When you're the developer behind Overwatch and World of Warcraft, you're big enough to have your own online store.
While Steam remains the biggest name in PC gaming, an increasing number of video game publishers are finding success with their own digital distribution platforms. None have managed to shake Steam's iron grip on the PC games marketplace just yet, but if one's come close, it's Battle.net. Built by Blizzard, the studio renowned for World of Warcraft, Diablo III and most recently, Overwatch, Battle.net is both a platform for playing Blizzard's games online and a digital store selling those games along with their DLC.
Is it still called Battle.net?
As of late 2016, Blizzard has officially retired the Battle.net name in favour of the umbrella term "Blizzard". However, the new branding has yet to be widely adopted and the platform continues to be most commonly referred to as Battle.net or its shorthand version Battlenet.
What does Battle.net sell?
Battle.net deals primarily in Blizzard's range of PC games. The biggest titles are all accounted for: World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft II. A few of Blizzard's older games are available, too, such as Warcraft III and Diablo II.
Along with Blizzard's games, Battle.net sells plenty of in-game content and services for each of the studio's titles. From Hearthstone card packs and World of Warcraft pets to Overwatch loot boxes and StarCraft II announcer voice packs, there's more DLC on Battle.net's digital shelves than you can poke a legendary sword at.
The Blizzard logo isn't the only one you'll see on Battle.net, either. Following the company's merger with fellow publisher Activision, the PC version of Destiny 2 will be sold exclusively through Battle.net when it is released in September 2017.
How do Battle.net's digital downloads work?
When you purchase a game or a piece of in-game content through Battle.net, it gets permanently tied to your Battle.net account. Provided it's not a single-use item, you'll have indefinite access to your purchase on any device you log into Battle.net with. For games, that means you can download and play them as many times as you want on different computers without having to hunt down an old install disc.
As a trade-off, you'll need to download a client program to launch your purchased games from. Previously called the Battle.net Launcher, this program is now known as the Blizzard App and serves as an all-in-one interface for patching and purchasing games, chatting with your Battle.net friends, and keeping up-to-date with the latest Blizzard news. Bear in mind that you'll need a constant Internet connection to play most games through the Blizzard App, even if you're just playing the single-player campaign. Certain games do support an offline mode, but you will need to play the game online first to activate it.
What currency does Battle.net use?
The Battle.net Australia website lists all prices in AUD.
What is Battle.net's refund policy?
As stipulated in Blizzard's Terms of Sale, all Battle.net sales involving digital content and services are final. While this means that you technically have no right to a refund through Battle.net, you can still contact customer support if you believe your situation warrants extra consideration. You may still be rejected, but it's worth a shot.
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