updated 01:32 pm EST, Mon November 12, 2012
Suit claims Blizzard made $26 million on extra security
Blizzard is facing a class-action lawsuit over its sale of authenticators. Benjamin Bell is suing both Blizzard and corporate parent Activision Blizzard for making $26 million by "deceptively and unfairly" charging for the $6.50 keychain, which gives the entire Battle.net system a second layer of security, and to stop the company from requiring its users to sign up for a Battle.net account in order to play games such as World of Warcraft and Diablo II.
In reference to the server hacks earlier this year, Court House News reports that the suit claims "Defendants negligently, deliberately, and/or recklessly fail to ensure that adequate, reasonable procedures safeguard the private information stored on this website." It is also alleged that neither Activision nor Blizzard took the "legally required steps to alert" gamers of the intrusions.
A response from Blizzard was received by IGN, claiming the suit is "without merit and filled with patently false information." The charge of not alerting gamers to the breach was rebuffed, complete with a link to the e-mail sent to players and assurances that no sensitive information was taken in the breach.
As for the authenticator, the company states that it is an "optional tool that players can use to further protect their Battle.net accounts in the event that their login credentials are compromised outside of Blizzard's network infrastructure." Since players are "ultimately responsible for securing their own computers" and that the authenticator is an extra step to logging in and therefore an "inconvenience", the company leaves the choice of using an authenticator, be it the physical device or the free mobile app version, down to the user. It does strongly encourage using the authenticator, for which the company claims it has received "strong approval" from players.
Blizzard did not pass comment on the request to stop requiring Battle.net accounts to play its games.