Report: Blizzard Banning Diablo III Players For Using Linux

Report: Blizzard Banning Diablo III Players For Using Linux

A number of Diablo III users have complained in the last few days that they’ve been banned from playing the game for doing nothing more than using WINE, a means of playing Windows games in the Linux operating system.

It’s a tricky situation. On the one hand, Blizzard appears to be banning the accounts because WINE is “Unapproved Third Party Software”. And it is! But on the other hand, WINE can stand for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”, because the means via which it runs Windows programs aren’t the same as traditional emulators, so maybe shouldn’t be seen as such. Most other games — including Blizzard’s own StarCraft II, which has run under WINE since launch — have no problem with it.

Affected users point to the fact that, until a day or two ago, they’d been able to play the game just fine. They also say all they’d been doing was playing the game, not running any bots or other exploits.

They probably weren’t! But Blizzard doesn’t know that. The real problem here seems to have been letting them in in the first place. Had Linux users been blocked from day one, this wouldn’t be an issue, but letting them think they can play and then bringing the hammer down on established accounts is understandably causing some frustration among those affected.



    • Ridiculous, but also illegal.
      This falls right bang into the category “anti-competitive practices”

  • Seriously, Blizzard is flushing their reputation down the toilet with this. Gold farming is STILL happenning with bots that aren’t banned, and these linux users arent being given refunds, not to mention that horrific always online DRM with major lag. My hardcore level60 died yesterday due to a lag spike, game threw me back 10 seconds into a pile of arcane sentries I’d just dodged.

    No second chance, Blizzard is keeping your $60 because you used a program that worked with SC2. And if you read the terms of service, it ISN’T a third party program that alters Diablo III in any way, so it isnt against terms of service. What they’re doing is illegal.

    • It isn’t illegal. You give away your rights after you push “Accept Terms of Service”. There’s a huge difference between legality and just being right out DOUCHEBAGGERY. Blizzard could ban ALL of us off of SC2, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft right now and there isn’t anything we or anyone else can do about it.

      I am not agreeing with this behavior, but from a legal/business stand point, this is just reality. I enjoy D3, but I do not play it as much as I wish I did. I have a huge problem with the fact I always have to be online to play the game. The DRM is a huge bummer for me. For some reasons Blizzard really wants to rune all the good will they had with the gamers. I know a lot of people were upset with the servers not being able to hold up on Day 1 launch, but I am more upset they wanted to make everyone log on at the same time….. In what galaxy is that a good idea ? You know how many people had purchased the World of Warcraft One-Year pass. You knew how many people bought it from your Blizzard store and more likely than not you knew how many Pre-Orders were outstanding….around the world none the less. I will say Blizzard had a fix a lot quicker than any other company could have, but with the resources they have, this could have been avoided.

      Gameplay wise I’m ok with D3, but from how Blizzard has handled all the ups and downs, I’m really disappointed. Hopefully they can stop becoming a new EA or they will go the way of the Dodo.

      • Uhhh I don’t think you know this but the terms in the EULA rarely if ever get enforced. There are alot of laws to protect consumers against the sort of thing that companies would love to put in them.
        Your not giving away your rights when you press it, they just want you to think you do

        • What are you talking about? Companies such as Microsoft and Apple frequently enforce their EULAs.

          • Not with any real legality though. It would take one lawsuit to determine the legality of EULA’s. This is an issue because as it is now, companies put terms in which grant themselves obscene powers, powers which go against numerous consumer laws in place, but which they know will go uncontested because noone has the money to fight these companies on it.

            Just take for example EA’s initial clauses about Origin. Companies love to do stuff like that and won’t change them unless huge backlash occurs or someone with enough money makes them back down and sets a precedent.

            Its a common misconception among alot people, EULA’s are not legally binding contracts, all its gonna take is one lawsuit to stop the nonsense they spew in those things.

    • It’s not illegal. The version of the software they’re running is approved to run under the windows operating system. By operating under linux via third party software, they are using the game on a platform that it is not licensed for, therefore technically a violation of the end-user agreement

      • But it’s not a hacking program. Windows is only listed for compatibility reasons, it’s not actually listed in the terms of service.

        • facilitate, create or maintain any unauthorized connection to any Game or the Service, including without limitation (a) any connection to any unauthorized server that emulates, or attempts to emulate, the Service or any Game; or (b) any connection using programs or tools not expressly approved by Blizzard

          It’s not a hacking program, this is all that applies. And although it facilitates the windows service, it doesn’t facilitate the game or it’s services. Legally, Blizzard don’t have a leg to stand on.

          • It’s also worth pointing out this part of the EULA: (from

            “Subject to your agreement to and continuing compliance with this License Agreement, Blizzard hereby grants, and you hereby accept, a limited, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive license to (a) install the Game on one or more computers owned by you or under your legitimate control, ”

            Note that phrase *install the Game on one or more computers*. It does not say Windows or Mac based computers only, it just says “computers”. You could get the game running under any operating system and it wouldn’t be violating the EULA, as long as it’s installed on a “computer”.

          • I’ll refer you to section 2 parts D and H of the EULA and Section 2 parts A, D and H, Section 12.C(c) of the terms of use. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty damn sure those would constitute a relatively solid “leg” on which they can stand.

            Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not agreeing with them. I’m just saying that legally their ass seems pretty well covered

  • It is seriously as though Activision is using Diablo 3 as a test to see what gamers’ limits are.

  • So, I always thought that blizzard was a good, respectable company. After their mis-management of EVERYTHING regarding diablo 3, I don’t really have much respect for them anymore. They’re just as bad as EA lately. Or worse.

      • This ^, contains so much truth. Amazing how one company thinks they can actively screw their customer base like this and get away with it. Whats even more amazing is that for the sake of a mediocre game that is being played more for its nostalgic properties, people are willing to tolerate this? When will people just say enough is enough and stop supporting this destructive behavior.

  • Played it for a few weeks, and just couldn’t be bothered putting up with all the shitty stuff anymore, I’m a hardcore Blizz loyalist, but D3 just wasnt good enough to put up with all of it

  • Read into it more. WINE doesn’t edit any of the Diablo 3 files, it just adds core windows files that are needed for running the games. Clearly these people have something more happening in the background to make them believe that it was clear hacking, and that was with them reviewing the situations as well.

    • They banned people by the truckloads though. Read into it more, Blizzard claims that WINE alone breaks their terms of service.

    • Having Windows as a requirement can ensure all kinds of memory authentication, the moment you’re running that through an emulator (which WINE is no matter how much Plunkett mentions a possible different name for it’s acronym), especially an open source it becomes much easier to modify that memory at runtime.

      TL;DR; Hacking a game running through a custom build of WINE is a lot easier than hacking one running on Windows.

      • It’s not just in the name. WINE is not an emulator AT ALL. Not in the slightest. It’s a compatibility layer, it runs the windows software in the same kind of way that Windows itself does.

        Wine can also be run on Mac OSX. So technically, even though a game like Diablo 3 ships with a Mac installer, you could install the Windows version instead and run it on your Mac through Wine. By Blizzard’s logic they should ban you for that too, even though the game can legally be played on a Mac.

        Same can be said if you install the Windows client on for Windows 7 (or in the near future, Windows 8) box and for some reason decide to run it in XP compatibility mode (which essentially does the same thing as Wine).

        • Oh yeah, and Windows is not a requirement. Nowhere in the EULA does it say this, as others have already pointed out.

  • Is there anything actually confirming these claims yet? or is a post on a public forum all it takes for something to be declared ‘true facts’?

    • The bigger the game title, the more people want a conspiracy. I’m not sure why, but this same thing happened with the “hacked with authenticator” claims.

      • The same thing happened with the hacked with authenticator thing as pointed out, as well as the “Session ID exploit” that was reported when the game was only a week or two old. Regarding WINE though, didn’t Blizzard/Warden ban a few people playing WoW through WINE many years ago – granted that was just a problem with Warden at the time.

  • Valve,

    I don’t mind not ever giving you money again. Or you could just stop it.

  • So do they actually want anyone playing their game?

    New User? That’s a paddlin’.
    Trying to connect? That’s a paddlin’.
    Using Linux? That’s a paddlin’.
    Buying something in the Auction House? That’s a paddlin’.
    Paddlin’ the diablo canoe? Oh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’.

  • “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, 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.” –

    Interesting stuff, I’m fairly confident they haven’t tested every possible version of unix / wine and hardware behind it, however most likely quite a lot. Can’t rule out false positives until they really look at these cases one by one if the players are willing to give evidence.
    Maybe just dealing with a bunch of trolls on the forums 🙂

  • This is unacceptable, Blizzard is all over the place with these bans, like stated in the article, if it was established Day 1 or earlier that WINE is not permitted then ban people on Day 1, you can’t do it weeks or months down the track, there needs to be a standard. So stupid.

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