Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s MOBA and “love letter to Blizzard’s worlds and characters,” will see many of its developers moved from the game to work on other projects, the company announced last night in a statement ominously titled “Heroes of the Storm News . . . “. In addition, the game’s two eSports competitions, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm, will not see 2019 editions and will be effectively shut down.
The statement comes at the end of 2018, a tough year to be a Blizzard fan. Fans have already endured a deflating BlizzCon which saw hopes of a next-generation Diablo game dashed by the announcement of the mobile-only, outsourced Diablo Immortal, and one of the worst received expansion in World of Warcraft‘s history, Battle For Azeroth. Now it appears that Heroes will join Diablo 3 in essentially being kept in “maintenance mode” — the game will be available to play and will receive updates, but according to Blizzard, the “cadence” of those releases will change. This does not sound like good news for the Heroescommunity.
“We’ll continue actively supporting the game with new heroes, themed events, and other content that our community loves, though the cadence will change,” reads the joint statement from J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko. “Ultimately, we’re setting up the game for long-term sustainability.”
Read the full statement below, and pour one out for our friends in the Nexus.
We’re constantly changing and evolving not only our games, but how we support and grow them. This evolution is vital to our ability to continue doing what we love to do–making great games–and it’s what makes Blizzard, Blizzard.
Over the past several years, the work of evaluating our development processes and making hard decisions has led to new games and other products that we’re proud of. We now have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in the company’s history. 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.
Despite the change, Heroes of the Storm remains our love letter to Blizzard’s worlds and characters. We’ll continue actively supporting the game with new heroes, themed events, and other content that our community loves, though the cadence will change. Ultimately, we’re setting up the game for long-term sustainability. We’re so grateful for the support the community has shown from the beginning, and the development team will continue to support Heroes with the same passion, dedication, and creativity that has made the game such a unique experience.
We’ve also evaluated our plans around Heroes esports–after looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019. This was another very difficult decision for us to make. The love that the community has for these programs is deeply felt by everyone who works on them, but we ultimately feel this is the right decision versus moving forward in a way that would not meet the standards that players and fans have come to expect.
While we don’t make these decisions lightly, we do look to the future excited about what the decisions will mean for our other live games and all the projects we have in the works. We appreciate all of our hard-working developers and everyone in the Blizzard community, and look forward to sharing many more epic gaming experiences with you in the future.
J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko