Battle.Net is dead. Long live something else Diablo 3 BlizzardThere are big changes about to happen with Blizzard’s online gaming service as they are to retire Battle.Net.

Battle.Net was created way back in 1996 to enable online play for the original Diablo and since then it’s changed and improved massively. Blizzard is about to retire Battle.Net but it’s only the name and branding that will change. The core Battle.Net tech will stay the same.

According to Blizzard, there has been confusion over the Battle.Net name when explaining how the service worked for Blizzard titles. While most Blizzard gamers know exactly what it is and how it works, new gamers may have found the naming a little confusing.

Blizzard has not stated what Battle.Net will be renamed to, but we expect it to have something with the name Blizzard attached to it, perhaps just Blizzard Online. We shall have to wait and see.

You can read their full update on this after the break…

W’re going to be transitioning away from using the name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it. 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 it as Blizzard tech instead. You’ve already seen this recently with things like “Blizzard Streaming” and “Blizzard Voice,” and more changes are on the way.

When we created, 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 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.

We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware as we moved forward with this change over the next several months; we’ll provide any relevant updates as the transition progresses.

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  1. has indeed a catchy ring to it.

    In all seriousness, though, is their head of marketing in such dire need of quickly presenting a branding success, before he has to happily ‘retire’ as well like so many others these days? Or did they simply receive a $$$ offer for the domain? BlizzCon will tell – if that’s still the ambiguous name the event will bear in a few months …

  2. May as well call it DDoS-Online for all the good it will do.

  3. I find it very odd that they didn’t actually say what it’s going to be called instead.

  4. Activison shit , mark my words !!!

  5. Really “there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and” ???

    I call BS
    This is just the next step of the process where Blizzard is presenting itself as the family game studio which it is aiming to be. You see, battlenet includes the word battle which, at present, is unwanted in that regard.
    For the exact same reason every bit of follower and NPC speech in D3 feels like it is triple checked by their guardians of correctness and the weapons/armor in overwatch feels like it has been borrowed from my 3 year old nephew’s plastic lego toys.

    The old Blizzard is dead and burried guys. Welcome the new Bli$$ard

    • I don’t think it’s the term ‘battle’ they are suddenly worried about after 20 years.
      My guess is they want to do away with the ‘!FREE! online service’ connotation the is name intertwined with.

  6. There’s a lot of related events going on – just my own speculation sitting here:
    -Blizzard somewhat recently updated Diablo 2 to have in-game bug reporting.
    -Blizzard starts showing signs of change with the Diablo universe (change of team-members, change of direction for the game’s future)
    -Blizzard celebrates Diablo’s 20th anniversary by producing a lot of media.
    -Blizzard announces BattleNet’s retirement (there was also a snippet in the blue post about BattleNet being created specifically for Diablo, 20 years ago.)

    My speculation is that Blizzard is preparing to announce some sort of modernization of Diablo 2. Since the success of Diablo 2 is centralized around BattleNet, it would be somewhat silly to release a new version of an old game only to make everyone use an old and outdated method of game-searching. The new BattleNet will serve as the modernized method of game-searching for the modernized version of an old game. My guess is that there will be tools like, “Join as Party” so we can play with friends. No more game name and game password. Another reason would be to increase security against hacks and bots in the modernized version of Diablo 2. We’ll have to wait and see.

    • The key to D2’s success is that it is a SOCIAL online game. is amazing because its a lobby where people can meet to play games. Early game encourages social play as in trist runs or tomb runs. Baal runs, while not something Blizzard created, is actually perfect to helping build the social aspect of the game because people get to all participate in something to help level.

      The current method of game searching is NOT OUTDATED and removing it likely will kill D2 outright. “Join as group” is a HIGHLY antisocial playstyle because players can begin to hide from other players online using that tech and will only make sure the corpse is cold.

      I’m concerned that Blizzard does NOT understand why Diablo 2 has been SO successful for 16 years without an xpac and these changes will actually destroy the game.

      • Hey now I repeat these are just my speculations, no need to get defensive.

        Can’t have a social interaction without a medium to do so. Like this forum we are chatting in at the moment, we couldn’t have this conversation without the website. BattleNet provided the grounds to allow the social aspect of the game.

        The current method of game searching in Diablo 2 is indeed outdated. Not better, not worse, but it is outdated. I can’t think of any games past the year 2000 that make you type a game name and a game password and the strings must match exact.

        Diablo 2 gameplay has always had an anti-social aspect. Did you really play Closed BattleNet? How many times did some high level player come into your game solo and go hostile with everyone else? Come on, man.

        • I can’t get over the irony of someone chiding me about the importance of being SOCIAL and being completely unresponsive in a social forum. Really just solidifies my opinion that modern gamers have absolutely no concept of what being “social” REALLY is. I often feel like an idiot for trying to talk to gamers like fellow human beings.

          • It may just be that he felt unneccessarily attacked personally on his opinion by you, here. Maybe, because you’ve just have put your own opinion against in a way, implicitely devaluating his for just being old and turning it into a personal attack this way, while he had put out examples, why he thinks the old way is better, without actually attacking you personally.

            By the way: Don’t you think that you’ve actually mixed up asocial and anti-social behaviour regarding the hostile-button? Going hostile with everyone on gameentry may be asocial. It’s still a comunication, telling the other players what to expect from him, and thus social. As anti-social I would instead label using hacks and loopholes for insta- and townkills.

          • Reply to Silverfang: (web interface won’t let me tack onto your response).

            I was really hoping to have a response from the person I was talking to but I knew they were only commenting on my response to poke at me for something I said. They’ll probably only show up again midnight Saturday when they’re bored to make anti-social comments and then disappear for another week.

            Asocial translates literally to non-social. As in not speaking at all.

            Anti-social is a behavior classified as anything done to prevent further socializing. Bullying and terrorism is anti-social behavior because it is a social manner of stopping others from socializing.

            Going hostile in a D2 game is not asocial, it is anti-social. They are purposely trying to stop the social flow of the game by using force. Hacks and loop holes are also anti-social behaviors.

          • Ok, there are different definitions of asocial. As I know it, asocial is a different kind of social behaviour, though, usually cultivated in subcultures (e.g. Punk) and viewed upon negatively as asocial from the common cultural perspective. If viewed from the subcultural perspective, though, the same is just being regular social behaviour, while the one or other common cultural accepted behaviour is viewed upon as asocial instead. The definiton of “not speaking at all” is a completely new one to me, though …

          • I’m probably thinking too deeply into classical psychology with my wording but the modern definition of asocial could match your description.

            The main point I wanted to get at is that just because a server throws a bunch of players together and points them at a goal, that’s not classified as being social. It’s up to the players to make the effort. Not the game.

            The gaming community as a whole has become overwhelming anti-social. Gamers are more interested in getting top frags for bragging rights than to play as part of a team. That’s how the gaming model has been built up since consumerism took over.

    • FUNDAMENTAL to a successful online game:

      1. do NOT allow players to hide from other players (join as group, shielded chatrooms, etc.) instead, FORCE them to be social. Allow people who want to be antisocial to quit your game if they must, but NEVER give in.

      2. Large games with large numbers of players. Dropping from 8 player games to 4 player games is a mistake.
      3. Encourage players to group in game to achieve goals. Examples are trist runs, tomb runs, baal runs, cow runs, etc.

      • Very confusing. These fundamentals contradict Diablo 2’s gameplay.

        1. players have always been allowed to form separate parties in a single game. it was not uncommon to be a in a Tristram run or Baal run and someone else would be doing bloody runs, a Meph and Council run or a Diablo run on their own; using the other players to boost the MF and EXP. Then the solo runners would leave without saying a word and all the monsters would be looted. Hostility is also a native function of Diablo 2, no need to go further on that. Not unusual but that didn’t seem to phase anyone’s opinion in fact people seem to forget it entirely.

        2. Not sure how that plays a role in successful game but I can’t really argue against it.

        3. Diablo 2 had no goals to achieve, just quests. Trist runs, tomb runs, baal runs, cow runs were never goals. Trist runs are the fastest method of leveling within a certain range. When Trist run returns become too low at a level, the next step up are Tomb runs. So on and on. Cow runs are the end game farming location when nothing else really makes an impact on EXP. They aren’t goals, they are benchmarks set by players.

  7. This is a longshot but imagine if they start releasing games on Steam or Origin. Perhaps they want to create something similar themselves, there’s a lot of money in that business.

  8. “Blizzard”?

  9. what a brilliant idea. take something thats been established for 20 years and is very popular then rename it to something else for no reason what so ever

  10. It says clearly they will be calling it Blizzard Tech from now on.

    • No, they said “Blizzard tech”, with a lowercase t. It’s an umbrella term, and they gave the example Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice.

      I expect they’re going to come up with another anodyne utilitarian name, so the core of what is will become something like “Blizzard Matchmaking”.

      So the previous pitch might have been:
      “Use to quickly join and play games with your friends and strangers!” and now the pitch might instead be “With Blizzard Matchmaking you can quickly join and play games with your friends and strangers!”.

      But as Rygel suggests above, this may be their first step towards a marketplace for games. So we could have Blizzard Matchmaking, Blizzard Voice and Blizzard Streaming, and follow that up with Blizzard Marketplace, or if they’re feeling silly, Blizzard Bazaar.

  11. if it aint broke dont fix it

  12. Under the guise of “political-correctness” nothing is immune. Nor is financial gain. Choose your excuse-of-preference.

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