HGC in Danger as Blizzard Scales down Heroes of the Storm
The entire Heroes of the Storm community was shocked by the announcement made by Blizzard Entertainment on social media at the beginning of the week. The manner in which the company chose to let everyone know that it plans on allocating fewer resources to its flagship MOBA was also deeply troubling. Last but definitely not least, professional gamers were shocked to hear that Blizzard is going to bring the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) esports league to a screeching halt.
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment
More than 200 Pro Players in Disarray
Regular players who enjoy the game at a casual level were disappointed and fear that the competitive days of Heroes of the Storm are numbered. Things are even worse for the more than 200 professional players and their managers, who suddenly find themselves in danger of losing their jobs. Casters are also puzzled by the decision and also the fact that Blizzard chose to break the news in such a brutal manner.
The HGC has gained a lot of traction since 2016 when it was launched, because of the benefits offered to professional players. These would receive a base salary and also had the chance to win a share of the guaranteed prize pools of the tournaments they joined. Many of them have worked hard over the last months and were anxiously waiting to hear more about the next season. These people were the hardest hit by the announcement and they are rightfully fuming and venting their frustration over the Internet.
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Cost-Cutting to Blame for the HGC Demise
The second half of 2018 was rather frustrating for players who had enjoyed Blizzard games for many years. Diablo fans were disappointed by the announcement that the company will focus on a mobile game instead of developing a new expansion for PC. Priorities have shifted in recent months and the company is now more concerned about expanding the development teams. The goal is to release more games and since they want to keep the costs down, the expansion is made at the expense of their flagship games.
Heroes of the Storm players have apparently drawn the shortest stick, as their favorite game and the major competitions were hit hard. Fewer resources will be spent on the multiplayer online battle arena game and the demise of the esports league leaves pro-players without a source of income. Even the collegiate league Heroes of the Dorm is expected to be terminated in 2018, so there will be no cash or scholarships either.
The future looks bleak for HotS and storm clouds are gathering fast over other Blizzard games. Veteran players who have enjoyed their games for more than two decades are slowly, but surely losing faith with a company obsessed with cutting costs and maximizing profits. They’re taking the loyalty of an enthusiastic gaming community for granted and this attitude is likely to come back to bite the videogame developers.