In September of 2016, Blizzard announced that they would transition away from the decades-old Battle.net name for their online services and game-launching client. The new name? Blizzard. Blizzard’s Blizzard, basically. It’s like if Steam was called Valve and operated by Valve.
The change is now official for the desktop client. If you fire it up, you’ll get an update request from Battle.net. Once you’re through with the update, the Battle.net branding will vanish and the client becomes “Blizzard App.”
Battle.net had a run that lasted longer than 20 years
Battle.net launched on November 30, 1996, alongside the original Diablo. It was the maker of WarCraft‘s answer to online gaming, and the classic client became the standard for features like chatting and finding games.
StarCraft brought a ranking system to Battle.net, and it even featured some early copy protection through CD keys. I don’t miss those.
Battle.net even pushed the envelope with server browsing in Diablo II. That game wasn’t hosted by players; instead, it was hosted on Blizzard’s own server. I can still remember making instances and giving them absurd passwords so only buddies could join.
Battle.net was an industry standard for years, and it certainly lives on today. It’s just under a new name that’s a bit less late-90s in style. Will you miss it?