Battle.net is Not as Dead as Blizzard Intended
posted Saturday Aug 19, 2017 by Scott Ertz
11 months ago, Blizzard made an unexpected announcement: the retirement of Battle.net, in favor of a focus on the Blizzard brand itself. The company's Battle.net Launcher was renamed to Blizzard Launcher, the location where the branding was definitely most visible. The company's reasoning for the transition was explained,
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.
But, while the company committed to retiring the brand, they had some visible issues. For example, when the Destiny 2 PC launch was announced to fall under the Blizzard brand, parent company Activision, as well as developer Bungie, repeatedly referred to the brand as Battle.net. This consistent slip illustrated the issue that Blizzard was up against: the brand had been around for 2 decades and was the face of the company for all that time. Getting people, even their own employees, to change their habits would be nearly impossible.
The company has finally come around to reality, this week announcing that Battle.net would be sticking around, with only a slight name change. They will be adding the Blizzard brand at the head, now calling the service Blizzard Battle.net. The company said in a statement,
Battle.net is the central nervous system for Blizzard games and the connective tissue that has brought Blizzard players together since 1996. 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.
It is unlikely that anyone, including Blizzard themselves, will ever verbally refer to the service by its new, full name, but it is reasonable that they would want to emphasize their own branding. If names are important, as they say, then putting your own brand in front of as many eyes as possible is the right choice, at least in logo and writing. There is no telling what branding that has already been changed, will be reverted. The Blizzard Launcher might keep its name, or see its branding reverted.