Blizzard has announced that they are going to downsize the Heroes of the Storm team, and that the games esports events will not be returning in 2019.
The news was announced via a blog post from J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko over on the Blizzard website. In the post, Blizzard made it clear that this didn’t mean that anybody was losing their job, with developers from the Heroes of the Storm team simply being moved on to other projects:
“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.”
Despite this news, Blizzard did their best to reassure fans that this process is nothing out of the ordinary for them:
“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.”
Blizzard were keen to reassure fans that this doesn’t mean that support for the game will stop, with promises of new heroes and themed events on the horizon. Ultimately, Blizzard said, they’re setting the game up for long term sustainability:
“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.”
Blizzard are doing a lot to make it clear that this doesn’t spell anything like the end for Heroes of the Storm then, but it would be hard to argue that this news doesn’t at least make the future look bleak for the Blizzard-celebrating MOBA, particularly when you add in the fact that Blizzard has taken the decision to cancel the future esports events for the game. Their statement continued:
“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.”
As you can see from these excerpts, Blizzard has done their best to put a positive spin on this news, repeatedly trying to emphasize that this decision will ultimately aid their other projects. Whether that’s true or not, this is most definitely a sad day for fans of Heroes of the Storm, as the game is clearly not as popular as it needs to be and will therefore not get the level of support that it has had so far. Although Blizzard are doing their best to reassure everybody, it would appear that Heroes of the Storm’s days are numbered.