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Blizzard phasing out Battle.net branding

After 20 years, World of Warcraft maker decides its networking services don't need their own moniker

Battle.net has long been virtually synonymous with Blizzard, but the World of Warcraft publisher will soon make it actually synonymous as well. The company today announced that it will retire the Battle.net branding and simply refer to it as "Blizzard tech."

"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," the company explained in a 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."

The company has already taken some steps away from the Battle.net name, such as introducing new features like Blizzard Voice chat and Blizzard Streaming under the company branding. The company said it will institute further changes in the next several months.

Launched alongside Diablo in 1996, Battle.net was originally used for chat and multiplayer matchmaking. Over time, the Battle.net service became more fully featured, and was made mandatory for modern Blizzard games like Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.