Battle.net. Made during the time where there was no online infrastructure to facilitate online play, developers Blizzard decided to make one with the name, and the domain is now used to the forums, propriety launcher and basically anything online.
This used to be something worth its own brand, but now that multiplayer services like these are the norm rather than the exception, Blizzard is planning to phase out the name in the coming months.
Apparently, Blizzard is citing “occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net”. For those who have not played Diablo in the heydays and avoided World Of Warcraft until this day (and still haven’t touched Overwatch on PC), this can be a problem. And with massive sales records that reached 15 million for Overwatch, it could be inferred that there’s plenty of new players that just got into Blizzard’s own ecosystem of games and games services. It looks like Blizzard feels it is the right time to streamline the naming convention.
As such, expect to see the Battle.net name pop up less and less until it fades away with the likes of Gamespy. The naming convention moving forward will all have the Blizzard name in front, like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Live.
It is unfortunate to see the name retiring. Sure, it can still be confusing to even say it (battlenet? battle dot net?) but the name will always be associated with Blizzard’s online services by many fans, even if many can’t be sure how much online services is associated to Blizzard and what is to Battle.net nowadays.