Retro Resurgence: Blizzard Unleashes Classics on Battle.net, Bringing Back the 90s Gaming Glory

Blizzard is enriching its Battle.net service by introducing three iconic classics to the platform. This release brings some of Blizzard's initial real-time strategy games from the 90s into the spotlight.

Battle.net, Blizzard's online gaming hub and store, has been a key platform for purchasing the studio's titles since its launch in December 1996, just before the release of the original Diablo in January 1997. Aside from facilitating purchases and game launches, Battle.net offers social networking features, enabling players to stay connected with friends, engage in cross-game messaging, and utilize voice chat functionalities. In 2017, there was a plan to rebrand Battle.net as Blizzard Tech, but this decision was later reversed to avoid confusion and to leverage the established brand. Additionally, a mobile version of Battle.net offers access to mobile games and certain social features.

Blizzard's impressive lineup on Battle.net includes many of their best games, but some notable titles have been missing, such as Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. However, this gap is now being filled, as Blizzard recently announced via Twitter that Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, and Diablo are now part of the Battle.net collection. Warcraft II even includes the Beyond the Dark Portal expansion, while Diablo purchasers also receive the Hellfire expansion.

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Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the game that initiated the massive franchise in 1994, paved the way for six base games and numerous expansions, including the popular strategy card game Hearthstone set in the Warcraft universe. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness continued the real-time strategy legacy, while Diablo, released in 1997, stood out as a dungeon-crawler emphasizing action role-playing.

These three titles represent some of Blizzard's earliest creations, and their addition to the Battle.net store offers gamers an opportunity to revisit the roots of these iconic series or experience the early days of gaming. Battle.net already hosts a plethora of Blizzard's top games, including the Starcraft and Hearthstone series, as well as Overwatch. Although the Call of Duty series is present on Blizzard's platform, Destiny enthusiasts need to turn to Steam for their dose of the first-person shooter. This move also signals positive news for those concerned about Blizzard potentially distancing itself from the Battle.net platform.