In April 2009, Heroes of Newerth went into beta—the same month as League of Legends. The two were vying to win over the audience of popular Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients. LoL beat HoN out of beta by a few months, and Heroes of Newerth spent its first year costing $30 before going free-to-play (opens in new tab). Before long LoL became the most-played games in the world. Despite its much smaller audience, Heroes of Newerth has impressively soldiered on for a decade, and has just announced what may be its last major patch (opens in new tab).
As spotted by Resetera (opens in new tab), HoN's latest patch notes state "At this moment in time, patch 4.7.3 is planned to be the final patch that contains major content and major changes. Future HoN patches will generally consist of a small amount of balance changes and/or bugfixes, if they are deemed necessary."
It feels like an end-of-the-road update. "Tributes to certain staff members have been put into some item flavour tooltips to thank them for all their hard work throughout the game!" the patch notes add. It's also a pretty major rebalancing, with reworks to several characters and stat changes to many more.
The patch is out next week, on February 26. Most of HoN's players may have moved on to League of Legends and Dota 2 years ago, but this isn't necessarily the end—even without the major patches, its most diehard players may keep it alive for another decade.