Goodbye, Battle.net. Hello, Blizzard… whatever. It’s like we’ve known you forever already. We kind of have, actually. This is confusing. The whole point, though, is that it’s not confusing anymore. Now I’m confused. Wait, what?
According to an update on its World of Warcraft forums, Blizzard is “transitioning away” from the whole Battle.net thing because it’s 20 years later and online services are basically an expected part of multiplayer game support. It’s so crazy, it just might work.
“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,” the company explained.
“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.”
Blizzard launched Battle.net in 1996 next to the original Diablo, with server lists and text chat rooms for players. Now we just click buttons and shout at everybody instead. Technology!