Blizzard’s MOBA has always played third fiddle to League of Legends and DOTA 2, but it still comes as a bit of a surprise for them to announce that they’re moving developers away from Heroes of the Storm and on to other projects, as well as canning the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm events for 2019.
Blizzard’s J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko said in the statement:
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.
While it sounds like the company is canning the game, it will seemingly continue to soldier on, just with a reduced development team.
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.
Heroes of the Storm is a slightly barmy mash-up of all Blizzard’s various properties, bringing characters and settings together to battle in a twist on the standard MOBA form – the company call it a Hero Brawler. First going into alpha testing in 2014, it fully released in June 2015, with a major overhaul to the game’s progression and characters coming in April 2017.
We’ll have to wait and see if this is the start of a slide into closure for the game, or if it really will continue on for several years to come, as Blizzard seem to promise.