Many of us have spent a better part of our lives with Battle.net somewhere in our periphery. I can still fondly recall playing a few matches of the original StarCraft with my brothers over the service in the late 1990s (this was pre-Brood War, even). But Blizzard has grown from those humble Diablo-and-WarCraft days, and Battle.net now more closely resembles a platform/portal akin to Valve’s Steam or Electronic Arts’ Origin — so it makes a good bit of sense that Blizzard has elected to “transition away” from the name, as the company announced it would today.
“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,” Blizzard explained in an official blog post. “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.”
If anything, this change sounds pretty well overdue. While the update doesn’t offer a concrete timeline on when the Battle.net service is expected to officially rebrand, Blizzard indicated the transition will happen “over the next several months,” after which Battle.net will be referred to just like Blizzard’s other “Blizzard tech” services, like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice.
“Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games — nothing is changing in that regard,” the post stressed. “We’ll just be referring to our various products and services using the Blizzard name instead.”