It's the end of an era for Blizzard, as the company announced today plans to say farewell to the name Battle.net, which they have used to refer to their internet platform since 1996.
From a practical standpoint, nothing is changing, Blizzard says. But they're ditching the name Battle.net, 20 years after the service launched. When Battle.net first went live alongside Diablo II, it was revolutionary, offering in-game online features and services the likes of which we hadn't seen until then.
There won't be a new name for Blizzard's platform, the company says — they're just going to refer to it as "Blizzard tech."
Here's Blizzard's full memo:
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 it as Blizzard tech 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.
We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware as we moved forward with this change over the next several months; we'll provide any relevant updates as the transition progresses.