It’s almost hard to believe, but after twenty-one years of faithful service, Blizzard has decided to push the Battle.net name to the shadows. Going forward, the developer’s front-facing PC (Windows, Mac) client encompassing all of its games will simply be called ‘Blizzard’. Blech. It works, but it doesn’t have that same kind of impact to it.
And… that’s what’s humorous about a super-simple change like this. Battle.net is nothing more than a name, but it’s a name that many gamers have been seeing a lot over the past two decades. A name-change at this point would be like Microsoft renaming Windows, or Mozilla renaming Firefox – except in each case the companies would name the product after themselves.
Battle.net as a name isn’t going to completely disappear, as it will continue to be used to describe Blizzard’s infrastructure. However, that still means that the name will largely be out of sight for most fans. From this point on, the name “Battle.net” becomes nostalgia fuel.
Speaking of nostalgia, check this old-school shot out (from Wikipedia):
Battle.net first launched in 1996 alongside Diablo, a game that’s since become a cult-classic and has inspired countless other games. As more releases came out, Battle.net became home to the likes of StarCraft, Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and most recently, Overwatch.
While the Battle.net website is still live, and reflects the old branding, that’s not expected to last for too much longer. The new name has however been updated in name on the download page. Ultimately, as Blizzard heads even deeper into the eSports fray, it’ll help to have Blizzard branding plastered everywhere, including wherever Battle.net used to exist.
Even so, it’s the end of an era. Peace out, Battle.net.