Blizzard: You Can Now Buy Battletag Name Changes

There’s this idea that every in-game name chosen in youthful exuberance is an embarrassment you’ll eventually want to be rid of. I actually still like and use the one I picked back then, although I occasionally switch it up nowadays because “Notorious P.I.P.” is too good a pun to pass up. BUT if you picked a horror of a name as your Battletag, Blizzard are now offering paid-for name changes.

I guess this is good news if you’ve been looking to start afresh or rid yourself of a weird string of numbers after growing frustrated that every other variation on the tag you wanted at the time was taken (although actually I believe Battletags don’t need to be unique because of that hash number system they use in conjunction with the tags). Maybe it’s also good news if you’ve entered a witness protection scheme for game-related crimes but don’t want to lose your Overwatch progress?

But the thing is, Blizzard actually already let you have one free name change so I’m wondering about the situation where you’ve so far ended up with two names you hate and need a third. Perhaps it’s going to be used by people who regret the second name and want to go back to the first? Or perhaps it’s going to be used for trolling friends. I would probably do that. Or maybe you’ve got married and you and your partner want to start using your married gamer names?

The free name change

If you’re ready for something new and haven’t already used your free BattleTag change, simply visit your Account Management Dashboard, and click the Change link under your Account Details to the right of your current tag.

If you haven’t used your free change yet, don’t worry—BattleTag changes don’t expire and yours will be waiting for you if and when you ever decide to use it.

The paid name change(s)

If you’ve already used your first free change and still feel like a new nickname would be a better fit, the option to purchase an additional change will be available within Account Management. Changes are available for $10 each [£8 in the UK], and your new moniker will be reflected on your friends list automatically after making the change.

Naming Rules

  • The BattleTag must be between 3-12 characters long.
  • Accented characters are allowed.
  • Numbers are allowed, but a BattleTag cannot start with a number.
  • Mixed capitals are allowed (ex: ZeRgRuSh).
  • No spaces or symbols are allowed
  • Must not break the rules established in our in-game and forum violations.
  • Final thoughts:

    1. I’m far more entertained than I probably should be that Blizzard’s image of a player seems to be a Viking wearing either a shirt and jumper or one of those sweaters with really pronounced elasticated sleeves. It’s like their default scenario here is that a school-aged Norse expansionist regrets “LongshipDude” and “LokiDokey” but will happily pay eight quid for “ErikTheRAD”.

    2. Will this ruin @ReaperNames?

    3. Here’s the store link if EdgeLord420 is no longer representative of how your life is going.

    From this site

    41 Comments

    1. anonzp says:

      I remember a magical age where you could make a new name whenever you wanted

      now blizzard wants people to pay for it? yes, fuck you too blizzard.

      • captainparty says:

        Maybe chill out a bit?

        First one is free, others are a nominal fee to stop people doing it constantly.

        It’s not worth getting your knickers in a twist about

        • rocketman71 says:

          It is

          • Chalky says:

            I wish I could remember a magical age where you could change your user name in online games but unfortunately it never existed.

            • Leonick says:

              Sarcasm? Hmm, in case not…

              As much as I agree that this really isn’t a big deal, there most certainly was a time, a very long time, where you could change your name in pretty much all games. The change is only recently when it is tied to some form of external account, some of which won’t allow you to change your name or charge for it.

              Call of Duty allowed you to change your easily displayname all the way to and including the first Modern Warfare (on PC anyway). After that they started using your steam profile name instead, of course, you can change that if you like so…

              Uplay also lets you change your profile name (though some older games don’t care).

              Can’t remember but I suspect Origin allows it too, seeing how email is used for login.

            • Press X to Gary Busey says:

              Every Steamworks multiplayer game ever?

            • Aldehyde says:

              Yeah, when has name changing NOT been a thing?

            • LionsPhil says:

              Please go play something from before the online-DRM-accounts-and-grinding-for-persistent-unlocks era and get that ignorance seen to.

        • TeePee says:

          Yeah, I don’t get the anger here. If you made a shitty choice five years ago when you first signed up for a battlenet account (and god knows I made a few!), you get a freebie in order to fix your mistake.

          If, despite said freebie, you’re still incapable of picking a name you don’t hate, then you have the option of changing it again, albeit at a cost to yourself.

          Call it the tutor’s fee for your life lesson about decision-making.

          • MajorLag says:

            There’s clearly no technical limitation to way the naming system works, so why not allow players to change name at will? That they went the route of making it a “service” that you pay for, instead of limiting it to, say, once a month, is very telling I think.

            • Freud says:

              It’s not for technical reasons they don’t want to allow constant name changes. Most of Blizzards games are multiplayer games and having some sort of permanence helps with knowing who you play with/against.

              Besides, cleaning up names that break the C&C (racist/misogynistic/homophobic) names requires much less work if people can’t change their name whenever they want.

              The whole all big corporations are evil and everything they do is evil shtick is very tired.

            • Press X to Gary Busey says:

              It’s Lawful Evil most of the time.
              *changes display name for free on Skype and all Valve games for the 100th time*

            • Aldehyde says:

              Oh, please, permanence? I mean I get your point but really? So instead of limiting name changes to say once or twice a year, charging for it is a much better idea?

              Wouldn’t want those six people on the opposing team in Overwatch to maybe not recognize me under my new tag…

        • ButteringSundays says:

          If the concern is that people will do it too frequently then it can be limited to, say, twice a year. I’m assuming Blizzard don’t mind you changing it every day if you’re willing to pay for it, so is that really a concern anyway?

          Charging customers to update a field in a database via an automated form is absurd money-grabbing and deserves derision, if nothing else. It’s skeezy. Please don’t defend it unless you work for Blizzard’s PR department.

        • Nerdy Suit says:

          Nah, OP is right: Fuck Blizzard and any company that thinks it’s normal to charge to do something as simple and harmless as change your gamer tag name.

          Since we like to shit on Valve sometimes can we also give them credit since they seem to be one of the few (or only ones?) to not do something as asinine as charge people to change their gamer tag name?

          • Vitty says:

            They could probably have the best of both worlds by giving people freedom to change names but restricting it to once per 3-6 months…and not charging which is pretty fricking cynical if u ask me. And also, if you choose an offensive name then an admin can ban you for a few weeks so you get a chance to mull over what it means to be stupid.

    2. mtomto says:

      Everything about Blizzard is plastered with a “buy” button. They started milking WOW hard after wotlk, and with great success. I don’t really follow anything they do anymore, and I can’t get excited about new games they plan to make.

      EVERTHING they made after WOW has been behind a giant paywall with gameplay below average. There’s a point in time where they went from making really cool, geeky games with depth to making acceptable games for mountains of dollars.

      That’s what I’d expect of a business though… but i don’t get excited about Ford, Apple or Microsoft either – they are so big that you just get the average working product at premium price, and that’s where Blizzard ended up.

      • Aldehyde says:

        Well, Diablo 3 had the auction house but at least Starcraft 2 got a better deal. Though that still had the issue where they announced its two expansions at the same time as WoL, which pissed a lot of people off.

        Can’t say I disagree with you, though. Overwatch was fun for a while but didn’t have much longevity for me. Especially since their servers were so gimped.

    3. Neurotic says:

      “LokiDokey” made me laugh quite a bit. :D

    4. ikehaiku says:

      You actually have (or had?) more than one free name change – it usually reset after a while (a few seasons).
      Weird thing is, the paid name change option always been in the store – I never had the need for it, so I simply assumed it was already implemented a long time ago.

    5. Little_Crow says:

      I wish Valve would allow this on Steam.
      My user ID harks back to an age when it was the E-Mail address you signed up with – and I don’t even have that address any more.

      It’d be nice to have the same choice new users now do.

      • ikehaiku says:

        You can change your profil name on Steam – that’s the only name people will ever see.

      • Paul B says:

        Exactly the same as Little_Crow here – my Steam user-id is an email address that no longer exists.

        I’m glad, thanks to ikehaiku’s explanation, that your profile name is the only one other steam users will see. However, the obsessive part of me would love it if my user_id could be the same as my profile name, instead of an old hotmail email address I last used in 2002.

        • Premium User Badge

          basilisk says:

          On the other hand, having a very different user name and profile name provides an added layer of account security. So it’s not actually a bad idea.

          (In fact, this is one thing that Valve got absolutely right. Unique, private user names and completely separate, non-unique public profile names that you can change at will is the best possible model, yet one that is surprisingly rare.)

          • Paul B says:

            Thanks basilisk, I didn’t consider the security aspect when I made my comment. If having different user & profile names makes my Steam account more secure, then I can live with it. Now if only I could turn off the part of me that dislikes having an old email address as my Steam id :)

    6. Haplo says:

      Funnily enough I still have my 12 year old handle, Haplo.

      Although my main handle elsewhere is Minaplo.

      What about other folks? What’s been your longest handle? And for extra points, what led you to pick it?

      • Premium User Badge

        kfix says:

        I am forever kfix.

        • Premium User Badge

          kfix says:

          And, er… a late night conversation with my brother about bananas and ketamine I think, it’s all a little (purple) hazy, but I happened to be creating a handle at the time and it sorta stuck.

      • Kefren says:

        My longest handle is Karl Drinkwater. Had it for over 40 years. If I had a choice I’d have picked something cooler.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Different everywhere and changed often to make it harder for The Man to trace, man.

      • Premium User Badge

        Qazinsky says:

        Been calling myself some variation of Qaz for 10+ years now if that counts.

        I know I started using Qazinsky specifically when CoD4 came out to have a somewhat realistic name you could throw a military rank in front of on the off chance that some light RP var prevalent in the game, but alas…

      • foop says:

        foop, for the last 32 years.

        Although these days there are other foops around, so I occasionally have to be drfoop.

    7. Rao Dao Zao says:

      Luckily I joined the internet just before these things acquired that degree of permanence. I had a few rubbishy ones but luckily friendly forum admins fixed those nicely before it was too late. Mid-teenage me finally settled on Rao Dao Zao and I rather don’t regret that one. Excellent SEO value, for a start.

    8. charlesg says:

      The commoditization of privacy.

      I can’t believe Blizzard actually have such a griefing problem that they need to charge for namechanges to stop it.

      Steam just keeps a list of old aliases on your profile, even if set to private. Works fine. Blocks and bans still remain even if the blocked person changes their name.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        “I can’t believe Blizzard actually have such a griefing problem that they need to charge for namechanges to stop it.”

        Well an economical barrier is only a solution to that problem if your griefers are the poors. If that were really the reason for charging (rather than because they can) then it wouldn’t be a charge at all, there’d just be x number of changes within y period of time.

        The only companies that charge me for changing information are those that have to manually process the changes, or those that live on a physical object that needs re-producing.

        Charging for ‘cosmetics’ in game, ie character names, ok, sure, milk em dry blizzard, it’s your payment model. But this? It’s just insulting.

    9. Otterley says:

      This post really needs a “Lift Your Skinny Fists!” tag :)

    10. Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The kid from Ico seems pretty stoked about it.

    11. Moraven says:

      Battletags came with Starcraft II, Mists of Pandaria and Diablo 3.

      Starcraft II had at least a free BattleTag change before each expansion and a few extras (think after each year).