Blizzard Entertainment’s meandering approach to rebranding its well-known Battle.net service has taken another turn, as the company now plans to revive the name and attach the word “Blizzard” to it. Yes, that’s right — the game company’s storied online platform and storefront shall henceforth be known as “Blizzard Battle.net.” The company says this move should help respect the “shared history” of the service while also allowing Blizzard to align its corporate marketing and branding under a unified name.
“Battle.net is the central nervous system for Blizzard games and the connective tissue that has brought Blizzard players together since 1996,” reads the company’s statement, which was posted this afternoon to the company’s blog. “The technology was never going away, but after giving the branding change further consideration and also hearing your feedback, we’re in agreement that the name should stay as well. Take it from the developer formerly known as Silicon & Synapse, and Chaos Studios, names are important too.”
Blizzard, which, in addition to World of Warcraft, makes the hugely popular team shooter Overwatch and a number of the world’s most beloved strategy games, announced last fall that it was moving away from the Battle.net name. Launched back in 1996, Battle.net has been how every player of a Blizzard game has authenticated their online account and, more recently, purchased and launched Blizzard-made games on PC.
The company said at the time that the change was aimed at cutting down on confusion and helping unify marketing as Blizzard content moved beyond the game itself and outward to Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms. “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,” Blizzard said in its statement at the time. The replacement, it seems, was something called Blizzard Launcher.
Yet it appears the rebranding effort hasn’t gone all that well, as the Battle.net name was still showing up in official marketing material and in various places across the company’s websites and apps. (When game developer Bungie announced back in May that Destiny 2 would be distributed via Battle.net, fans scratched their heads at the name’s unexplained revival.) Now, in acknowledging the fumble, Blizzard seems ready to move forward with an approach that should appease all parties, even if it does make an iconic name in PC gaming sound like a bit of garbled marketing speak.