Blizzard has not backtracked on its plan to retire the Battle.net name.
It was announced late last year that Blizzard was to ditch the Battle.net brand. Indeed, the PC launcher itself has already seen its name altered to simply 'Blizzard Launcher'.
However, last week's Destiny 2 announcement – which contained the surprise news that the Bungie shooter would be a Battle.net exclusive and not available on Steam – contained repeated use of the old branding.
Blizzard's own blog post was called 'Destiny 2 Coming to Battle.net' and featured the phrase numerous times:
We're excited to announce that we're partnering with Bungie and Activision to support the PC version of Destiny 2 exclusively via Battle.net... Being on Battle.net will allow Destiny 2 to plug in to our existing global network... Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to welcoming Destiny 2 and its players to Battle.net... We don't have any short- or long-term plans to support third-party games with Battle.net...”
However, speaking to Polygon, Blizzard has clarified that the use of the name was a temporary measure.
It's still Blizzard Launcher,” the company said. We made an exception for this announcement.”
This arguably makes sense. People are still adjusting to the somewhat generic name of the Blizzard Network, and announcing that a big third party release is coming to the service would have almost certainly led to a level of ambiguity. Stating it is coming to Battle.net, however, left no room for doubt.
This was the explanation used for the decision to abandon the Battle.net name back in September: We're going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it.
Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games – nothing is changing in that regard. We'll just be referring to our various products and services using the Blizzard name instead. You've already seen this recently with things like ‘Blizzard Streaming' and ‘Blizzard Voice', and more changes are on the way.
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.”