Blizzard have responded to the class action lawsuit over the sale and effectiveness of online Authenticators, calling the move "frivolous" and saying the claim is "filled with patently false information." The company go on to say that "we will vigorously defend ourselves through the appropriate legal channels." Vigorously! That's legal speak for "it's on."
The suit claims that Blizzard's Battle.net Authenticators, the optional £8.99 security check available to account holders, constitutes a hidden cost. It's also, the plaintiffs say, one that doesn't work as advertised, claiming that there have been multiple security breaches that have compromised the data of Battle.net accounts.
Blizzard's statement leaves no doubt as to what they think of these accusations. "The suit's claim that we didn't properly notify players regarding the August 2012 security breach is not true. Not only did Blizzard act quickly to provide information to the public about the situation, we explained the actions we were taking and let players know how the incident affected them, including the fact that no names, credit card numbers, or other sensitive financial information was disclosed."
They go on to argue that the lawsuit is misrepresenting the purpose of the authenticator to begin with. "The suit also claims that the Battle.net Authenticator is required in order to maintain a minimal level of security on the player's Battle.net account information that's stored on Blizzard's network systems. This claim is also completely untrue and apparently based on a misunderstanding of the Authenticator's purpose. The Battle.net Authenticator 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."
They state that the Authenticator is only a check against a player losing their password through phishing scams, viruses and dodgy websites. Coupled with the fact that the authenticator is an "an added inconvenience during the log in process," Blizzard say that they chose to leave it as an optional step.
To wade into the murky legal wrangling a second, while it's true that the Authenticator is technically optional, it's still a requirement for certain Battle.net services, specifically Diablo 3's Real-money Auction House. But while the plaintiff's had the chance to shine a light on the practice, it seems to have instead dived head-first into the realm of "what, seriously?" One of the actions the suit is seeking is to remove Battle.net from Blizzard's non-MMO titles. Because that's a thing that is going to happen.