Blizzard released a statement today which announced they will not be pursuing Heroes of the Storm Esports activities next year for the MOBA leaving pro teams and players in shock.
Blizzard’s statement came as a surprise for pros and Esports teams who were told last month at BlizzCon that the future looked bright for Heroes of the Storm. The decision to can the events, which includes the Heroes Global Championship, is down to more cost-cutting measures.
Over the past several years, the work of evaluating our development processes and making hard decisions has led to new games and other products that we’re proud of. 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. This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make tough choices like this. Games like Diablo II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, and more would not exist had we not made similar decisions in the past.
Despite the change, Heroes of the Storm remains our love letter to Blizzard’s worlds and characters. 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. We’re so grateful for the support the community has shown from the beginning, and the development team will continue to support Heroes with the same passion, dedication, and creativity that has made the game such a unique experience.
We’ve also evaluated our plans around Heroes esports—after looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019. This was another very difficult decision for us to make. 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 versus moving forward in a way that would not meet the standards that players and fans have come to expect.
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. We appreciate all of our hard-working developers and everyone in the Blizzard community and look forward to sharing many more epic gaming experiences with you in the future.
J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko
As Diablo players, after the BlizzCon Diablo Immortal mess, we are more than aware that Blizzard is changing and it’s no longer the Blizzard most of us appreciated during the early years. This announcement was another example of Blizzard doing whatever they want with no concern on how it will affect the actual players or one of their communities. There was no warning from them which meant that HOTS teams and players continued to work towards next year’s events. The way this was announced showed no consideration for the players who have championed and promoted the game. Blizzard has always been ruthless behind the scenes but it’s now seeping through to their actual customers.
HOTS may not be the #1 MOBA on the market but it has a decent audience, but not decent enough to stop Blizzard from cutting costs. Blizzard gamers now have to accept that this post-Morhaime era is going to be quite different.
Jim Sterling sums it up well in his video below. He’s right in saying that Blizzard gamers should be wary of any future Blizzard titles.