Want to feel old? Blizzard’s iconic service, Battle.net, has been around since 1996. That’s a whole two decades of keeping fans connected to each other to play games online!
Seeing the name today still manages to stir up such fond memories from my youth. Back in the 90s for example, plugging into the service with my 56k modem allowed me to tackle real life opponents in StarCraft. Or at least, it should’ve, but my line wasn’t exactly known for providing the most stable of connections.
Anyways, much like that old internet technology, the Battle.net name is now redundant. It’s an old brand, and one that could certainly benefit from a rework.
And Blizzard are doing just that. After almost twenty years, they’re dropping Battle.net entirely (the name, not the service). They’ll be moving forward with something brand spanking new in the near future.
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.
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.
From a PR and marketing point of view, this change makes a whole lot of sense. Despite being from the very same company, Battle.net can be potentially seen as an entirely different entity to Blizzard. Dropping it and renaming it to something more relevant will unify the brand as a whole.