Blizzard has announced that it is finally moving away from it’s age old online multiplayer service, Battle.net, both in name as well as functionality, even though the existing infrastructure and framework will remain in place and will only be upgraded upon.
It hardly matters if you’re an old time gamer or a classic noob, there’s a good chance that most of you have some level of familiarity with Blizzard’s successful long stead online service, Battle.net. The online gaming platform has stood the test of time, all the way since 1996, but a recent unexpected announcement which was posted by Blizzard has officially confirmed that Battle.net will actually be seeing its final moments soon.
However, it’s not all as cut and dry as it may seem: all the currently existing services of the platform will remain in place, it’s the name and identity of the service itself that’ll be entirely rebranded.
It may have been the sense that long time fans might panic and react harshly upon hearing that Battle.net (a service which has allowed gamers to play some of Blizzard’s best such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, and Overwatch) was going to be shut down, but Blizzard didn’t waste anytime in explaining the true nature of the change.
We’re going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it. Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games—nothing is changing in that regard,
reads the official press release.
That shift has pretty much already initiated. Most recently, the publisher introduced brand new features such as Blizzard Streaming, a feature which enables gamers to broadcast/stream gameplay footage directly to Facebook from within their games.
While Battle.net definitely has a storied legacy — since its debut way back in 1996. It was a platform which offered a first of it’s kind online gaming experience in the dungeon-crawling and role-playing adventure game Diablo. But, the publisher now thinks the name has finally outlived its usefulness.
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.
Battle.net will see it’s 20th anniversary on the 20th of November this year. And no matter what the new name is, Battle.net will always be the same old gaming community to me.