Social iPhone service Game Center requires real name

Apple is throwing a big curveball into the mobile phone game, by saying anyone who wants to play iPhone games online or connect with friends over the Internet will have to let everyone see what their real name is.

The company slipped the new requirement into a recently updated version of its Terms of Service for the social gaming service. Now, when you push the button that says you accept those terms, you’re actually allowing – in fact, requiring – your name to show up to every other Game Center user. This name is whatever you have registered with your Apple ID.

Game Center operates like Xbox Live, allowing iPhone users to become friends with one another online, play multiplayer games, earn achievements, and post scores to leaderboards.

The move can’t help but make us think of Blizzard’s similar push earlier this year. It forced players on games like World of Warcraft to use their real name on official forums. But due to an extreme level of backlash from the highly wannabe-anonymous MMO community, Blizzard quickly backed down and reversed the decision.

Knowing Apple’s reluctance to ever let anyone change its mind, that probably won’t happen here.