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Blizzard is ditching the name in favor of "Blizzard tech"

Blizzard's online gaming service debuted in 1996, a full seven years before Steam sprang to life. It was a very different era, dominated by independent online services with goofy names like and Total Entertainment Network—an environment ripe for a platform with a macho, cool-sounding name. But 20 years later, things have changed. Blizzard has grown from a respected studio to an industry-topping behemoth, multiplayer is everywhere, and the name doesn't ring the bell that it once did. So it's being phased out

“When we created, 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,” Blizzard explained. “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 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.” 

Read more: World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth review

Practically speaking, nothing will change, and technology “will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games,” Blizzard said. But it will be referred to as Blizzard tech from here on, as is already the case with Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice.   

The sentimentalist in me is a bit sad to see it go, but really, it's amazing this didn't happen years ago. was an evocative name for a unique service two decades ago, but these days, with publisher-centric platforms like Steam, Origin, and Uplay dominating the landscape, it's really just a quaint reminder of how things used to be.  

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.