Blizzard Entertainment notified World of Warcraft players Monday that they must convert their World of Warcraft accounts into Battle.net accounts within 30 days. The change comes in advance of the release of Starcraft II and Diablo III, and is intended to allow gamers to manage all of their Blizzard games through one account-management system.
Players who make the conversion, which will, by definition, include every player actively playing the game, will receive a free in-game penguin vanity pet.
Battle.net was originally established as an online gaming service for online player vs. player gaming for Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. The company used a standalone network for World of Warcraft when that game was introduced.
The company said that those who play with multiple accounts should list all of those WoW accounts within a single Battle.net account, and hints at future additions to the online service that will benefit users if they are playing under a Battle.net account tied to their personal ID.
The company's notification via the WoW client said that users must do the conversion themselves. The company's online documentation, however, said that such conversions have already been made. We've contacted Blizzard to request clarification on this issue.
As of this writing, you can still log into World of Warcraft with your old WoW account name and password. Once converted, you instead use your Battle.net account name (which is your e-mail address) to log into WoW, the upcoming Starcraft II and Diablo III releases, and other future games.