Heroes of Newerth, once LoL's biggest competitor, stops major updates after 10 years

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. 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.

As spotted by Resetera, 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.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).