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Former Blizzard Employee on HGC's Cancellation and Heroes of the Storm

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Inven Global talked to a former Blizzard employee about HGC's cancellation and the game in general.

Before the Storm

Whereas other franchises have big patches once every three months, the Heroes dev team was constantly working overtime to put up with Hero releases, events, balance updates, and pretty much everything.

Former Blizzard employees said there was a disconnect between departments; the esports departments knew something was going on with HGC, but they didn't tell anyone about it.

Members of the public relations department weren't able to communicate effectively with players and organizations, because they themselves weren't told anything.

Another source said they thought we'd see at least one more year of HGC.

Quote

"I was confident that we would have at least one more year of HGC. I knew that [executives] were really getting tight with the budget and we may not have one year beyond 2019. Maybe 2020 is when the budget towards it would be either extremely reduced or completely eliminated and reliant on the community but everybody was very confident we had 2019, especially going into BlizzCon." 

The Death Sentence for Competitive HotS

Unbeknownst to many Blizzard employees and the community, J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko came with a statement on HGC's cancellation and the future of the game in December 2018.

Apparently, Blizzard employees learned about the cuts to the game and esports scene via email at the same time as the rest of the world, shortly before the blog post went live.

Unsustainable Workload

Prior to the the announcement, the Heroes dev team was one of the largest on campus. With community wanting more content to prevent the game from becoming stale, the developers were often pushed to their limits, which is why some were slightly relieved when they learned about the future of the game.

Diablo: Immortal and Diablo IV Development

Following the not so successful announcement of Diablo: Immortal at last year's BlizzCon, the developers at the company felt the urge to make things right and they simply had to reveal Diablo IV at this year's BlizzCon, so they ramped up the production of the game, grabbing the resources from the Heroes of the Storm team.

Check out the full post on Inven Global article for more information!

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I'm of the opinion that if you don't overwork the dev team, you'll ultimately get a much better product. Devs work better and more efficiently when their hands aren't shaking from stress.

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2 minutes ago, Monlyth said:

I'm of the opinion that if you don't overwork the dev team, you'll ultimately get a much better product. Devs work better and more efficiently when their hands aren't shaking from stress.

Also the whole mechanic of game development being purely "make money" seems like it causes a lot of good games to die.

WC3, WoW, D2 and the foundation of Blizzard was created by people making games they loved and wanted to play. They really enjoyed what they were doing.

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Thats kinda gross. Thats like having food go bad just because you refuse to throw it away. And yet everybody kind of knew something was going down. I pity the individuals that were invested in this game competitively. Fortunately a lot of them like Fan on twitch are doing alright without HGC and its no question as to why others have moved on to games like League. Hm wonder why.

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It sucks that they were one of the most overworked teams there, at least some of them can rest a bit now, although those moved to D4, are likely having similar experience right now. Game would have been fine with more casual approach with reasonable budget, instead execs had to push for e-sports. They were way over their heads, HGC simply had no chance to compete with already established titles, e-sport could always develop from the bottom, but any chance of that has been killed. 

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This just shows how Blizzard is not only losing their touch with the playerbase, but also with themselves. I remember when working at Blizzard was a dream come true, but in the latest years it seems this is no longer the case.

Have them didn't overwork their employees and made questionable decisions regarding their games (Diablo Immortal reveal at BlizzCon), maybe we could still have competitive HotS growing.

This is really sad, because the HotS team has one of the most talented artists, animators and developers in Blizzard. Lana Bachynski and many other staff left Blizzard already.

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