What's in a name? Well, if you are Battle.net, the answer is apparently "a whole lot." Months ago, Blizzard announced that they would be dropping the name Battle.net in favor of rebranding their content hub as, simply, "Blizzard." Apparently the fan feedback wasn't super great, so now the publishing giant is kinda sorta leaving it the heck alone. The company has decided that calling the service Blizzard Battle.net is a better idea.
Earlier this year, Blizzard announced that it would be ditching the term Battle.net. According to a recent blog post from the publisher, however, it appears they're changing course once again.
It's important to make the distinction that Blizzard was only talking about a name here. They weren't planning on changing their services, altering their software, platform or anything like that. But, now that they've basically become a household name, having folks play "Blizzard" games on something called "Battle.net" didn't make a lot of sense to the company. Mainly, any old-school players would be aware of and understand the change (even if they didn't like it), and newcomers wouldn't be confused by the difference in branding. In other words, it might throw someone off if, upon first firing up a Blizzard game, they were being asked to sign up for a Battle.net account instead of, more simply, a Blizzard account.
Obviously, Blizzard has a lot of games in their stable, from World of Warcraft and Diablo III to games like StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm and a barely known, practically indie title called Overwatch. All of those games and more fall under the Battle.net umbrella. As a publisher, and a platform, Blizzard really seems to be building up momentum these days so, while we hated to see Battle.net go, we definitely understood the forward thinking on the part of Blizzard to clean shop.
Well, it turns out that they are no longer planning on rocking that particular boat. Instead, they're sort of meshing the old with the new, keeping the Battle.net name, but bolting Blizzard onto the front of it. In other words, now they'll be branding it as Blizzard Battle.net, which we'd argue only makes things worse. It's one of those situations we feel would be fine either way, but maybe not smashed together like this. This route seems like it might be more confusing for folks but, hey, we're sure Blizzard thought it through and has good reasons for going this route.
According to the announcement, Blizzard "suspected" that changing from Battle.net to Blizzard would be challenging, but it sounds like the general reaction was far more negative than originally anticipated. Again, they're not really changing anything but the name, so hopefully all of those community members will be happy with the compromise.