Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

'Heroes of the Storm' Development Team Scaled Back By Blizzard

'Heroes of the Storm' Development Team Scaled Back By Blizzard

"This was another very hard decision for us to make", Brack and Gresko said.

The axing of the esports division comes alongside the announcement that a chunk of the Heroes of the Storm team is being shifted to other projects. Addressing the concern over eSports, they say that they're "evaluating" where Heroes now fits in, and that both HGC (the big, entertaining tournament run that culminates at BlizzCon) and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019.

HotS was Blizzard's own take on the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre that has always been dominated by Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL). The major change will be the time-scale of the new additions, as the company starts "setting up the game for long-term sustainability".

"While we don't make these decisions lightly, we do look to the future excited about what the decisions will mean for our other live games and all the projects we have in the works", Blizzard wrote. "The love that the community has for these programs is deeply felt by everyone who works on them, but we ultimately feel this is the right decision", said Blizzard. Blizzard promises continued active support, "with new heroes, themed events, and other content that our community loves, though the cadence will change".

An in-depth report from Kotaku claims Blizzard management is trying to cut costs and ship more games.

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Kala says he was told "by Blizzard employees at BlizzCon" that the HGC was going to continue in 2019 with similar funding. Blizzard founder and CEO Mike Morhaime left the company in October. The free-to-play multiplayer game features characters from across Blizzard's suite of series.

GameSpot: What led to this decision?

Blizzard: With more live games and unannounced projects than ever before, we're at a point where we need to focus more of our resources in areas that could benefit greatly from the additional support.

Apparently, Blizzard didn't warn any of their professional Heroes of the Storm players about the esports shutdown beforehand, and, understandably, many of them are more than a little upset.

I have contacted Blizzard with request for further comment, and will update this post if I hear more about why the announcement was made so abruptly at the end of the year, and what specifically prompted the publisher to discontinue HGC. However, the Heroes team will continue to have a smaller but dedicated development team that will continue supporting the game with new content. Thanks for reading everyone, I'll see you guys in the Nexus!

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