Battle.net has been synonymous with the Blizzard experience for the last 20 years! The company founded it as a way to bring together those who wanted to play its classic hits like Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo into this new novelty called “online gaming.”
Here we are, 20 years later, and Blizzard has finally decided to retire the name Battle.net. The name is confusing and no longer registering with the new generation of gamers, many of whom have no idea why it is even called that, and Blizzard will be moving on by slapping its own name onto different forms of “Blizzard tech.”
We’re going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it. Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games—nothing is changing in that regard. We’ll just be referring to our various products and services using the Blizzard name instead. You’ve already seen this recently with things like “Blizzard Streaming” and “Blizzard Voice,” and more changes are on the way.
The reasoning is quite simple. Gaming has changed so much since Battle.net came into existence, and the company needs to consolidate all of its products under a single brand.
When we created Battle.net, the idea of including a tailored online-gaming service together with your game was more of a novel concept, so we put a lot of focus on explaining what the service was and how it worked, including giving it a distinct name. Over time, though, we’ve seen that there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net. Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn’t as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology.
Setting nostalgia aside, I’m surprised it took this long. I had been thinking recently that Battle.net sounds really dated, a little too obviously like something from the late 90s, and recently, the only time the name turns up in headlines is when it gets taken down by DDoS attacks. It even sounds like something that would be easy to hack.
I’m always the biggest sentimental softy in the room, but maybe it’s my console gaming childhood that makes this so easy to accept. Some are having a really hard time with it, and the best comparison I can think of is Nintendo killing off the “Game Boy” name. If this is the case, then I’m truly sorry.