Political Sanctions Lead to WoW Block in Iran

WoW Iran

Who knew one of the casualties of international tension could be an MMO? World of Warcraft has been blocked to all Iranian users, due to changing US trade sanctions between the US and the Middle Eastern country.

For the past week, Iranian WoW players have been trying to get an answer out of Blizzard about why they can't access their accounts and characters. The publishing giant hasn't addressed these concerns directly, but said in a statement that: "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."

Skirting a little closer to the problem, though still remaining a little vague, it continued: "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."

Unfortunately for anyone that paid for several months up front, the sanctions also prevent Blizzard from issuing any refunds to customers of sanctioned nations.

Not much Blizzard can do with this one, but an interesting result nonetheless. Nobody would have predicted a few decades ago that in the 21st century, we'd be withholding video games from countries due to official government trade sanctions.