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Dear Blizzard Entertainment & All Avid Gamers Who Like Badass Games,
Blizzard has been a part of my life since I was 9 years old. Starcraft was the very first game that truly grabbed me and absorbed every free moment I had. For the last 15 years I have been an avid fan of this company and its fantastic games. Diablo 2. Warcraft 3. World of Warcraft. I would have bought Starcraft 2 & Diablo 3 if I had a computer capable of truly running them, but as an adult now my financial priorities lie elsewhere.
Blizzard makes the best damn games on the planet. I'll argue anyone who tries to tell me otherwise into the ground. When it comes to storytelling (oh, the cinematics!), game mechanics and overall addictiveness, no one else compares. Blizzard has this on lock, and I have loved them for it.
Over the years, Blizzard has screwed me over a few times. Just to name one instance: When I first started playing WoW I shared my account with my girlfriend, as we only had one computer and she wasn't sure if she wanted to play anyways. The Blizzard crack got her. When she finally got her own computer, we purchased a second copy of the game, only to find out that since she had registered the game in her own name, Blizzard would not allow us to transfer characters from my account to hers. So, begrudgingly (and after an altogether aggravating brush with Blizzard's atrocious customer service) we purchased a THIRD copy of the game (and a third copy of BC). We even bit the bullet and paid $30 to transfer all three of her characters.
Recently, I decided to revisit the classic WC3, only to find out that I had lost the CD keys. Tough luck, I thought, but I wasn't about to fork over my money for the game again. In what I knew was a vain attempt, I contacted customer service again to inquire if they could provide new keys. Of course, I was rejected, which I expected and accepted. However, in their reply, the customer service representative (who will remain nameless) included this wonderful gem of a line 'if the codes were already put on one of your accounts they would still be there.', implying that I had somehow acquired my copy of the game illegally. This was the final slap in the face.
For those of you that have been with Blizzard for a while now, you know that they have been changing and revamping the way in which they handle accounts over the last decade. With each new iteration there are new hoops to jump through and more stringent rules. We know this is due to the high rate of scamming and account theft that occurs (or, so they tell us), but with each new iteration of their account system they seem to magically 'forget' all prior relationships. The email address, name and personal information I've associated with my account has not changed since when I first played WC3, but somehow none of that information is acceptable for verifying my identity. In fact, they won't even look into it.
All of this is of course my own personal experience, and as far as any reader of this letter is concerned, just the rantings of an irate customer. But, I want you to take a minute and think about the deeper issue here.
We have a company that makes the best damn games around. Naturally, their product is in high demand, and as such they have grown by leaps and bounds. As have their troubles with account theft and illegal duplication. But, in their efforts to stem the hemorrhaging they have completely removed any sort of personal support. As an average user, if you get stuck between a rock and a hard place in any way, they're patented response is 'tough luck, buy our product again and start over. Oh, and yeah, we're going to keep changing our account registration process and invalidate or 'lose' your existing account information along the way. That's ok though, you'll just buy our product again at that point.'
I've lived under the powerful illusion for the last 15 years that this is just the nature of the beast, and is an unavoidable part of getting to play these phenomenal games. But, after my latest encounter with the downright rude (no amount of 'we apologize' and 'wish we could do more' makes up for the underlying 'F YOU') customer service, I have finally pulled the blinders off.
Over the 15 years that I have been a customer I have given Blizzard over $800 in game purchases, monthly subscriptions and expansion packs. I've spent the better half of a thousand dollars on this company, and they won't even entertain the notion that they might have some responsibility to help a customer out when misfortune strikes.
I have been, and will continue to be an avid fan of Blizzard's phenomenal games. But, as much as it breaks my heart to do so, I am choosing to stop giving them my money, for they refuse to even consider some culpability on their end for my woes, and simply say 'show us the money'.
I love you Blizzard, but you are the worst kind of girlfriend. Please, keep making your great games -- and those INCREDIBLE cinematics (which I will watch over and over again when they are uploaded to YouTube) -- but know that your shenanigans and flippant attitude have driven away a lifelong fan. What happened to the era when creating and maintaining relationships with your customers was the primary means of doing business? Have we really become so obsessed with the bottom-line that our companies won't even acknowledge that our investment in their product is a contract to the purchaser?
You've gotten your last dime out of me Blizzard, and I know I will be tempted time and time again by your new releases, but my foot has been put down.
A Former Fan-for-Life
- This type of thing is better put on the official game forums, though you'll get the usual chorus of "can I have your stuff". Raylan13 (talk) 16:04, November 23, 2012 (UTC)