Blizzard is celebrating the recent seventh anniversary of its MOBA Heroes of the Storm by trimming development in order to focus only "on client sustainability and bug fixing".
In a brief update posted yesterday on the official website, Blizzard said it would now treat the MOBA in a "manner similar to our other longstanding games, StarCraft and StarCraft II" by continuing seasonal rolls and hero rotations, but with no plans for new "for-purchase content to be added".
As a thank you to all who've stuck with the game, Blizzard is offering the "incredibly rare" Epic Arcane Lizard mount to all players with next week’s patch.
"This June marks the seven-year anniversary of Heroes of the Storm," the update says (thanks, Comic Book). "Combining legendary characters from all of our universes, it naturally brought players together into a truly unique experience. Heroes and its community are home to some of the most passionate gamers from around the world and we’re committed to making sure that you can continue to enjoy your adventures through the Nexus.
"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."
The blog post ends with a thank you to the Heroes community.
"You continue to be one of our most passionate communities, we’re grateful for your continued dedication and support, and as always, we look forward to seeing you in the Nexus," it says.
The news shouldn't be a complete surprise to players, as Blizzard cut back on Heroes of the Storm by shrinking the game's team and cancelling its big esports events back in 2018. Staff were moved to other internal projects, and there was no official word on how many people were left working on the MOBA.
ICYMI, Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra recently said his company wanted "to return to a live event that enables us to celebrate the community" and was "committed to bringing back BlizzCon" in 2023.
The annual BlizzCon event held in Anaheim has recently been pushed online due to Covid, and was then scrapped completely this year as Blizzard faced various allegations of staff misconduct and a toxic company culture.
In the same interview, Ybarra also defended Blizzard's use of microtransactions in the recently-released free-to-play Diablo Immortal, and said the vast majority of players were able to play the bulk of the game without spending any money.