Blizzard Entertainment has dumped the iconic Battle.net branding from its popular games launcher. An update, which users first encountered late last night, changes the client’s icon from the Battle.net logo into one just as familiar: that of Blizzard Entertainment.
That makes sense, as Blizzard first announced in September that it was “transitioning away” from the Battle.net 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,” the company wrote on its blog in the fall.
Yet this is the first and, for many longtime fans, most heartbreaking step toward the overhaul. When restarting the client after the automatic update, it will no longer bear any signs of Battle.net’s familiar iconography. Instead, Blizzard’s app is now just called ... well, Blizzard.
Devotees of games like World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Overwatch are mourning the change, even while they acknowledge that it’s a superficial one. A popular Reddit thread about the new logo finds many users waxing nostalgic about the Battle.net days, just hours after the name change has been implemented.
“I know it really doesn't matter and I shouldn't care but it's sad to see battle.net go,” wrote one user, whose sentiment was echoed my many. “So many fond Warcraft 3 memories there.”
The service still works the same otherwise, so players can continue to make new memories. The original URL still works, too; Blizzard hasn’t fully transitioned away from the name.
We don’t begrudge the mourners, however, who should feel free to take the time to grieve Battle.net — which launched more than 20 years ago, coinciding with the release of Diablo — for as long as they see fit. The service was a pioneer in online gaming, predating other early online gaming platforms like Xbox Live and Steam by half a decade or more.