In a bizarre turn of events, nearly a thousand players opposed to the Real ID system proposed for 2.0 have had their email addresses revealed after contacting the ESRB.

When Blizzard first revealed their intention to implement the Real ID system in 2.0, fans went nuts. Some of those fans, in addition to venting in Blizzard’s forums, decided to contact an outside agency in an attempt to better make themselves heard. Nearly a thousand such fans appealed to The Entertainment Software Ratings Board, who, in addition to rating games, also “helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.”

Though Blizzard ultimately decided not to require Real ID, the story, unfortunately, does not end there.

As is its policy, the ESRB responded to all those emails — and I mean all of them, using a Reply All option, thus including in the response the email address of every person who had written in. Read the form letter below.

Thank you for contacting the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) regarding the policy recently announced by Blizzard Entertainment which would have required participants in its official forums to post comments using their real first and last names, and for expressing your concerns regarding potential privacy implications.

It is our understanding that Blizzard has provided an update announcing that it will not be implementing the above-referenced policy with respect to its forums, and users will not be required to post using their real names. You can read Blizzard’s announcement regarding this most recent development at

Separately, if you have questions regarding Blizzard’s implementation of its Real ID option — which by our understanding is unrelated to Blizzard’s plans for its forums — and/or the new capabilities this option offers, they will likely be answered by reviewing the information posted at

ESRB, through its Privacy Online program, helps companies develop practices to safeguard users’ personal information online while still providing a safe and enjoyable video game experience for all. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us with your concerns, and please feel free to direct any future inquiries you may have regarding online privacy to our attention.

Entertainment Software Rating Board

Showing admirable restraint, Blizzard’s Gregg Reece simply notes that “I’m sure the irony of the last paragraph in the ESRB’s letter isn’t lost on anyone.”

Ranters, were any of you affected by this email? Where did you come down on the Real ID issue?