcement communities,” especially those that operate across multiple domains, are no longer allowed.
We urge all such organizations to immediately cease doing business in World of Warcraft, in order to maintain uninterrupted access to the game.
The term “boosting” covers a set of player-based services whose content is automated; this can include leveling up from 1 to 60, or getting into the most difficult content available in the game and coming out with fun achievements and the new mounts.
Fans have already noted concerns about this statement — precisely, that it only tackles the biggest operations. Guilds and individuals can still use the trade chat to sell their services – like a paid run through the final raid tier or access to the final mount that drops a rare boss. Indeed, this policy can funnel organizations into commercial chat as a “safe zone” for these offers.
The difference between a guild and an organization is ill-defined; organizations often congregate on out-of-game platforms, such as Discord servers, where they can access a wider customer base and freely advertise their services. Organizations often clog the group search function with ads for boosted races; this policy will probably clarify that.
It’s a good first step, but it may not be enough for many. World of Warcraft Fans. There is still a loophole that allows organizations to rename themselves “guilds”, but this may be fixed in the future. Other fans are still grappling with whether they can support Blizzard via World of Warcraft with the current legal issues faced by developers. Activision Blizzard is still embroiled in a lawsuit with the State of California over allegations of widespread sexual harassment.