1. Cutting Iran off from Battle.net likely means Blizzard can expect some revenue losses. Negative point for corporate and tax revenues.
2. Iranians are, according to the article, using proxies to access the game. That means, censorship measures are not particularly effective at censoring the site, nor have sanctions effectively blocked the customer group. Negative point for government.
3. The interesting "superstition and mythology" error message suggests that Iranian national internet censorship may also be at play – a rather laughable excuse, and another negative point for government in terms of losing faith and confidence from their populace.
4. Needless to say, the affected WoW gamers and their clans aren't particularly happy about the inconvenience. They don't even get refunds, thanks to how the sanctions are laid out. Negative point for consumers.
How about the big gambit?
Okay, Blizzard is a very small gambit. What about bigger gambit? For example, cloud computing, or oil? In my opinion, there's one big lesson hiding behind it: don't bank on exporting your data, servers, or services. Governments who haven't figured out how to negotiate effectively might just decide to inconvenience you more than you'd be able to withstand.
Reshared post from +Cynthia Yildirim
The WoW Rebellion: Blizzard cuts off Iranian access to World of Warcraft
"The problem for Iranians came to light late last week as hundreds of players in the country posted messages to Blizzard's European Battle.net forums complaining they could no longer access the game. The outpouring of complaints led Blizzard to post a statement explaining what had happened."
They explained that they were getting in compliance with economic sanctions and trade restrictions against Iran, which meant it could no longer do business with them at this time.
They added, "We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and will happily lift these restrictions as soon as US law allows," it added.
World of Warcraft cut off in Iran
US trade regulations have forced Blizzard to stop people in Iran playing its popular World of Warcraft video game.