Updated: Diablo III Linux Users Banned by Blizzard for Using WINE

Update: Blizzard strongly denies that it banned players using Linux in conjunction with WINE to play Diablo III. Here's what they told Ars Technica:

"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."

Readers have pointed out that our story was a bit confusing because Blizzard had never said that it considered WINE to be "Unapproved Third Party Software." The inference that WINE users were being banned for using it came from WINE users themselves and our own conclusions that – if players weren’t cheating and the only third-party program they were using was WINE, then perhaps Blizzard used false-positives to ban well-behaved users. See WineHQ for examples. Still, we apologize for the confusion and we hope Blizzard's latest statement brings more clarity.

Original Story: According to numerous complaints in this Battle.net forum thread Blizzard has permanently banned some users for trying to play Diablo III under Linux. According to one response in the thread Blizzard told him that the reason his account was banned was because he used "Unapproved Third Party Software."

Here's Blizzard's description of "Unapproved Third Party Software."

"A third party program is any file or program that is used in addition to the game to gain an unfair advantage. These programs may increase movement speed or teleport heroes from one place to another beyond what is allowed by game design. It also includes any programs that obtain information from the game that is not normally available to the regular player or that transmit or modify any of the game files."

Later on in the thread Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok offered the following explanation on the bans, noting that using Linux won't get you banned but using WINE will:

"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."

So basically Linux is not supported but that won’t get players banned. But if you use it with a Windows emulator (WINE), then you are using "Unapproved Third Party Software." This does not make a lot of sense because the only way to play the game via Linux is with WINE…

Source: Polygon, CinemaBlend, and our very own Kajex.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Technogeek says:

    That's…kind of the point of my comment. Every single ban they issue for any reason whatsoever can be summed up that way. What, if anything, makes these different?

  2. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Yep, it's an excellent point.  I haven't seen anything where Blizzard itself identified WINE as the Unapproved Third Party Software.  I'm checking with James; the story will be updated as needed.

    Of course, it is a holiday so it might take a day.


    Andrew Eisen

  3. 0
    Technogeek says:

    I'm having trouble finding anything in the linked forums thread to support the whole "Blizzard hates WINE" argument, and multiple Blizzard posts to the contrary. At best, it seems that the thread's OP is inferring it based off quotes from people who got banned and claimed they didn't deserve it. I don't want to say that never happens to anyone, but false positives created by the operating environment usually hit more than three people.

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I did.  And as I said in the previous post, I don't see a confirmation that the "people banned were using cheat programs on top of WINE."  It's just the same quote used in this article.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    You're linking to the exact same post that GP quoted.  If you don't mind saving me the time, which post or posts confirm that the "people banned were using cheat programs on top of WINE"?


    Andrew Eisen

  6. 0
    Hevach says:

    I REALLY expected this to be the case.

    The exact same damn thing happened with WC3, SC2, and at least twice with WoW, exact same circumstances. Warden breaks under WINE, makes it easier to cheat and harder to get caught, but not impossible to get caught. I've run all the other games under WINE and had no problem, I almost want to upgrade my box and try Diablo 3 on it now just to do the same.

    The uproar on the Linux forums is, I'm willing to bet, mostly people who don't even have the game. The first time this happened with WoW, the number of Linux users claiming to be banned was greater than the number of WoW beta accounts in existence. Years ago it was an old troll game to see how many people you could get to confirm a made up issue with a piece of commercial software. Even if the software version didn't exist, you could usually get at least one or two hardcore software-must-be-free types to confirm the issue after personal testing and a rant about how that would never have happened with free, open source software (despite the fact that a lot of free open source software was notorious for breaking in bizarre ways).

  7. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    I have to agree with Hevach below on this case.

    I remember the surge of people claiming to be "Linux players" who had been banned playing World of Warcraft, yet I played the game perfectly fine on Linux when I was just testing it out and I never got banned at all.

    Aside from this even if Warden did catch WINE out as a "cheat" then it's likely Blizzard would be able to actually read individual reports on who Warden banned and why it banned them, meaning it's possible you'd be able to be unbanned if there were any false positives (which is unlikely).

  8. 0
    Technogeek says:

    How exactly are the reasons any more or less questionable than any other situation where the banned user claims that they weren't running any third-party cheat software?

  9. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I will say this, as of right now, the reasons behind the bans are still questionable. While the users  are claiming they were banned  because of a false positive, Blizzard is claiming the ban is due to actual cheating. I have no way to know otherwise.

    As a Linux user, this just adds one more reason not to buy the game (whether the bans were justified or not). I am not willing to play any game where I can be denied full access to it at the whim of the developer. So no, I will never be buying Diablo 3.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  10. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    Blizzard is doing a good job of marketing Torchlight 2 for Runic. At this point, Runic has to be keeping a list of all the stupid things Blizzard is doing and saying "We won't make you have an online connection to play, so that means offline single player, no three-day wait to verify your copy of the game, and you can play our game under WINE."

Leave a Reply