There has been a huge outcry against Blizzard this past week as some users are complaining on the forums about being banned from their account for playing Diablo III on Linux. Players who launched the game on the Windows emulator, Wine, started the discussions in the Wine forums about abrupt account bans. This has created a huge controversy where people are shunning and boycotting Blizzard because some users supposedly got banned from the game for playing it from their Linux systems.

Players reported that Blizzard’s customer care were of little help in trying to get their account issues resolved, while other customer service representatives assured players that running the unmodified game client on Linux is perfectly alright.

Stirring controversy

Stirring up controversy

It didn’t take long for Blizzard's Community Manager, Bashiok, to weigh in on the issue. He insisted that players were not banned for playing on Linux and using Wine. “We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive. However, we have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings. Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned—cheating will.

Shortly after the debacle, a Blizzard representative said that claims of Wine leading to Diablo III account bans are “not true”. Ars Technica reported the representative as saying, “Playing the game on Linux (although not officially supported) and/or using Wine will not result in being banned, but cheating will. We’ve extensively tested various scenarios related to this situation, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly, and have not found any situations where players were banned solely for using Linux or Wine.

This is just one in the long list of controversies surrounding Blizzard and Diablo III. Long before the game came out, Blizzard made the unpopular decision to necessitate a constant Internet connection to play the game – even when in single player mode. The still controversial Real Money Auction House is theorized to be one of the main reasons for the 'always online' requirement that has even been criticized by other game developers.

To be on the safe side, playing on a Windows installation is recommended.

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