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Security The Courts Games

Blizzard Sued Over Battle.net Authentication 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the did-you-try-googling-your-problem-first dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A man has initiated a class-action suit against Blizzard over a product used to shore up Battle.net security. Benjamin Bell alleges that Blizzard's sale of Authenticators — devices that enable basic two-tier authentication — represents deceptive and unfair additional costs to their basic games. (Blizzard sells the key fob versions for $6.50, and provides a free mobile app as an alternative. Neither are mandatory.) The complaint accuses Blizzard of making $26 million in Authenticator sales. In response, Blizzard made a statement refuting some of the complaint's claims and voicing their intention to 'vigorously defend' themselves."
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Blizzard Sued Over Battle.net Authentication

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  • This is ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by synthparadox (770735) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:49PM (#41945427) Homepage

    Not only does the $6.50 help cover postage and pay for the dongle, its completely optional and Blizzard makes the app available to as many platforms as they can. You can even install the authenticator on a Android simulator on a computer.

    I'm in shock as to how entitled this person is. I honestly just can't fathom how he can claim that Blizzard "makes money" off these authenticators.

  • Going nowhere... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:50PM (#41945433)

    Question #1 will be : "Did blizzard make you buy one in order to play the game, and are there any consequences to not doing so?"... "No, and No"...."Case dismissed"

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:58PM (#41945511)

    not necessarily, he can always say that it wasn't well indicated on the box or website when he bought the game. So this can be applied under "false advertisement" since it doesn't tell him that he must pay additional money.

    But he doesn't have to buy it -- he can pick a secure password and protect it (and protect his computer against keyloggers and other malware). When I buy a car the dealer doesn't tell me that I have to buy a car alarm with it at extra cost. Because I don't. It might be prudent, depending on where I park the car, but it's not necessary.

  • by synthparadox (770735) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:59PM (#41945523) Homepage

    Right, because the keyfobs and shipping are free to Blizzard.
    How does this guy know that Blizz made $26 mil from them? Does he have access to the sales reports? Remember, "the complaint accuses Blizzard of making $26 million in Authenticator sales." Accusing someone of making money and them -actually- making that much money is two completely different things.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:00PM (#41945527)

    Its been a while since I logged into battle.net, but I am almost POSITIVE the passwords are case sensitive, as case sensitivity has caused incorrect password entry several times.

    They allow passwords to be MUCH more complex than many other websites / services. This case is complete BS.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:04PM (#41945549)

    You have to sign into battle.net to order one, which indicates right away that you do not need one to sign into battle.net. That someone could be confused by this is absurd.

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:08PM (#41945583)

    Income is not the same as profit. They sold for $6.50 but it cost Blizzard much more to purchase and ship them. From a financial statement point of view making no profit from a sale is bad for the company yet Blizzard is still doing it to support their customers.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:10PM (#41945597)
    Blizzard already claims to do this at cost. That would mean no profit. Wonder where he's getting his $26 million profit statement from. It might be a cost instead of profit, but either way, his lawsuit is b.s. as the security fob is an optional and non required item, and the software version is free, that guy is an idiot trying to get a payday from Blizzard settling rather than paying to take it to court. I hope Blizzard takes the high road and fights him all the way.
  • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:58PM (#41945933) Homepage Journal

    Technically correct is best correct.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 10, 2012 @07:13PM (#41946047)

    Clearly they are the stupidest person on earth for not knowing off hand the password mechanics of a shit mmo.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Saturday November 10, 2012 @07:37PM (#41946209)

    A good chunk that (if not almost all) goes for shipping, as well as to Vasco DigiPass GO6 which then is rebranded (adding extra cost).

    If Blizzard wanted to make money from these, they could do very easily [1]. However, they don't.

    I'm normally a critic of Blizzard, but IMHO, this is one area where they are doing something right, because two-factor authentication is a significant improvement in security.

    As far as I know, this lawsuit is pointless. If one doesn't want to give Blizzard cash for an authenticator, the app that does the exact same thing is free on iOS and Android.

    [1]: Phase out the apps, then require the physical authentication token to be attached to the account in order for the user to use the AH or trade with other players.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @10:28PM (#41947059)

    His number is extremely bogus.

    Even if we ignore manufacturing costs, maintenance costs, shipping costs...hell, ALL of the costs...it still means that they would have sold 4M of these dongles at $6.50 each in order to make $26M. Mind you, Blizzard offers free Android and iOS apps that do the exact same thing, and Blizzard caters to the crowd that tends to get these devices, so that would eat into sales of the dongles. Not to mention that 4M sales would represent 1/3 of the WoW players at its peak, which seems like an unreasonably high number. And the numbers only get more ridiculous from there, since even if we were to grant that Blizzard had a hefty 50% profit margin on each dongle, you'd still need to have found 8M people to have bought them.

    Class actions can be useful at times. This is not one of those times. This is lunacy.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

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