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Blizzard updating parental controls to restrict in-game purchases by default

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Blizzard Entertainment plans to roll out a change to the way it handles parental controls on Battle.net starting next week by preventing in-game purchases by default.

Battle.net accounts with parental controls enabled will not be able to make purchases in the World of Warcraft in-game shop, make real-money purchases in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft or make purchases in Diablo 3's real-money auction house (which will close on March 18).

"We're making this change to ensure that Parental Controls users will have more control over real-money purchases in Blizzard games," the company wrote in an email scheduled to go out to account holders with parental controls enabled. "No action is needed to keep this default setting and prevent in-game purchases."

The change is expected to go into effect on Jan. 7 or "shortly afterward."