Update: we added some quotes from casters & esports players regarding these turn of events.
In a MOBA market dominated by giants of the genre like Dota 2 and League of Legends, it seems that Heroes of the Storm just couldn’t keep its spark going. Blizzard announced earlier today that it will be scaling back on development and esports plans for the MOBA game, as the company shifts resources to other projects instead.
Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and Chief Development Officer Ray Gresko revealed the news in a blog post on the official website, stating that they were proud of the fact that the company now “have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in its history.”
Here’s part of the statement, where they justified shifting development resources away from Heroes of the Storm:
“We’re also at a point where we need to take some of our talented developers and bring their skills to other projects. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to shift some developers from Heroes of the Storm to other teams, and we’re excited to see the passion, knowledge, and experience that they’ll bring to those projects.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make tough choices like this. Games like Diablo II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, and more would not exist had we not made similar decisions in the past.”
However, there’s a small consolation for Heroes of the Storm players, as well as an incentive for them to keep playing it. Blizzard confirms that they will continue actively supporting the game with new heroes, themed events, and other content, albeit at a smaller and slower scale than before.
“Ultimately, we’re setting up the game for long-term sustainability,” Blizzard said.
Unfortunately, future planned esports events for Heroes of the Storm will also be affected negatively by this. The Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not be returning in 2019. [Update] Obviously, some esports luminaries in the HotS field aren’t too pleased by this.
It’s a sad day for Heroes of the Storm fans, especially for those who have been playing the game since it originally launched in 2015. Starting life as a custom StarCraft 2 map mod known as Blizzard DOTA, it was then picked up by Blizzard who named it Blizzard All-Stars before finally settling on the name Heroes of the Storm.
On the bright side, Heroes of the Storm players can still look forward to the upcoming Christmas-themed Toy Event launching this month. It will introduce all-new toy-themed skins and mounts, as well as reworked heroes and vital experience/armour gameplay updates.