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March 24, 2017

After 21 years, Blizzard renames its Battle.net gaming service after itself

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you grew up playing Starcraft or any of Blizzard’s older games, it may seem like saying farewell to an old friend.

Blizzard has made the decision to rebrand its long-standing Battle.net service. Moving forward, it will simply be known as the Blizzard online service. While not all users have reported seeing the change, especially in the U.S., British users have begun reporting it.

“We’re going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it,” Blizzard said on its blog. “You’ve already seen this recently with things like “Blizzard Streaming,” and “Blizzard Voice” and more changes are on the way.”

Although this may throw some fans into consternation, the reasoning for Blizzard’s move seems like a sound one. When it initially created the Battle.net service, the idea of a unified online platform for games was rather a “novel concept,” as Blizzard explains. Because of that, it wanted it to have a distinct name.

Originally released in 1996, Battle.net was very much part of the burgeoning dot-com boom era, whereby web-name sounding services were all the rage. That is why Futuremark was named MadOnion.com for a time.

More: Blizzard creates cross-game economy for ‘WoW,’ ‘Overwatch,’ and ‘Hearthstone’

Blizzard notes that more often than not, Battle.net engenders confusion in its player base, especially among new, younger gamers.

“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,” Blizzard continued. Hence the name change.

Although the change appears to have taken place in the U.K. already, according to Euro Gamer, which we can confirm, some of the Digital Trends’ U.S. staff have yet to see the change roll out, so it may take some time for Blizzard’s new naming convention to reach everyone.

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