If you have friends all around the globe who use Battle.net… then we have some good news from you. With the latest update of the Battle.net client, you can now see the activity and chat with your friends from other regions. Previously, in order to do that, you had to log into another region first – now your friend list is shared across all of them. You can be logged on Europe, for example, and still talk with people from Americas.
Sadly, it doesn’t mean that you can PLAY with people across the globe. Cross-region play is still not active, but we hope that it’s something that will be available in the future – especially for Hearthstone, which isn’t very demanding latency-wise.
Global Friends List
Battle.net is a place for players to engage with their games and connect with each other. Now, we’re taking those connections global!
- Starting June 8, 2021, your friends in Europe, Americas, and Asia will be merged into a global friends list.
- You can chat, create groups, and see what your friends are playing–all in one place.
Blizzard added a longer blog post detailing the changes to Battle.net platform and aim to make it more global. Interestingly enough, they’ve also announced a nearly full cross-play for Overwatch – players will be able to experience the game with people from all platforms (PC, consoles) and all regions – except China (no surprises there, honestly).
While nothing like that was announced for Hearthstone yet, it would be great if it happened. There’s no reason why Hearthstone players shouldn’t be able to at least play friendly matches across regions, or queue against players from different regions. Of course – ranked play will probably remain region-restricted for the sake of esports, but anything non-competitive would heavily benefit from cross-play. A bigger playerbase is always better.
Anyway, we’ll keep you updated in case anything like that happens for Hearthstone! In the meantime, you can read the full blog post below:
We’re breaking down barriers.
We’ve always envisioned Battle.net as a place for players to connect, collaborate, and play their favorite games. Now, we’re realizing that dream on a truly global level.
“When Battle.net first came out, the purpose was to deliver a connected, multiplayer experience for a single title,” says Arron Goolsbey, VP of Platform Engineering for Battle.net. “Fast-forward 10 to 15 years, and Battle.net had evolved into a service that spanned all Blizzard games but was still constructed with the primary notion that players would mostly play with others within their region. The internet has come a long way in the last 10 years, enabling global and cross-platform experiences with high levels of quality. So now, Battle.net is evolving once again.”
Starting today, friends lists from different territories will be merged into one*, so you’ll no longer need to switch regions in Battle.net to talk to your buddies on the other side of the planet. “As Global Battle.net rolls out, players around the world will be able to come together all across the larger Blizzard ecosystem without any hurdles for the first time ever,” says Diana Hubbard, Platform Design Manager. In doing so, they will be able to effortlessly expand their friendships, groups, and communities—paving the way for forging new bonds over our present and future epic gaming experiences. This is just the first step, and it will only get better from here.” To accent this new era of global gaming and social connectivity on Battle.net, we’ve also updated our logo.
“We realized some time ago that our players would be better served by a global Battle.net that did away with the concept of regions,” says Jeff Allison, Lead Product Manager for Battle.net. “But breaking down these barriers was a significant engineering task. Now that we’ve done it, we look forward to a future where all Battle.net players can communicate and game together no matter where they are.”
Battle.net’s global updates also include cross-platform functionality. This has given our game developers the ability to let you play with others between PC and console seamlessly. Overwatch players will be the first to experience these new cross-play capabilities; for more information, check out this blog.
“You will be able to make friends anywhere as games published on Battle.net begin to utilize this evolved experience,” says Goolsbey. “We look forward to a future where billions of players worldwide can make friends and play together, regardless of where they are and what device they play on.”
These backend updates to Battle.net will also enable developers to build even more globally connected experiences for our players in the future, so stay tuned!