Blizzard Battle.net: A screenplay by Pip

Blizzard Battle.net

FADE IN:

INT. BLIZZARD’S BOARDROOM – LUNCH, SEPTEMBER 2016
People in suits are playing with executive desk toys. One is batting a Newton’s Cradle with her paw while another bobs her head in time with the motions of a drinking bird. Suddenly CRADLE EXEC sits up.

CRADLE EXEC:
We could…… rebrand…. something?

All activity ceases and there is a moment of silence before excited whispering sets in.

BIRD EXEC:
Does anything need rebranding?

CRADLE EXEC stares at her coldly until BIRD EXEC drops her gaze and concedes. Her tail is no longer wagging and her ears are lying flat.

CRADLE EXEC:
Anyway. What about that Battle.net thing. Nobody says .net anymore. We might as well still be spelling out the double U double U double U bit of the website.

BIRD EXEC:
What about Blizz.biz? WoW.woo! Zeratul dot… edu?

CRADLE EXEC:
Those are idiotic. No-one cares about top-level domains anymore. People are all “TLD? WHAT IS TLD? TOO LONG DIDN’T… EVEN FINISH THE ACRONYM” and that’s a fact.

BIRD EXEC cringes and fetches favourite toys to placate CRADLE EXEC. A DEVELOPER who has wandered into the boardroom thinking it was the canteen raises their hand.

DEVELOPER:
Uh, what would actually be changing about Battle.net?

CRADLE EXEC:
NOTHING. That’s the beauty of this. All the fun of zhuzhing up the service and reprinting all of our official documents without any of the fuss of developers complaining that we are interrupting their roadmaps and their sandwich schedules.

DEVELOPER:
And these sandwiches you mention…

The mood of the room changes as the assembled executives realise a DEVELOPER has stumbled into their midst. Hissing and shrieking they chase the DEVELOPER from the room. One takes a casual swipe at the retreating figure from his vantage point on top of a wardrobe.

CUT TO:

INT. BOARDROOM – SIX MONTHS LATER
The execs are clustered around a bank of monitors each of which is showing a different stream of information. They paw at the screens every now and again. One is curled up under the table, having a nap.

BIRD EXEC:
There! That person is using our words! “Blizzard Streaming!”

Everyone turns to the screen she is pointing at.

CRADLE EXEC:
They are tweeting about their eyes streaming in a snowstorm.

BIRD EXEC starts to make whining noises and pulls a blanket over herself in sadness.

WARDROBE EXEC:
Wait! An actual person is talking about videogame and they’re saying Blizzard Voice and it’s even… oh no it’s sarcasm. They’re doing a sarcasm.

DEVELOPER:
Do you think that at least part of the problem might be that the website is still Battle.net and that the service is still Battle.net and that everyone knows what you mean when you say Battle.net?

CRADLE EXEC:
GET OUT WE HAVE NO SANDWICHES THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING.

DEVELOPER:
Why is that guy peeing in the corner on that potted plant?

CRADLE EXEC:
OUR WAYS ARE NOT YOUR WAYS.

BIRD EXEC raises her hackles and growls at the DEVELOPER forcing them to back slowly out of the room.

CUT TO:

INT. BOARDROOM – AUGUST 14, 2017

The monitors are now in a heap on the floor, having clearly been smashed in fits of pique. The corner plant is dead and the execs are sprawled over furniture. The Newton’s cradle is tangled beyond repair and the drinking bird is on its side. BIRD EXEC slowly raises her head from her paws.

BIRD EXEC:
What if…. we…….. rebrand… back to Battle.net?

CRADLE EXEC cocks her head to the side. She’s listening but wary.

CRADLE EXEC:
I am listening but wary.

BIRD EXEC:
Like, that’s a double rebrand so that makes it a double success, right? We can send out a press blast to say we are REMAINING as Battle.net and everyone will be pleased and we can have treats and a walk!

CRADLE EXEC:
That is idiotic. It’s like the double negative of the marketing world.

BIRD EXEC cowers in the corner.

CRADLE EXEC:
But I now have an entirely different and good idea! Let us double rebrand as BLIZZARD BATTLE.NET! Then we can say that when people are all “Battle.net this” and “Battle.net that” they are secretly abbreviating the new name and not using the old name EVEN IF THEY DON’T KNOW IT THEMSELVES!

DEVELOPER:
You could also make a cheeky nod to the fact that Blizzard used to be called something else before it was Blizzard in your press release.

CRADLE EXEC:
How do you keep getting in here?

DEVELOPER:
The BIRD EXEC flap in the door is pretty big.

CRADLE EXEC throws a sandwich out through the flap and the DEVELOPER chases after it. CRADLE EXEC pushes a chair in front of the gigantic flap to block re-entry.

CRADLE EXEC:
Release the press release and let it be known that we will wisely be double rebranding AND that we were really mindful of community feedback as we did this. Do we have a magnanimous font? We should use that.

FREEZE FRAME on the execs laughing and high-fiving.

FADE TO:

41 Comments

  1. It's not me it's you says:

    Bravo, bravo!

    I was puzzled by the original announcement, confused by their announcement of where the shooter thing would be hosted and now I have a vague headache from their.. unannouncement? re-announcement? I have no doubt you obtained actual behind the scenes footage to transcribe this from.

  2. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    I’ll just leave this here: link to youtube.com

    From the ever brilliant and disturbing Monkey Dust :D

  3. lancelot says:

    I must have missed it, did the cats drive the manatees out of the board of directors?

  4. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    CRADLE EXEC cocks her head to the side. She’s listening but wary.

    CRADLE EXEC:
    I am listening but wary.”

    Slain (〃^∇^)ノ

    Made my day Pip, ty!

  5. Simbosan says:

    Peh, that’s nothing. When I worked at HSBC they brought in a PR company to rebrand. After many 100’s of thousands of pounds the rebranding coup was to change the name from HSBC to… *drumroll* HSBC! But *this* HSBC no longer stood for Hong-Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation. It was just HSBC!

    *high fives and Bollys all round*

    That’s when I gave up looking for sanity in this world

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Royal Bank of Canada (always called RBC) did the same thing – several million dollars to become just RBC. Drumroll please.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Sounds similar to what Kentucky Fried Chicken did when they changed their name to just KFC because people were turned off by the word “friend.”

      I just noticed the other day that they are now known as K’ehFC in Canada because… chicken?

      • Premium User Badge

        teije says:

        That’s a feeble attempt to identify themselves with the Canada 150th birthday patriotism going around this year. Which rubs people the wrong way coming from a US company :)

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Yeah, changing their name to CFC probably not the best marketing move.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Sanity? Sounds like everyone got paid for thumbing themselves. Sounds genius.

    • Landiss says:

      That sounds like GOG.com who now take offence if you call them good old games :p.

  6. foszae says:

    Forgot the repeated showerings of bonus cheques for excellence in executive innovation

  7. DarkFenix says:

    I was a bit sad when they changed the name from Battle.net originally, like someone had decided to wallpaper over one of my fond childhood memories in favour of appealing to the generation that spends 23 hours a day with their eyes glued to a smartphone. Glad somebody seems to be paying attention over there.

  8. gschmidl says:

    I agree that this is what probably happened but, as a guy, think women would not come up with pointless crap like that rebranding ;-)

  9. that_guy_strife says:

    Pip is one cool cat, for real

    • Aetylus says:

      All marketing-speak needs to be put through the Pip filter:

      “Moving forward, to help offset some of the original concerns we listed back in September, we will be connecting “Blizzard” to “Battle.net” in our logo ”

      becomes

      CRADLE EXEC:But I now have an entirely different and good idea! Let us double rebrand as BLIZZARD BATTLE.NET! Then we can say that when people are all “Battle.net this” and “Battle.net that” they are secretly abbreviating the new name and not using the old name EVEN IF THEY DON’T KNOW IT THEMSELVES!

      :)

  10. TotallyUseless says:

    That’s pretty much corporate BS in motion.

    How could anyone mistake Battle.net for anything else. It’s been associated with Blizzard since the late 90s. =_=)

  11. RayEllis says:

    Changing a well-established name for something that just has people going “Huh?” never works out for the best.

    Just ask Prince.

    • LegendaryTeeth says:

      Prince did that do to some IP bs that meant he couldn’t use Prince as his actual name. So he changed it to an unpronounacble symbol so he could realistically only be referred to as “the artist formerly known as Prince”. It was a pretty good move.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        As I understand it he changed his name because he thought it would get him out of his contract. A judge thought otherwise.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Do you think that at least part of the problem might be that the website is still Battle.net and that the service is still Battle.net and that everyone knows what you mean when you say Battle.net?

    That’s what I didn’t get. I had honestly assumed they’d decided against rebranding some time ago. It was still the same service, still said Battle.net, the authenticator said battle.net, everything did.

    It’s like it was never rebranded to start with.

  13. Freud says:

    Subversive as I am, I have called it Battlenet all along.

  14. stringerdell says:

    Rebranding is sometimes necessary but more often offensively stupid. remember when they tried to call the post office consignia?

  15. R. Totale says:

    Is the developer a dog? I’m assuming the developer is a dog.

    • Premium User Badge

      AceJohnny says:

      Ugh the Bird Exec is a dog.

      The Developer is clearly an Unspecified Anthropomorphized Animal.

      Geez try to keep up…

  16. Premium User Badge

    AceJohnny says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    Pip I love you.

    Don’t let it get to your head.

  17. HothMonster says:

    I like the script but I am going to need to see some storyboards before we move forward.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Solrax says:

    This was awesome…

  19. LuNatic says:

    The Blizzard executives are Skaven?

  20. Tssha says:

    Harkens back to the good old days of Operation CWAL. Good on you for carrying on their “proud” tradition. :p

  21. Yugie says:

    Be honest Pip, how many times did you act out the script with soft toys before posting this?

  22. Premium User Badge

    MajorLag says:

    “TLD? WHAT IS TLD? TOO LONG DIDN’T… EVEN FINISH THE ACRONYM”

    This is so great it has permanently dislodged the actual meaning of the initialism from my brain.

  23. Icel says:

    He’s right, no one says the “.net”. It’s just battlenet. No dot.

  24. GloatingSwine says:

    I suspect they are no longer being “Blizzard app” because anyone who didn’t just carry on calling it Battle.net anyway called it ‘Blapp’.

    Nobody wants to be Blapp.

  25. DEspresso says:

    Futurama really ruined that song *tear*