Blizzard Battle.net
Blizzard has announced that it is 'transitioning away from' using the Battle.net name for its gaming servicesBlizzard Entertainment

Blizzard is doing away with its classic Battle.net name and is beginning the process of "transitioning away from" using the term when referring to its online gaming service. Announced in a post on the World of Warcraft website, the developer said they were dropping the iconic name that has been used since 1996.

While the platform will remain intact and continue to work as "the central nervous system for Blizzard games". The company will now refer to its services using the name Blizzard instead; for example Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice.

The company explains that over the years there has been some "occasional confusion and inefficiencies" over the fact that it has two separate identities.

"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," the company wrote.

"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."

Battle.net was first launched back in 1996 as a chat and multiplayer game listing interface and has since been used to power popular games such as Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Overwatch. It would have celebrated its 20th anniversary on 30 November.

The company said the transition will take place over the next several months and will provide relevant updates during the process.