Well, it’s still here
Come December, it’ll have been four years since Heroes of the Storm was given the dreaded maintenance mode treatment. While the game wasn’t abandoned, developmental assets were significantly curbed, and Heroes hasn’t had much in the way of major new content updates since. For the time being that may not change; as Blizzard is giving us a heads-up that Heroes of the Storm will remain online in the future, but doesn’t promise anything big.
Here’s the full, far-too-brief statement:
Moving forward we will support Heroes in a manner similar to our other longstanding games, StarCraft and StarCraft II. In the future, we’ll continue seasonal rolls and hero rotations, and while the in-game shop will remain operational there are no plans for new for-purchase content to be added. Future patches will primarily focus on client sustainability and bug fixing, with balance updates coming as needed.
So I had to re-read this multiple times to actually understand it. The big takeaway is “there are no plans for new for-purchase content to be added.” While that is vague, it likely puts the kibosh on big content patches that people will pay money for, and potentially additional heroes. Support “in a manner similar to other games” means that it will basically be kept online, and a small team will manage bugs and the like.
There’s two ways to take this news. For many, it’s business as usual. The positive spin is that the game isn’t dying anytime soon, and you can still log in and play it. Everyone also gets the “incredibly rare epic arcane lizard mount” for free. So there’s that!
The bad news is that for the time being, there is little hope of Heroes being “revived” with a regular cadence of new heroes and big events. As someone who does still play, I’m happy it’s still around, but the team and the community deserve more.
Heroes Lounge — one of the community’s biggest unofficial efforts to continue competitive play after Blizzard dropped support for the game — has commented on the matter, saying that they’re “disappointed” by the news, but will “continue to support competitive Heroes” for as long as they are able to do so. Former senior Heroes designer (and current Diablo IV lead class designer) Adam “AZ” Jackson took to Twitter to share their disappointment as well, sharing how much the game means to them, with the pointed message: “I still love playing this game, and in a perfect world would still be happily working on it today.”