Just days after co-founder Mike Morhaime departed from the company, Blizzard is scaling back one of its more ambitious releases.
In a new blog post on the publisher’s page, Blizzard’s J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko have announced that the development team behind the popular MOBA Heroes of the Storm would be scaled back and moved to other projects, and its competitive events for the game would also not be returning.
“We’re constantly changing and evolving not only our games, but how we support and grow them. This evolution is vital to our ability to continue doing what we love to do- making great games- and it’s what makes Blizzard, Blizzard,” the duo said in the post.
But this leads to “hard decisions” at some point, which Heroes will not face. “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.”
As for the competitive events, “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.”
But that does not mean the game will be left for dead, as it will continue to see updates. Just...not as many as players have been used to. “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.”
The duo concluded its statement by saying “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.”
For the time being, players can still enjoy what all Heroes of the Storm has to offer on the PC front. But it looks like Blizzard is moving onward to bigger projects. And we probably won’t know what they are until, at the very latest, BlizzCon 2019.