Blizzard puts a final bullet in Heroes of the Storm development

Starcraft's Nova in Heroes of the Storm
(Image credit: Blizzard)

In 2018, Blizzard moved some of the development team away from Heroes of the Storm and discontinued its official competitive league, the Heroes Global Championship, which pro players weren't exactly thrilled about. Early in 2019, it got rid of paid loot boxes, leaving the option to buy them with in-game currency. Though Heroes of the Storm was widely seen as a "dead game", intermittent development continued at a slower cadence, with the addition of new heroes (like melee assassin Qhira and Mei from Overwatch), and events (like the time it went cyberpunk).

The latest update on the Heroes of the Storm blog has announced the seven-year-old MOBA will no longer be receiving new content, though free hero rotations and balance patches will continue. "Moving forward we will support Heroes in a manner similar to our other longstanding games, StarCraft and StarCraft II", it says. "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."

In his review of Heroes of the Storm in 2015, Chris Thursten wrote, "This is a studio that has always valorised accessibility and has lately had that belief galvanised by the striking success of Hearthstone. Heroes of the Storm is a MOBA for people who don't play MOBAs, therefore—perhaps even a MOBA for people who don't like MOBAs." It's a shame there wasn't enough of an audience for a MOBA aimed at casual players that stripped away genre-standard complexities like individual leveling, gold, and items while adding comeback mechanisms to make matches feel less like their outcomes were decided in the opening minutes.

As of next week's patch, those loyal players who remain will receive a free Epic Arcane Lizard mount as a gift. Blizzard's blog post ends by saying: "To our Heroes community, we say, 'thank you'. You continue to be one of our most passionate communities, we’re grateful for your continued dedication and support, and as always, we look forward to seeing you in the Nexus."

You know, they never did add Kyle from Blackthorne to the roster.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.