Blizzard has announced it will end development work on the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Heroes of the Storm, seven years after it first launched. The title will no longer be receiving major updates, with the focus of development shifting to minor bug fixes and in-game rotations as the action is finally sunsetted. While disappointing, this phase is part of the natural cycle of online games, which typically receive maintenance over a number of years before developers must make tough decisions about their future.
Updates for the game have slowed to a crawl over the last few years, so the announcement isn’t too surprising. Blizzard has also recently announced a major shift in its development ambitions overall, with development resources now being fed into World of Warcraft and its upcoming Dragonflight expansion. Priorities are changing at the company, and it appears Heroes of the Storm is an unfortunate victim of this shift.
‘Heroes and its community are home to some of the most passionate gamers from around the world and we’re committed to making sure that you can continue to enjoy your adventures through the Nexus. Moving forward we will support Heroes in a manner similar to our other longstanding games, StarCraft and StarCraft II,’ Blizzard announced in a blog post.
‘In the future, we’ll continue seasonal rolls and hero rotations, and while the in-game shop will remain operational there are no plans for new for-purchase content to be added. Future patches will primarily focus on client sustainability and bug fixing, with balance updates coming as needed.’
Heroes of the Storm was the company’s answer to the rising popularity of the MOBA genre in 2015, and was designed as a direct, more approachable competitor to titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends – but it never quite reached the heights that it aimed for. This failure was recognised by Blizzard, with co-founder Mike Morhaime explaining the company was simply too late to compete with other MOBA games.
Going forward, it appears support for the game will slow to a trickle as it joins other legacy Blizzard titles in the company graveyard. While players will still be able to connect to servers and hop into multiplayer battles, it’s likely a lack of new content will eventually lead players to other shores.