End of an era: Blizzard to retire the Battle.net name

Blizzard Entertainment have indicated that they will be “transitioning away from” Battle.net, the name the company has used to denote its multiplayer services since Diablo‘s release in 1996, citing confusion over the name from outside parties.The announcement came in a post on the official World of Warcraft page regarding an update to the service.

“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,” reads the 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.”

Though Blizzard says the current Battle.net program will not change per se, saying it will “continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games,” they will simply refer to any online and multiplayer platforms as “Blizzard tech” (e.g. Blizzard Streaming, Blizzard Voice).

The original version of Battle.net launched in tandem with Diablo in 1996 and gave players access to chat rooms and bulletin boards full of multiplayer listings. Battle.net 2.0 released in 2009, bringing with it a suite of new tech.

RIP Battle.net. A moment of silence.