US Sanctions Force Blizzard to Pull Games From Iran

Illustration for article titled US Sanctions Force Blizzard to Pull Games From Iran

Having earlier believed that it was Iran's fault gamers in the Middle-Eastern nation had suddenly found themselves unable to access Blizzard's World of Warcraft and Diablo III, it turns out there's another country's government to blame. Namely, that of the United States.

Because the US has imposed trade restrictions and economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, most American companies aren't allowed to do business in the country. By selling games and subscriptions to Iranian residents online, Blizzard had been doing business in Iran, and apparently that had to stop.


The publisher issued a statement over the weekend which reads:

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. 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.

This also prevents us from providing any refunds, credits, transfers, or other service options to accounts in these countries. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and will happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows.

Blizzard cuts off Iranian access to World of Warcraft [BBC]

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What exactly is the point of imposing sanctions against the citizens of Iran for what their government is doing. The citizenry there is in less control of their government than we are here in the US! Are we hoping that pissed off Iranians will overthrow their government or something?

I understand embargoing things that will assist their military and simply refusing to buy their goods but, I just don't understand the point behind disallowing the sale of games there.