Blizzard Entertainment came under fire this weekend as fans discovered a new requirement for entering BlizzCon 2019: downloading a mobile application called AXS.
AXS is an app that lets you purchase official tickets to events. According to Blizzard, it provides protection against dupes and fraud as it regularly changes the QR code associated with a ticket. “Because of that, we won’t be able to accept paper tickets, confirmation emails, or screenshots/photos of the QR code at BlizzCon registration,” wrote the developer.
This isn’t the first time Blizzard has used AXS. Tickets for the 2017-2018 Overwatch League were sold via the app before, but fans claim that the type of permissions it requires are “spyware-level bad.”
Redditor DeathKoil wrote:
I found in about 30 minutes of searching that the app scrapes off a ton of data from your phone, including your first and last name, precise location (as determined by GPS, WiFi, and other means), how often the app is used, what content is viewed using the app, which ads are clicked, what purchases are made (and not made), a user’s personal advertising identifier, IP address, operating system, device make and model, billing address, credit card number, security code, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
Some fans have come to Blizzzard’s defense, noting that most mobile apps require similar permissions and requiring AXS doesn’t indicate anything serious. Others seem convinced that the company may be collecting data.
Reddit users have already discovered a way to circumvent downloading AXS. According to Blizzard, attendees who encounter unforeseen issues while accessing the app at the event can head over to the “Solutions Desk” at the time of registration for help. And, as you’ve already guessed, that’s what some folks plan to do.
BlizzCon 2019 will take place between Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd.