Blizzard just announced a bold move for Heroes of the Storm: pulling a lot of the game's resources. The MOBA acted as a love letter to Blizzard's various games, but it seems that the love just wasn't there as an esport. Citing a reevaluation of priorities, Blizzard has decided to cancel two of the game's biggest competitions.
The news comes from a post on the official Blizzard website. President J. Allen Brack and chief development officer Ray Gresko kept the message brief, announcing the changes and giving vague reasoning for them.
"We now have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in the company’s history," the post reads. "We’re also at a point where we need to take some of our talented developers and bring their skills to other projects." They also reason that big hits like StarCraft II or Overwatch would never have come to be without similar sacrifices being made in the past.
Alongside shifting developers away from HotS, Blizzard has also decided to effectively end the game's esports scene. Both Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm are canceled for 2019. This is apparently because Blizzard didn't feel future events would match a certain level of quality.
"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."
Pro players of the game took the news hard, PC Gamer reports, mostly because they've already been practicing for the 2019 season for months. They were blindsided by the news.
"Working 6 hard months with new fantastic teammates for this s**t. Radio silence for weeks. I sent multiple email and all i got back was that they are working on finalizing the details," HotS pro Lauber tweeted.
HotS is not entirely over, however. Brack and Gresko promise that the game will still receive support in the form of new heroes and themed events. The delivery will be different though, in a way that wasn't specified. They also repeatedly assure fans that it was a hard decision but there's an exciting future ahead.
"Ultimately, we’re setting up the game for long-term sustainability."